The Benefits of Eating Seasonally

Niagara offers an array of beautiful fresh produce and fruit; this is a great time to start experimenting a new way of eating. You can try new recipes and/or rework your favorites with a conscious decision to eat more seasonal fruits and vegetables. Not only will your palate be impressed but there are health benefits too. Here are some of the great benefits of eating seasonally:

Tastes Better

In-season produce is fresher and tastes better, sweeter and perfectly ripe.  When fruits and vegetables are picked for consumption that have been naturally ripened on the vine or the tree and harvested at the right time, it will have much more flavour and nutrition.

Better Price Point

When farmers are harvesting a large abundance of produce due to the crop being in season, the cost of the produce will go down. When the produce is locally sourced because it’s in season in your area, then travelling expenses and storage are not required therefore reducing the production costs that are then passed onto the consumer.

Fresher with a Higher Nutritional Value

Produce that  is  purchased  in  season  is  more  likely  to  be  fresher,  consumed  closer  to  harvesting  and  higher in nutritional value,  some  anti-oxidants  such  as  Vitamin  C,  folate  and  carotenes  will  rapidly  decline  when  stored for  periods  of  time.  Locally  in-season  sourced  fruits  and  vegetables  will  also  appear  brighter  and  more  vibrant.

Avoids Overseas Contaminates

When fruits and vegetables are sourced overseas you can’t be sure what their regulations for pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are.   Many   countries   across   the   globe   have   very   relaxed   laws   about   chemicals   being   sprayed on fruits and  vegetables  that  other  countries  have  banned  due  to  their  known  harmful  effects.  Overseas agriculture may not regulate soil contamination tests to ensure land and soil quality.  Some agricultural areas have been shown to have very high heavy metal and other toxic contaminates due to industrial sites inhabiting the same area.

Supports Your Body’s Natural Nutritional Needs

In winter we are provided by nature all things citrus, these are particularly high in Vitamin C which is very important for preventing infections such   as   colds   and   flu’s.   Winter   vegetables   offer   comfort   and   are   perfect   for hot meals, healthy stews, soups, casseroles and other warming meals.  Summer  foods   such   as   stone   fruits provide  us  with  extra  beta-carotenes  and  other   carotenoids   that   help   protect   us   against   sun   damage, they also provide more sweetness for an energetic summer, as well as salad  vegetables  for  those  tasty  cool summer salads.

More Environmentally-Friendly

Eating seasonally reduces the demand for  out  of  season  produce  which  further  supports  more  local  produce and supports local farming in  your  area  which  means  less  transportation,  less  refrigeration,  less  hot  houses, and less irradiation of produce. It’s really important to note that it’s not always possible to eat locally and seasonally for everyone all of the time.  It’s  more  about  the  importance  of  making  decisions  where  possible  that  are  better for you, your wallet and your health where you can.  

Resource: www.rebootwithjoe.com/benefits-of-eating-seasonally/

– Karen Stearne
Food Exemplary
Heart Niagara, karen.stearne@heartniagara.com