By Leah Swanson, MHSc, RDN, CD, gotnourishment.com
With the modern convenience of grocery stores, we have access to almost all fruits and vegetables year-round. While this convenience has opened doors and increased access to food, there are many benefits to eating with the season!
More nutrients! Foods that are eaten during the season that they are grown in are generally more nutrient dense than foods that have been refrigerated for months or even longer. Fresh fruits and vegetables are jam-packed with vitamins, but as soon as they’re harvested they start to lose some of these vitamins! When you choose produce that’s in season, you’re getting the most nutrient-packed produce possible.
Better Taste. The demand for out-of-season produce means that fruits and vegetables are picked before they’re ripe and ripen in a box while they’re shipped to you. Unfortunately, this means that flavor takes a hit! Check out your local farmer’s market and taste the difference for yourself!
Saving Money. Another bonus to eating seasonally is that it’s often cheaper! Fruit and vegetables that are available in abundance are going to cost less. Think of buying fresh berries in the summer versus in the winter. You’ll pay much more in the winter!
Time to Shift
Since peak cold and flu season is just around the corner, it’s now more important than ever to load up on nutrient-rich foods to help support your immune system. What better way to do so than to stock up on all your favorite seasonal produce?
Eat the rainbow! When it comes to produce, variety is key to get different vitamins and minerals - no one food is a “cure all.” Pumpkin is loaded with vitamins A and C, while spinach and avocado contain vitamin E. Garlic contains a substance that can help fight disease, while certain mushrooms contain vitamin D to aid in regulating immune response.
Realm is the perfect addition to your plant-based cold and flu defense system because the smoothies contain three powerhouse nutrients - iron, potassium, and calcium!
Revamp Your Shopping List
Are cold salads no longer appealing? As the weather changes, so does our produce. So why not our meals? Think of creamy vegetable soups or chunky stews, warm salads, and grain bowls. Now’s the time to get reinspired in the kitchen and shift your meals with the season.
So, it’s time to revamp that shopping list! Swap out peaches for apples and summer squash for winter squash. Check out your local farmer’s market for meal inspiration or use a seasonal produce guide to find out what produce is available near you!
About Leah Swanson, MHSc, RDN, CD, gotnourishment.com
Leah is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based out of Seattle, WA. She has a passion for recipe development and translating complex nutrition information into digestible data. She specializes in managing IBS symptoms holistically through diet and lifestyle. In her free time, she enjoys creating recipes, catching up on the latest research, running the local Seattle trails, and trying new restaurants. Check her out at gotnourishment.com!