Eating fresh produce is always a good idea when it comes to your health, but eating in-season fruits and vegetables can be even more beneficial for your well-being. A diet rich in produce can help reduce the risk of diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease and even some forms of cancer. By eating seasonally, you’ll get the full nutritional value of the produce and ingest less chemicals, all while saving money and supporting the local economy!
Fresh produce is naturally packed with nutrients that your body needs. Unfortunately, fruits and vegetables start to lose their nutritional integrity as soon as they are harvested; however, if you aim to eat seasonally, you’ll find more local produce available as farmers in your area will likely focus on selling in-season produce. This means you will be able consume the fruit or vegetable much closer to when it’s been picked, and thus you’ll get more of that product’s nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
If the produce is out of season, that generally means there will be less of that fruit or vegetable available locally. No local supplier means retailers will have to get the produce shipped in. Some vegetables, like spinach or green beans, have been shown to lose up to two-thirds of their vitamin C within just one week of being harvested. That extra shipping time can be very detrimental to the nutrition value of those products.
In addition, the time of year really does impact the growth and quality of products, despite recent technological advances. Even though oftentimes the product can be grown year-round, some crops have up to three times more of certain nutrients if they are grown in season. Nature has a way of sustaining certain crops at certain times of the year, and to get the full value of the food, it’s best to adjust our eating habits, rather than trying to adjust nature.
Less Chemical Exposure
Produce that is grown in-season is full of nutrients and often has less chemicals involved in the growing, harvesting and preserving processes. Out-of-season vegetables need more pesticides, chemicals and preservatives to survive the transportation process. While many of those chemicals are safe to ingest, there’s nothing like eating fresh to feel great.
Your body will thank you for eating seasonally, but so will your wallet! Produce pricing is based on supply and demand. When the product is bountiful, the price will drop. In addition to saving money, if you buy locally, you will be supporting both the local economy and local farmers. Win-win.
Enjoy those summer squashes, berries and watermelon before turning to autumnal foods like corn, carrots and pumpkins this fall. Eating a quick, natural snack can help you stay healthy, but if you find yourself feeling under the weather, visit AFC Worcester to get prompt, hassle-free treatment for every-day ailments.