Saturday, August 9, 2014

Eat in sync with the seasons

There are many benefits to eating in harmony with the seasons, as many of us are discovering.
Eat in sync with the seasons
If food could talk, imagine some of the horror stories it could tell: tales of being grown in artificial conditions, crammed into refrigerated crates and trucked thousands of miles while sweating chemicals, all so that we can eat what we want whenever we like. The days of growing our own produce in tune with the seasons are a memory of past generations with more time on their hands for home-based activities such as gardening, cooking and sewing.
Jane Adams, chair of the Australian Farmers' Markets Association, says the constraints on today's families have led to a change in our diets. "Working parents haven't had time to nurture their families like they used to. For convenience, we've opted to shop in supermarkets." Locally grown produce has been harder to find, particularly in the cities. "For a long time we've been monopolised by the big supermarket chains and we saw the disappearance of the local store," says dietitian and body+soul nutritionist Susie Burrell.
But, she says, our approach to food is changing. Food is fashionable again and consumers want to know more about the quality of their fruit and vegetables and where they've come from. Growers' markets have surged in popularity, as the produce they offer is generally cheaper thanks to a plentiful supply, as well as fresher and tastier because it hasn't been stored for long periods of time.
"We're increasingly prepared to seek out the nearest farmers' market, or head off on a food trail to source fresh, seasonal produce," Adams says. And it's good for the community. "Shopping in the open air is fun, convivial and often educational. You can discover unusual varieties and artisan products, try before you buy, and make new friends. When did you last have a chat to a fellow shopper in a supermarket?"
As well as supporting local farmers, eating seasonally puts us more in tune with our natural and instinctive needs, provides dietary variety and leads to more pleasure in eating. "Seasonal food is what our bodies need throughout the year," says Judy Davie, The Food Coach. "For example, root vegetables are in season during winter, when it's cold and we need to eat cooked food. They keep us warm on the inside."
Eating seasonal produce also helps the environment. Less energy is used to grow food artificially and transport it from other climate zones, saving "food miles" (the environmental cost of food calculated by the distance it has travelled), and it almost certainly has been exposed to fewer pesticides because it has been grown in its natural environment.

In season for winter

Any fresh produce bought in season will be good for you and provide a broad range of nutrients, says Davie.The best winter vegetables are broccoli and beetroot, the dieticians' superfoods, closely followed by brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage. All are inexpensive and rich in antioxidants, fibre and vitamin C. Some make great additions to warm salads, soup and juice bases, and stir-fries. Generally, the brighter the vegetable, the better it is for you.
Winter warmers such as sweet potato, pumpkin, parsnips and turnips are also rich in antioxidants and beta-carotene. Leeks and onions add flavour to casseroles and are a good source of fibre, vitamins C and K, folate, calcium, iron and potassium. They are also good sources of antioxidants, which help to prevent cancer and heart disease.Citrus fruits (grapefruit, oranges, kiwifruit, lemons and limes) are packed with vitamin C, which is essential to help ward off colds and flus in winter.
Other good high-fibre winter fruits are apples and pears, which can be eaten raw, baked or stewed.There are other winter foods that make good, healthy choices, such as ginger, olives, rhubarb, fennel and Jerusalem artichokes.
Eating seasonally is a trend foodies such as Davie hope is here to stay. "People are deriving a lot of pleasure gathering their food from markets and areas that specialise in different things, rather than convenient but soulless supermarkets," she says. "They are definitely coming round to the idea that seasonal is better."

1 comment:

About Med Fitness Blog

A Daily Blog for Latest Reviews on Fitness | Medicine | Nutrition | Public Health & Prevention | Weight Loss | Celebrity Tips| Many more....

Med Fitness Blog

Med Fitness Blog