As the weather changes across the globe so does the fresh produce that is available. There’s something comforting about eating an apple in the fall, or a juicy orange in the winter. Eating food that is in-season supports our bodies with what they need during that season. Although we are not saying that you should completely avoid foods that are out of season (even those foods can have great health benefits), it can be helpful to increase focus on foods that are in-season.
The food that you eat in each season can make a big impact on your health. Mother nature has done a great job in coordinating food to grow during each season that also meets our needs during that season. In the ancient Indian practice of ayurveda, there is a special term for eating seasonally: ritucharya.
In the winter the cold winter air and wind dries out the earth, and our bodies can become dry, too, a sensation we feel in our throats and sinuses. To counteract the drying effects of winter, we draw on nature’s high-protein, high-fat diet in the form of warm, heavy, oily foods that replenish our depleted moisture reserves. Bananas, avocados, beets, winter squash, nuts, meat, deep-sea fish and olive oil all help keep our bodies warm, moist and nourished.
If we continue to eat only foods that are cooling to our bodies such as cucumbers, strawberries and melons, our sinuses can become unhealthily dry and more susceptible to colds and flus.
- In the spring, people generally want to feel lighter after the heaviness of winter weather, sweaters and so much time indoors. The spring is when we see bitter greens such as arugula to detoxify our liver from the fats and heavier foods we ate all winter, also making us feel lighter.
- In the summer we typically increase our activity and sweat more. This increases our need for hydration. Summer is when we see in-season produce that is high in water content: watermelon, berries, tomatoes, cucumbers.
- In the fall our bodies start to crave fewer raw salads and more cooked, warming foods such as soups,. The fall harvest begins with an abundance of apples, which are high in fiber and pectin to help cleanse the intestines and support digestion, specifically the digestion of fat.
The chilly winters are here. In this season, we always look for foods that are comforting and can protect us from the cold winter. Some people tend to forget to maintain a healthy, fresh diet in the winter. The problem is: winter is when you need all those beneficial vitamins and nutrients the most. We’ve found 3 delicious recipes, packed with winter produce, to get you started on the right track.
Honey Roasted Beets, Carrots and Parsnips | Sheet Pan Side Dish | An Appetizing Life
Beetroots are vibrant and colorful vegetable offers numerous health benefits. They contains iron, Vitamins A, B6 and C and many vital minerals. While carrots are crunchy and delicious power food and contains all the vital vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin A, B, B2, B3, C, D, E and K. Parsnips are a great source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate, as well as other important micronutrients. This combination is perfect to help you healthy to fight winter infections and boost energy.
Creamy White Bean & Kale Soup | RainbowPlantLife
With colder weather many of us like more “stick to the ribs” foods. Beans are a great choice for that. White beans are a nutritional powerhouse, as they’re packed with fiber and protein and a good source of numerous micronutrients, including folate, magnesium, and vitamin B6. White beans are a nutritional powerhouse, as they’re packed with fiber and protein and a good source of numerous micronutrients, including folate, magnesium, and vitamin B6. Although kale can be harvested year-round, it prefers colder weather and can even withstand snowy conditions1. Kale is also an exceptionally nutritious and versatile green. It is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and powerful plant compounds.
Rutabaga Hash Browns | Chef Buck
Rutabagas are an underrated vegetable despite their impressive nutrient content. Rutabagas are a root vegetable you can use just like a potato, but it’s a healthier choice with less than half the calories and carbs of potato. One cup of cooked rutabaga contains more than half of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C and 16% of the daily recommended intake of potassium. Potassium is crucial for heart function and muscle contraction. It also plays a key role in controlling blood pressure.
There are numerous vegetables that flourish in cooler weather. Specific types of vegetables, like carrots and parsnips, even carry on a more pleasing taste after being exposed to frost. These vegetables make it possible to fill your diet with seasonal, nutrient-jammed produce all winter.
While any vegetable would make an extremely nutritious supplement to your diet, there are several other winter vegetables that make excellent options as well. After all, supplementing any fresh produce to your diet will go a long way toward improving your health.