If you were to visit a supermarket in December and compare the produce available with what’s available in June, you’d see a vast difference and this is because of our weather and the weather all around the world. As our weather changes, the produce you have available also changes and I tend to use this to test new recipes and find my favourite seasonal produce. However, is there a difference in the nutritional value of seasonal produce?
In short, yes; this is something that intrigued me so I’m going to delve into more detail here today.
If you purchase produce when ‘in season’, it’s going to be fresher and this is a fact we cannot deny. With this in mind, we consume it closer to harvesting and this allows us to take advantage of the higher nutritional value. When kept in storage for long periods of time, vitamin C levels in fresh produce tends to decline from one day to the next. In addition to vitamin C, this is the case for many other antioxidants such as carotenes and folate.
Furthermore, all fruits and vegetables that are forced into storage will also lose Phyto-nutrient content which leads to it reaching us when it’s just a couple of days from going limp and dry. Nowadays, supermarkets tend to purchase the out-of-season produce just so they can save a few pounds. For us, this is terrible news because they’ve already been gassed, irradiated (this is where bacteria are killed thanks to a short burst of radiation), and even kept in wax for preservation.
As you can see, there are some superb benefits to eating seasonal produce and it also means you can avoid ov
erseas contaminants, receive a fresher and more vibrant taste, and you can actually support your own needs. Through summer and winter, we should provide our bodies with seasonal produce because this is closely correlated to what our bodies crave during these times.
My Personal Favourites – For me, I have seven in-season alkaline foods I absolutely love and this is where I’m going to finish this guide!
Cucumber – On the side of a good salad, as part of a cooked meal, or added to a delicious alkaline smoothie, I could eat cucumber all day. High in antioxidant properties, cucumbers can fight inflammation, freshen your breath, and promote a healthy digestive system.
Kale – Back in 2013, numerous chefs and celebrities started recommending kale and this led to a 40% increase in sales. Ever since, this ingredient has been living the high life and I’ve actually developed a superb kale soup for those colder days.
Swiss Chard – As a source of vitamins A, B2, B6, C, E, and K, the health benefits of Swiss Chard don’t end there as it also contains manganese, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, choline, protein, calcium, and even more. From this alone, you see how valuable this alkaline food can be for your diet.
Oregano – Whether you use it for meats or vegetables, oregano packs a punch as a pungent green herb and it can also be sprinkled on several other meals. If you feel as though you’ve had a tough day in your new alkaline lifestyle, grab the oregano and keep going!
Butternut Squash – If you’re in need of recipes, you’re in luck because I’ve also developed a butternut squash soup recipe and I’d love for you to try it. If I’m having a bad day, this will pick me up within minutes!
Walnuts – When it comes to the alkaline lifestyle, there are many foods people often forget (or ignore because they think it has to be a ‘green-only’ diet. For walnuts, they fit right into this category but they offer anti-inflammatory omega-3 essential fatty acids, antioxidants, copper, and manganese.
Pumpkin – Finally, we all know what pumpkins are for at Halloween but have you ever tried it in a soup, baked with herbs, or in a stew? If not, you could be missing out.
Summary – All things considered, produce is more nutritionally valuable when in season so visit your local green grocer and see what fresh foods they have today!