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Why Is It Beneficial to Eat Local and Seasonal?

In this article, we will explore the many benefits that eating seasonally and locally offers.

In this article, we will explore the many benefits that eating seasonally and locally offers. We will also explore how this dietary change may improve your health, the health of your community, and the environment. Let’s get right into it…

An Overview: What Does Eating Local and Seasonal Mean?

Eating locally and seasonally entails selecting foods that are cultivated and harvested within your geographic area and consuming them during the seasons when they are most abundant. The goal of this eating strategy is to match your diet to the natural cycles in your local region. This is an outline of what it comprises:

Local Eating

Consuming food that is farmed or produced nearby is known as "local eating." Reduced 'food miles'—the amount of food that goes from farm to table—is the premise behind this. Eating locally promotes regional farmers and communities and frequently results in fresher products because of faster delivery times.

Seasonal Eating

Eating in season refers to consuming fruits and vegetables that are available in your region during a specific season. Foods are usually fresher, tastier, and more nutrient-dense when consumed during their natural harvest season. A varied diet is also encouraged by seasonal eating as various food products become accessible at different times of the year.

Consuming seasonal and local produce together fosters a more sustainable food system, a closer relationship between you and your food's source, and a diet that is in tune with the cycles of the natural world. This strategy lessens environmental effects, boosts local economies, and improves your health.

Why is it Beneficial to Eat Local and Seasonal?

Consuming seasonal and local products has several advantages, from improved personal health to more sustainable environmental practices. Here are a few benefits of eating local and seasonal:

  • Nutritional Benefits: Seasonal fruits and vegetables are high in nutrients and are usually picked at the height of freshness. Consuming these vegetables soon after they are harvested guarantees that you will be consuming more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Improved Flavor: Seasonally grown produce that hasn't traveled extensively tastes more delicious and fresher. This is because it hasn't been exposed to artificial ripening techniques or extended refrigeration.
  • Supports Local Businesses: Purchasing locally grown food supports the community and supports local farmers in your area.
  • Environmental Impact: Eating locally and in season lowers the transportation-related carbon impact. Foods that are consumed closer to home reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the effects of global warming.
  • Encourages a Diverse Diet: Eating seasonally gives you year-round diversity and motivates you to explore new foods and expand your dietary options. This may result in a more varied nutritional intake.

Including seasonal and local foods in your diet is an easy yet effective method to improve your health, give back to the community, and lessen your environmental impact. It's a comprehensive strategy that helps the earth, and the larger community. That said, let’s now take a closer look at how eating local and seasonal can specifically benefit your health.

How Does Eating Local and Seasonal Specifically Benefit Your Health?

Consuming seasonal and local products might be especially advantageous for those with health issues, providing the following health benefits:

  • Increased Nutrient Content: If you are suffering from a chronic illness or have nutritional deficiencies, eating produce while it is at its freshest suggests consuming more essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients are essential for preserving general health and aiding in the body's healing processes.
  • Decreased Chemical Exposure: Seasonal and locally grown produce is sometimes cultivated in smaller quantities and, if grown organically, will be spared from harsh pesticide or preservative treatments. People who suffer from allergies, autoimmune illnesses, or chemical sensitivity can especially benefit from this.
  • Better Digestive Health: Seasonal, fresh foods are typically gentler on the digestive tract. Consuming food that is in season might help lessen the discomfort of digestive problems such as IBS.
  • Weight Management: Weight control is important for illnesses including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Fresh, nutrient-rich meals are less calorically dense and more gratifying.
  • Lower Inflammation: Anti-inflammatory qualities are present in seasonal fruits and vegetables. Eating these foods can aid in the body's reduction of inflammation, which is advantageous for ailments including arthritis, heart disease, and some cancers.
  • Adaptable to Dietary Needs: You have more control over your diet when you eat seasonally and locally. This may be especially helpful for those who must follow certain dietary guidelines because of health issues since it allows them to choose items that meet their unique needs.

To summarize, people with medical illnesses or certain health concerns can greatly benefit from fresher produce that has a better nutritional content by concentrating on seasonal and local foods. This can ultimately help manage and even improve their health results long term.

What Are Examples of Eating Local and Seasonal Foods?

When you eat local and seasonal foods, you pick fruits and vegetables that are grown and picked in your area during their normal growing season. This may be done in different ways based on where you live, but here are some examples of different food types:

  • Spring: Leafy greens like spinach, lettuce, and Swiss chard are often available in the spring. Spring is also a great time to eat green peas, peaches, etc.
  • Summer: There are many kinds of fruits and veggies in the summer. When they are in season, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, zucchini, peaches, cherries, and berries are also all available.
  • Fall: Fall is the time of year when pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, apples, and pears are picked. There are also lots of root veggies, like beets and carrots.
  • Winter: In the winter, there may not seem to be much to eat, but root veggies like turnips and carrots and winter greens like kale and collards are at their best. Most of the time, citrus foods are also in season.
  • Year-Round: Some foods, like some types of greens or vegetables, can be grown in greenhouses, which may be open all year in your area.

Summary: Why is Eating Local and Seasonally Good for Your Health Long term?

The consumption of local and seasonal foods is a habit that provides enduring health advantages, firmly grounded in the reciprocal relationship between our bodies and the environment. This dietary approach is not only a temporary fad, rather, it's a long-term method of self-nourishment that fits in with the cycles of the planet and our bodies.

First and foremost, locally sourced, and seasonal foods are often fresher and contain higher levels of nutrients. Produce that is cultivated and consumed within its natural season avoids the need for extended transportation operations, which can lead to the deterioration of its nutritious content. For instance, fruits and vegetables that are collected when they are at their optimal ripeness have higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These minerals are vital for preserving a robust immune system, minimizing the likelihood of chronic illnesses, and promoting general well-being.

Seasonal foods also offer a diverse range of options. Every season has a unique selection of fruits and vegetables, promoting a varied and balanced diet. This diversity contributes to a wider range of essential vitamins and minerals, promoting a well-rounded diet and preventing any shortages in nutrition. A diverse diet also promotes a robust gut flora, which is essential for efficient digestion, strong immunity, and even psychological well-being.

Furthermore, adopting a diet that focuses on consuming locally sourced and seasonal food frequently leads to reduced dependence on overly processed food, which tends to include excessive amounts of harmful fats, sugars, and preservatives. Processed foods have been associated with a multitude of health problems, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Opting for locally sourced and seasonal foods increases the likelihood of consuming healthier, unaltered foods that are more beneficial for your well-being.

Want to Learn how Eating Local and Seasonally can Benefit Your Health? Contact Mitogenesis in Scottsdale, AZ

Are you interested in learning how eating seasonal and local foods can improve your health and well-being? Contact Dr. Mel Schottenstein today by giving us a call or by filling out one of our contact forms on our website.

Our team can provide you with personalized advice on how to add these tasty and healthy options to your diet, considering your specific health needs and tastes. Get in touch with Mitogenesis right away to start using local and seasonal foods to your advantage!  

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