Why eating seasonal produce is better for you

Fancy eating raspberries during January? These days there’s nothing stopping you.

The range of fruit and vegetables in most supermarkets means we’re spoilt for choice – whatever the time of year.

However, just because we can eat any fruit and vegetable we want all year round, does that mean we should?

Concerned by a lack of nutrients in out-of-season produce, environmentalists and nutritionists are calling for a return to seasonal eating.

Here are six reasons why we should consider switching to seasonal fruits and veg:

1. Eating seasonally offers your body the right nutrients  – when it needs them

Consuming foods aligned with the current weather conditions boosts your body with the goodness it needs – at the right time of year.

During the summer months, for example, our bodies crave fruits that contain a lot of water, which is needed to maintain hydration.

During autumn and winter, we often tend to tuck into vegetables such as carrots and butternut squash, when our bodies naturally require extra beta-carotene.

In these colder months, high levels of this non-toxic form of Vitamin A are quickly absorbed to boost our immune systems.

Illustration: Emma Carlow
Illustration: Emma Carlow

2. You’ll benefit from greater nutrients year round

Eating the same fruit and veg day in, day out? Variety is the spice of life – and, in this case, it’s packed with much-needed vitamins and minerals.

Eating seasonally and embracing a changeable diet means the body is pumped with a whole host of nutrients – far more than we’re exposed to if we’re not broadening our selections.

3. Eating seasonally can make you less prone to allergies and food intolerances

Our bodies don’t respond well to always processing the same foodstuffs.

Mixing up our menus benefits the digestive system, decreasing the chance of developing food intolerances – which may result from having too much of one thing.

4. Vitamin C levels will be at their highest

The less time in transit your fruit and veg has endured, the more vitamins it can offer.

Seasonal, locally sourced crops have been found to contain up to three times more nutrients than their imported counterparts.

5. Quite simply, they taste better

Flavours are stronger and textures are as they were meant to be!

Wax coatings and chemical washing have their part to play in ensuring produce makes it overseas and onto the supermarket aisles – but they certainly don’t enhance the taste of your food.

6. Eating seasonally is far better for the environment

The resulting carbon emissions of food imports take their toll on the environment.

Consuming seasonal produce reduces your carbon footprint, bringing the feel-good-factor (and health benefits!) to your plate.


Want to go seasonal?

Here in the UK, autumnal seasonal produce is a lovely selection of warming vegetables, perfect for pairing with a scrumptious Sunday roast!

Think carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, parsnips, cauliflower, chestnuts and kale.

For those with a sweet tooth, autumn is a perfect time to indulge in plums, pears, apples and elderberries – ideal ingredients for a mouth-watering crumble.

Worried that you can’t eat everything that’s seasonal, quickly enough?

The Austrian Consumers Association confirmed that vegetables which are picked and frozen in-season, are found to be higher in nutrients that those flown into the country, out of season.

So double up on freshly grown peas, beans and carrots, and put half into the freezer. Good news for the cost-conscious: purchasing seasonal produce is far cheaper, too.

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