Have you ever heard of the phrase “Think globally, act local?” Well, the same applies to the foods you eat. Although it’s not always realistic to forage for foods or go back to your roots, you can act locally by consuming foods that are in season. Each season provides you with lots of fresh produce, making it an exciting time to try out new recipes. Here are some health benefits of eating locally and seasonally.
Local Produce Has a Higher Nutritional Value
Seasonal produce is fresh and has a higher nutritional value compared to foods stored for a long time. Carotenes, folate, and vitamin C are some anti-oxidants that decline after an extended period. Also, local in-season fruits and vegetables are bright and vibrant, meaning are high in phytonutrient content. Out-of-season foods may be irradiated or gassed to kill germs. They may also contain other chemicals to extend their shelf life.
Seasonal and Local Foods are the Cornerstone of Preventive Medicine
Seasonal eating has been used for years in holistic and ancient medical traditions. A study conducted found out that eating fresh seasonal foods could help reduce the risks of heart disease and cancer. Also, the study showed that consuming seasonal foods could lead to improved vascular health, help with weight loss, and increase longevity. The local farmers market is a great place to shop for seasonal produce.
You can also join a community supported agricultural program to have direct access to local produce that is in season—and you’re likely to get a cleaner product free of pesticides. Less exposure to these chemicals reduces your chances of getting sick.
Get a Wider Variety of Foods
Eating the same foods over and over again in your diet can be boring. Moreover, such repetitive eating could cause you to lack essential nutrients, as you may not be having a balanced diet. Opting for local produce can broaden your palate and expose you to more ingredients that provide a well-rounded diet. During summer and spring, you might find stonefruit and berries appealing, and change into squash, apples, and pumpkin during fall. Find out what’s in the season to have more delicious foods at a reasonable price. Peruse cookbooks or Pinterest to find new ideas and inspiration to prepare a variety of foods.
Eating local and seasonal foods has both health and environmental benefits, and you are supporting the local economy while you’re at it. Look for a local farmer’s market near you to get access to fresh and healthy foods.
Sally Collins is a professional freelance writer with many years’ experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.