The Benefits of Eating Seasonally
Eating fruits and vegetables that are in season naturally supports the body’s nutritional needs and can save you money too.
Each season offers its own unique and abundant harvest. Who doesn’t get excited about autumn’s bounty of feijoas or winter’s sweet yet tart tasting citrus? These delicious and special moments often bring fond memories from years past. Fresh, seasonal produce not only tastes better, but offers more nutrition, costs less and is more environmentally sustainable. Find out why and what to eat throughout winter.
4 reasons to eat with the seasons
- Higher nutritional value. Seasonal fruits and vegetables that naturally ripen in the sun are fresher, taste better and have the highest amount of nutrition, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Produce loses nutritional value the longer it is stored or sits while being transported. Eating locally grown, seasonal produce closer to the time of harvesting is going to provide the most nutrition.
- Buy organic for less. Buying seasonal produce is a great way to add more organic food to your diet. Seasonal produce tends to be easier to grow and often abundant, therefore making it less expensive. Look for locally grown, organic produce which will be even more economical. To save time, order a seasonal Vegebox to be delivered to your door.
- Nature knows best. Seasonal produce provides the body with the nutrition it needs. Winter brings a variety of citrus, high in Vitamin C which supports the body to fight coughs and colds. Winter vegetables are perfect for making warm and nourishing meals like soups, stews and casseroles.
- Support sustainability. Local produce does not have far to travel, which reduces the number of food miles and environmental impact. Eating seasonally supports local farming, communities and resources, by using less transportation and refrigeration. With today’s global transport options, it can be easy to lose track of local seasonality. Click here for a list of seasonal produce in New Zealand.
Winter is a time to nourish and rejuvenate
During the cooler winter months, we naturally crave warm and nourishing meals like soups and stews. Eating seasonal vegetables and fruit in winter is essential for supporting the immune system during cold and flu season. Cooked meals are easy to digest, giving the digestive system a rest from raw vegetables.
Root vegetables are winter superstars. They are hearty, nutrient dense and nourishing. They are are rich in fibre, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Carrots, cabbage and kumara are popular but don’t forget about fennel, turnips and parsnips. An easy and versatile way to use root vegetables is to roast them, which brings out their natural sweetness and flavour. Make extra, as leftovers are great additions for lunchboxes, frittatas or sandwiches.
New Zealand has an abundance of winter citrus, from mandarins and oranges to lemons and limes all containing Vitamin C which supports the immune system. Green and gold kiwifruit are also a great source of Vitamin C.
Winterise your salads
While it’s a good idea to take a break from raw salads, warm winter salads are a great way to keep your vegetable intake up. Here are some ideas and inspiration to get you started:
- Use grains such as spelt berries, quinoa or rice as a base.
- Use herbs and spices for added flavour.
- Use winter greens instead of lettuce, try this winter bacon apple salad.
- Top your salad with seasonal fruit such as apple, pear or oranges or even dried fruit such as raisons, cranberries or chopped dates.
- Top warm quinoa and roasted veggies and tahini dressing.
- Make a fennel, orange and almond salad for something different.
- Try this awesome super slaw with vegan mayo dressing.
Traditional medicine practices like Ayurveda and Chinese medicine are deeply rooted in finding and supporting balance within the body. These ancient healing practices strongly believe in the benefits of eating with the seasons for optimal health. Here are some useful articles to find out more about Ayurveda principles and Chinese medicine.