Tip of the week: Eat seasonal

This tip may seem like a given, but most people don’t know the exact reasons why they should eat foods that are in season. One of the biggest things I have noticed is that restaurants and processed food companies will say “seasonal this, seasonal that” in order to market their products. This convinces people that what they are purchasing is limited edition, and trendy since it can only be found during a certain time period. We see this in our everyday lives, and especially this time of year with the “pumpkin spice” trend.

It is actually very helpful to consumers to have these big brand names marketing their products as seasonal. It shows people who know nothing about food choices something they normally wouldn’t think about. The only problem is that they are marketing heavily processed food that aren’t actually seasonal, because they contains so many artificial ingredients and preservatives.

The biggest reason it is important to eat seasonal is because food is our link to the world around us. The foods that we put into our bodies are designed to keep us aware and balanced in our surroundings through all of the seasons. That being said, I never crave salad in the winter nor do I ever crave heavy stews or winter vegetables in the summer.  To me it is obvious that I will eat a lot of hard shell squash, sweet potatoes and potatoes in the winter because that is mostly what is available in Wyoming and they are foods that are warming and comforting in the dead of winter. In the summer I will eat a lot more raw fruits and vegetables because they are available and I need foods that are going to keep me cool and energized in the heat.

The interesting twist to eating seasonal food comes with traveling. Whenever I am traveling, I naturally want the food that is locally in season. The biggest problem with that is the fact that I am often drastically switching diets overnight. I had always wondered why my body would go into complete shock when I would travel to a different climate and eat copious amounts of local produce. I recently found out there were a couple of reasons for that. The first being the fact that I will find myself in an area with a tropical climate in the winter, for example. During that time of year, my body is used to eating a lot of potatoes, legumes, and pasta. The overwhelming amount of fruit I eat disturbs the balance, and my body isn’t used to processing it. The second reason is that the tropical fruit I will eat is never truly seasonal where I live and my body isn’t used to all of the different enzymes and it goes into shock and doesn’t know how to properly digest the food I am consuming.

All of that being said, there really isn’t a simpler tip to feel great anytime of the year. Not only does eating seasonal food support local farmers, but it is easier for us to get the energy we need from our food. I hope this tip is helpful as we are experiencing the changing of seasons and as the growing season comes to an end!

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