Eating foods that are in season and local is really important to me and I can’t stress enough the benefits to your body and overall wellbeing. Here are some reasons to try and make the majority of your diet as local, seasonal and ideally organic,as possible:
~Less food miles
~Support of local business and British farmers
~Can be cheaper
~No nasty chemicals
Eating fruits and vegetables that were grown as near to you as possible means they are more likely to be fresh and therefore retaining maximum nutrients. A lot of fruit and vegetables from supermarkets are grown abroad, picked unripe meaning they have less nutrients from the word go as levels peak when ripe, sometimes stored for long periods of time then artificially ripened and transported thousands of miles to our shops. All this takes time, time in which levels of nutrients in the food is rapidly falling. All this along with the fact mineral levels in the worlds soils are massively depleted from over farming (minerals like Selenium that are key to the crops producing the vitamins they contain) means our fruit and veg isn’t quite as good for us as we’d like to believe.
If on the other hand you try and buy your produce from a shop supplied by local farmers for instance, you are not only supporting the local economy but you are likely to be losing less nutrients between farm and plate!
Obviously with most of us time poor and running around like deranged chickens it’s not always possible to shop at small scale outlets or markets, but you can gain the benefits if even once a month you make an effort to shop locally.
If you can only get to the supermarket look for the British produce (which incidentally will be the seasonal stuff too!) and make the more exotic fruits and vegetables a smaller part of your diet or an occasional treat.
As with seasonal, local food being better for your health so is using organic. Now I know this isn’t always possible because of cost, and I for one can’t really afford to buy everything I consume as organic, so what I try and do is create meals packed with lower cost ingredients (root veg, rice, lentils, pearl barley etc) which usually only cost a fraction more if buying organic anyway. Another thing is to cherry pick the vegetables that are known to retain a lot of chemical residue eg. Leafy greens/salad leaves, apples, tomatoes, celery, potatoes etc depending what’s in season, and replacing with organic.
Tip: taking a high strength quality antioxidant supplement containing Vitamins A, C, E, D, B Complex, Flavonoids, Carotenoids, Co enzyme Q10 and Alpha Lipoic Acid along with Minerals Zinc, Selenium, Copper and Manganese will help your body process and excrete the damaging free radicals from non organic chemical residues.
The best thing you can do overall is to grow your own organically. By nourishing the soil with organic matter (leaves, compost, manure) which helps put back what the crops use up and rotating the different veg you ensure the soil isn’t depleted and you will be growing high quality, organic, highly nutritious produce at an absolute fraction of the cost of buying in any store! Eating food food you have grown yourself, knowing exactly what was put into the soil and onto the crops is one of the most rewarding and beneficial thing you can do for your body. Even if you don’t have a garden most things can be grown in pots or hanging baskets, trays on the windowsill or a light spare room. I live on a boat so unfortunately the only thing I manage at the moment is some trays of leaves, but I do sprout a lot of seeds and beans which is a compact way of getting in those nutrients.
Another way is to rent some allotment space or borrow a friends garden!
Eating seasonal, organic food is what nature intended and what works best with our bodies-nutritionally speaking it’s no coincidence certain things grow best at certain times of the year.