Everyone has their favorite foods –

those ingredients that are staples in most of your recipes, your family’s go-to snacks, and always on your grocery list no matter the time of year. These nutritious and tasty items are always a good place to start with eating and shopping smart, but what if I told you there was a way to improve your family’s health just by making small changes to your diet throughout the year?

 

 Well, there is, and it’s called seasonal eating

Seasonal eating is aligning your diet to the time of year. Simply put, it’s eating fresh foods during seasons when they are naturally produced. Though it is not uncommon to find some of your favorite produce in any grocery store around the country year-round, you may want to rethink, for example, buying strawberries in October. Although they may be available out-of-season, they are more likely to be genetically-modified, expensive, and missing key vitamins and minerals needed to support your cold-weather wellness. Instead, this month, try foods that are harvested in the fall like fresh cranberries, pears, or apples. They are guaranteed to be more fresh, flavorful, and cost-effective than foods naturally intended to be eaten in the summer.

As you begin to step into your fall and winter routines, don’t miss this opportunity to introduce something out of the ordinary into your diet. After all, there is no better time than now to get your body in harmony with the harvest.

 

Reasons to Eat Seasonal Produce

  •  It’s more nutrient-dense and flavorful.
  •  Their vitamins give you what you need. In the fall and winter months, we tend to eat more, go out less, and are at higher risk of infection. Seasonal fall produce will help boost your energy, your digestive health, and immune system to keep your body balanced.
  • It helps reduce your consumption of pesticides, preservatives, and genetically modified foods.
  • It’s cheaper especially when grown locally.
  • It helps support your local community and minimizes your carbon footprint by reducing transit of out-of-season fruits and vegetables.
  • It’s a great way to diversify your diet and keep meals exciting.

How to Eat Seasonally

  • Shop at your local farmer’s market.
  • Get familiar with the authentic appearance of your favorite seasonal produce items. Bruises, bumps and unique shapes are a good sign that your produce was grown naturally.
  • Read the signs in the produce section or consult with your grocer for information on where items were grown. When possible, opt for the local option.

Visit www.seasonalfoodguide.org to find out what is in season near you.