FRUIT & VEGETABLES PROVIDE NUTRIENTS VITAL FOR HEALTH
Fruit and vegetables are available all year long and essential for our health. They are the source of many essential nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, important vitamins, plant chemicals and foliate. They are low in fat, salt and sugar and due to their diuretic nature, they facilitate the purification of our bodies. None contain cholesterol but a high amount of natural antioxidants.
We are so used to having what we want to eat, when we want, without thinking about the natural growing cycle or considering the seasonality. However, to enjoy the full benefits and taste, it is best to eat fruit and vegetables at their peak harvest point when they are sourced locally. The less time they travel the fresher they will be and maintain much more of their nutrition and flavor.
Produce that’s not in season undergoes early picking, cooling, and heating that reduces the flavor. Dehydrating and long transportation can also reduce the Vitamin C, which is notoriously unstable. Eating with the seasons can also avoid food allergies and intolerances, because you are not eating the same thing every day. Last but not least, everything in season is cheaper and more available at the markets.
THE MOST IMPORTANT ADVANTAGE OF EATING SEASONALLY ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS
As part of an overall healthy diet and an active lifestyle, it can:
- Improve the sleep quality for older people
- Reduce obesity and help to maintain a healthy weight
- Help to reduce blood cholesterol levels
- Help to maintain healthy blood pressure
Reduce risk for:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease including heart attack
- Certain types of cancer
Variety is as important as quantity and eating at least one serving every day of each color is recommended by many doctors and dietitians. They are classified botanically depending on which part of the plant they come from. Fruit develops from the mature ovary of a plant and contains seeds that taste generally sweet or tart.
The other parts of the plant are categorized as vegetables and consist of roots, stems, tubers, bulbs, leaves and flowers, which taste milder and more savory. There are many plants that most people consider to be vegetables, but botanically speaking they are fruit. Corn can be considered a fruit or a vegetable and even more confusingly, rhubarb is a vegetable! The most famous example being the tomato, which is a fruit.
1. NUTRITION & TASTE
Seasonally fresh produce has been allowed to ripen naturally, has had more sun exposure, obtained nourishment from the soil and is picked just at the right time, when they’re ripe and packed with freshness and flavor. They are more flavorful and nutritious because they have not been processed or preserved in any way and so the freshness can be seen in the quality and texture. They contain a whole host of vitamins and minerals that suit the body’s needs for this time of year and have higher levels of antioxidants.
2. ECONOMY & ENVIRONMENT
Seasonal produce is more likely to be locally produced, grown organically and without too many pesticides, preservatives and other chemicals that can contaminate the water, soil and our health. Local and seasonal food also reduces the number of miles your food must travel before it reaches your plate. Shorter transportation and the reduction of the emissions help to maintain a cleaner environment. Once they have been harvested, they begin to lose their nutritional value, and so it is important that the produce reaches the end user as quickly as possible.
3. HEALTHY COOKING & SUPPORT
Getting to know where your food comes from makes you feel more connected to your region and encourages you to cook more homemade, healthier meals. Starting to take back control of what you put into your body, you will consciously make even better choices for your health. Cooking is a great activity to engage in with family and friends, eating seasonally by consuming different produce throughout the year, according to what is available. It’s also a great way to support your local farmers who mostly follow a very natural and healthy growing practice whilst also contributing to your local community.
4. BALANCE & BODY’S NATURAL CYCLE
The natural cycle of seasonal produce is perfectly aligned by nature to the needs of our bodies in making the transition from one season to another. Living in balance with nature and surroundings and embracing the natural rhythm also helps simplify our lives. In the winter season we need for example more oranges, mandarins, lemons, kale, turnips and cabbage in order to get more vitamins and minerals.
In spring, we prefer more leafy greens, typically, asparagus, rhubarb, fennel and artichoke but also the first fruit like mango, pineapple, apricots and strawberries. These help us to detox and support our liver function in regulating the body’s energy system. This also helps maintain a good body weight and shed the few extra pounds gained after a wintertime of heavier foods.
In the summer we need to stay hydrated by eating more water dense fruit like blackberries, nectarines, peaches, plums and watermelons but also vegetables like cucumber, green beans, aubergine and zucchini. In the fall season we like to eat apples, figs, grapes, pears, quince, pomegranates and vegetables like pumpkin, Swiss chard, cauliflower and sweet potatoes.
WHEN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES ARE IN SEASON
When fruits and vegetables are in season, you’re enjoying the best nutrients, too, because they’ve been gathered at the optimal time and haven’t lost any of their valuable ingredients. In fact, these are the ones that provide you with the health benefits you need to live life at its best. Rely on fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables to be mentally and physically fit as a person. The Mediterranean diet is something you need to discover. It’s part of a lifestyle worth trying. Integrate it into your everyday life!
Discover the health benefits when fruits and vegetables are in season, and you’ll be bursting with vitality and energy. Choose a diet that will make you healthier and far from suffering from diseases that can cause serious damage to your health. In our magazine, you have everything you need. Discover them on our website.