Did you know that eating foods in season is actually better for your health? Your body becomes stronger, healthier and happier by consuming fruits and vegetables at the time nature gives them to you.
Although we live in a time where fruit and vegetables are available all year round in our supermarkets, your body actually accommodates foods best if they are eaten mainly in the season when they are harvested. In addition, seasonal eating is designed to supply your body with exactly what it needs. For example, in summer, when the weather is warm, nature gives us hydrating foods, such as watermelon, berries, and cucumbers. Whereas, in autumn, when the weather cools down, nature gives us richer, warming foods, such as butternut squash and pumpkin. Aside from this, foods in season actually taste much better and they contain twice as many nutrients as foods that are not in season, not to mention seasonal eating is cost effective and better for the environment!
Also, whenever possible, you should try to eat foods that are grown locally. This minimises the time it takes for the fresh produce you buy to get from the ground to your plate. Out of season foods can take weeks travelling to get to you, which usually means that they are picked earlier than they should be, diminishing their nutrient content.
It is said that the onions, potatoes, and other root vegetables from one’s own region contain antidotes for all of the bacteria and viruses that are common in your area.
What’s in season in Autumn?
In autumn, there is a big shift in energy, climate and diet. It is the official harvest time of nature, and we are provided with an abundance of nourishing foods. Root vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are all harvested in this season. Therefore, our diet shifts to more cooked foods and whole grains, and fewer raw fruits and vegetables, as the weather gets colder.
Here are 9 seasonal foods for autumn:
Apples belong to a ‘dirty dozen’ list of fruits that generally have the most pesticide residues, so try to buy organic apples. Wash them thoroughly and keep the skin on as peeling can remove more than half an apple’s fibre, vitamin C and iron content.
Like apples, pears provide plenty of fibre. Keep the skin on as most of its vitamin C and dietary fibre is contained within its thin skin.
3. Winter Squashes
Their bright orange flesh signals that all squashes have similar nutritional and medicinal benefits. Winter squashes, such as pumpkin and butternut squash, contain a wide range of nutrients such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, magnesium and fibre.
Squashes absorb heavy metals and other toxins from the soil, so try to buy organic.
4. Sweet Potato
Steaming or boiling sweet potatoes rather than roasting them preserves their slow-release carbohydrates and essential nutrients. Adding some butter to the potatoes once they’re cooked ensures that all the antioxidants are absorbed.
You can eat beetroot raw or lightly steam them. The leaves are even more nutrient packed than the root and are rich in vitamins and fibre.
Eat the skin – nutrients such as folate and vitamin C are concentrated in the skin. Their water content is highly bioavailable so juice courgettes for a quick mineral boost.
Cabbage retains more of its nutritional and medicinal benefits if lightly cooked or eaten raw. The outer leaves contain more vitamin E and around 30% more calcium than the inner leaves.
The less you cook kale, the more nutrients you retain. Serving kale with a lemon dressing boosts the absorption of its iron and calcium content.
Surprisingly, kale has more available calcium than cow’s milk!
Eat carrots raw and fresh. As soon as the carrot is picked, its beta-carotene content begins to decrease, so it’s best to eat them as soon as possible after purchase.