Food is medicine, and like all medicine, the potency makes a huge difference. When it comes to healing severe or chronic illness, we need strong medicine and that means including the freshest and most nutritious ingredients.
1. Fruits and vegetables grown in season contain more nutrients.
Eating in seasons can DOUBLE the nutrients you’re getting from your food. When researchers compared the vitamin C content of broccoli grown in season with broccoli imported out of season, they found the latter had only HALF the vitamin C.
2. Seasonal produce is allowed to ripen naturally and reach it’s nutritional peak.
Food that’s harvested out of season has to travel long distances, so its often picked before it’s ripe so it’ll travel better. Produce that’s picked unripe never gets the chance to fully develop and reach it’s nutritional peak.
Unripe produce is then commonly treated with “ripening agents.” For example, bananas are picked when green and artificially ripened after shipment by being gassed with ethylene. This may make the bananas “ripe” but doesn’t add back the lost nutrients.
3. Food grown in season travels less and retains more nutrients.
The longer produce sits on the shelves, the more nutrients and antioxidants they lose. According to research from the University of California, Davis, spinach and green beans lose two-thirds of their vitamin C within a week of harvest.
Combine that with long transport times (1,500 miles on average!) and time spent sitting on grocery store shelves and most of our produce’s healing nutrition is lost before we even buy it.
Alternatively, by choosing in season produce you’re fueling your wellness with fresh, VIBRANT fruits and veggies!
3. Seasonal foods are more likely to be free of pesticides, waxes, and preservatives.
Humans are crafty, and we’ve created a number of ways to preserve foods that are out of season so they can last longer and travel further while still looking “fresh.” In order to make out-of-season items widely available, they’re often covered in pesticides, waxes, and preservatives. NONE of those serve self-healing, so whenever possible its best to limit our exposure to them.
4. Eating with the seasons supports seasonal wellness.
Choosing seasonal foods helps us reconnect with nature’s natural rhythms. The foods that grow in each season offer us the specific nutrition we need to thrive during that season like vitamin C rich citrus in winter, and electrolyte-loaded melons during the heat of summer.
Mama Nature is smart; she provides us with the the ideal medicines for each season!
6. Fresh, seasonal food simply tastes better.
This last one might not seem as important, but it is. The pleasure you get from biting into a perfectly ripe, sun warmed piece of fruit sets off a cascade of “feel good” neurotransmitters in the brain. Those same neurotransmitters help us to to feel positive emotions like love and gratitude which studies have shown can support self-healing.
So where can you find fresh, in season ingredients? The best place to buy farm-fresh produce is at farmer’s markets. To find a farmers market in your area, you can visit:
The Local Harvest Website can also help you to find a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box. CSA boxes are weekly subscription programs that offer boxes of various fresh produce from farms, and many will deliver right to your door. So they’re a great option if getting out and shopping at farmers markets is a challenge.
The newest community cookbook AIP By Season is ALL about embracing seasonal eating for superior nutrition and holistic wellness.
It’s the ULTIMATE guide to eating what’s in season in order to support your self-healing and it’s entirely Allergen-free and 100% AIP.
The AIP By Season Cookbook includes 101 Paleo AIP recipes organized by season. Fresh, seasonal ingredients prepared in simple, flavorful ways? HECK YES! Inflammatory ingredients like grains, gluten, eggs, nightshades, nuts, seeds, legumes or refined sugars? Absolutely not!
You’ll also find reference charts on what ingredients are in seasons when–and this is my favorite little feature: it’s also got an ingredient index at the back. So whatever season it is, and whatever produce you’ve got on hand, you can quickly and easily find tasty recipes to cook up.
Shopping at farmers markets and eating fresh, seasonal produce is one of the things that supported my healing of Lyme disease and chronic illness. It makes a HUGE difference when your ingredients are fresh, vibrant, and as nutrient dense as possible. I’ve contributed five recipes to the AIP By Season Cookbook because I firmly stand behind it’s goal:
To help YOU create simple, tasty recipes with in-season ingredients so you can provide your body with the best possible nutrition to fuel your own self-healing.
To learn more about this new (and drool-worthy) wellness resource head on over HERE.
What’s season are you most excited to eat in, and what are some of your seasonal favorites? I’m a Spring girl myself & loooove those first-of-the-season bitter greens!
May you eat well, live well & enjoy a New Wellness.
Citrus & hugs,
“Look to the seasons when choosing your cures.” ~ Hippocrates
S O U R C E S :
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