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The days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer. I'm sure I can't be the only one who loves the summer season. *Queue all the beautiful, fresh produce!* Yes, that's right - one of my favourite things about this time of year is all of the beautiful produce coming into season! The benefits of eating seasonally are endless, from the great effects on our health to being environmentally friendly.
Unlike our ancestors, we are living in a time when we can eat what ever we wish whenever we want. Transportation and technology has made it possible for us to have all kinds of fruits/vegetables available all year round. Despite this, it is very important to eat foods seasonally so you can get the most nutrition in the form of vitamins and minerals.
When fruits and vegetables have been naturally ripened on a vine/tree and harvested at the right time the flavour of the food is enhanced and so is the nutritional value. When crops are transported internationally or interstate they are harvested early and refrigerated so they don’t spoil during transportation- this depletes nutrients and taste. Once the fruits/vegetables arrive at their destination they can be artificially ripened with heat in a “hot house”- this greatly reduces the flavour, texture and taste. Think of those floury apples, tasteless strawberries or squishy zucchinis.
Nature knows best; it’s scheduled everything to perfection.
“It’s the things we do every day that influence our health the most” is a statement I like to remind my patients. Why? Because we eat 3+ times in a day. The foods we consume throughout our day play a big role in our health and wellbeing.
If you follow seasonal cycles and eat seasonal fruits and vegetables, getting and staying healthy will be very easy. Apart from nature, even our body understands what we need. After all, you won’t crave hot soup in the middle of summer or watermelon on a cold winters day.
Fruits/vegetables come into season to support your health during that time. For example, cucumbers and watermelons are mostly found in the summer due to its cooling properties that support hydration. Citrus fruits like oranges, on the other hand, are rich with vitamin C supporting our immune system during the winter months.
Eating seasonally is cheaper- due to reduced transportation costs and high supply of produce at supermarkets/farmers markets. With cost of living going up, eating seasonally is a great way to reduce your grocery bill!
In fact, eating seasonally can be made simple by shopping at your local farmer’s market.
This list of foods that are in season this spring/summer is a great starting point.
After some extra inspo? Try out the seasonally influenced menu below, featuring the key nutritional produce for the spring and summer.
Oats with banana, blueberries, strawberries, and peaches with coconut yogurt
Egg omelet with grated zucchini, chopped tomato and smoked salmon
A big salad with lettuce, carrot, tomato, beetroot + tuna and balsamic dressing
Roasted chickpeas with pumpkin, eggplant, zucchini and spinach leaves
Pan cooked salmon with a greek salad - cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion + lemon dressing
Pan cooked tofu with greek salad - cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion + lemon dressing
Consider doing a spring cleanse/detox- reduce processed foods, limit alcohol and move your body on a daily basis. We have an amazing 3 day cleanse that is perfect for this.
Balance your hormones- When our hormones are balanced, we have more energy, less mood swings + food cravings and an increased level of motivation. Supplements can support healthy reproductive hormones, through herbs to relieve symptoms of PMS and reduce menstrual cycle irregularity, based on traditional Western herbal medicine.
Support your sleep quality- sleep improves your brain performance, mood, and health. If you are getting quality sleep, you will also see a decline in food cravings, helping to regulate your appetite.
Manage your stress- Stress is a natural part of life and something we will all have to cope with in different degrees. Learning how to apply effective stress management techniques will help you be able to live a healthier and happier life.
Tia Miers, founder of Whole Health Studio, is a qualified Naturopath (BHSc). Whole Health Studio was born out of a love for helping people achieve optimal health. As a practitioner, her focus is on reconnecting patients with their bodies. Tia achieves this by utilising up-to-date research, lab testing and evidence based naturopathic medicine. Being based on the Gold Coast her physical reach is quite smalls- so Tia has started developing products that address many of the common health imbalances presenting in her clinic every week.