Summer is here! In addition to the warm weather, this beautiful season brings about an abundance of fresh produce. Eating seasonally and locally has many health benefits and its also a great way to get out there and enjoy some of the many farmer’s markets in the area with family and friends.
One of the main benefits to eating seasonally is that the food tastes amazing! When in season, the produce gets a chance to ripen fully and naturally and this brings out an entirely different flavour. In addition, when the produce is grown locally, there is less time and travel from when the produce was picked to when it lands in your shopping cart. Food starts to lose nutritional value as soon as its harvested, so shopping locally really helps increase the nutrient value of the foods you’re eating.
Another benefit to eating seasonally is the cost savings. When you buy what’s in season, you’re purchasing food that is at its peak supply. Therefore, it costs less to farmers to harvest and get it into stores. The opposite is true for foods that are out of season. In order to get to us in Canada, they have to be shipped from around the world, are picked well before they have fully ripened, and they have not developed their full flavour. As a result, they’re much more expensive because of the time, distance, and the number of people involved with getting those foods from distant farms into Canada.
Shopping locally at farmer’s markets is a great way to get access to the freshest, most nutritious foods while also saving money by buying the produce directly from the farmer. Shopping locally also creates a deeper sense of connection to your food. Meeting your farmer and being present with others who are enjoying their time shopping at the market creates more connection, community, and appreciation of your food and where it came from.
Another benefit to eating seasonally this time of year is the access to delicious, fresh produce that is enjoyable in its raw form. When a raw food is cooked, the enzymes to properly digest the food are destroyed and the food also loses some of its nutrients. The abundance of fresh seasonal fruit and veggies in the summertime make it really easy to enjoy foods in their raw form. Local greens, peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers make for a great raw salad and fresh local strawberries make for a great snack or dessert. This time of year its always nice to try and have one raw component at every meal to increase the nutritional value of the meal.
This summer, get out to a local farmer’s market and let the fresh, local, seasonal ingredients inspire you to create something nutritious and delicious for yourself and your family!
By: Lauren Neuburger
Lauren is a holistic nutritionist and specializes in digestive wellness and cancer nutrition. She loves creating nutritious, delicious, and simple meal plans to help you reach your health goals and take the stress out of the process. In her spare time she enjoys practicing yoga, cooking, creating recipes, and inspiring people to live a healthy lifestyle.
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