There are any number of opinions on which diets are best to follow. Some people believe that a vegan lifestyle is necessary for optimal health, while others think a caveman’s diet fulfills our omnivorous dietary requirements. What many scientists and nutritionists do agree on is that a diet rich in seasonally available produce is nature’s way of providing us with the nutrients we need. Summer is the time to make the most of nature’s bounty by feeding your family fresh, in-season produce.
Fresh IS Best
It’s tempting to buy your favorite fruits and veggies year-round. But produce that is out of season has been picked early and transported long distances to your local grocery store. The crops are chilled during transport and then artificially ripened in a hot house. The flavor, texture, and nutritional benefits are affected by this process, and the result is limp, lackluster produce. When you choose fruits and vegetables that are in-season, however, they are harvested at their prime. Produce harvested in season tastes sweeter, is crisper and fresher, and is even more nutritionally potent.
The Way Nature Intended
Each season brings produce that supports our bodies in unique ways. For example, citrus fruits, which are high in Vitamin C and excellent for boosting our immune systems, ripen in the winter, when our bodies are taking a beating from colds and flus. Summer fruits, on the other hand, are chock full of beta-carotenes that protect skin from sun damage. Syncing your diet up with the season helps meet our biological needs naturally. Not only that, but a seasonal diet is environmentally friendly! Eating fresh, locally available fruit and veggies reduces the demand for out-of-season produce, which means less energy wasted on transportation and refrigeration to ship produce.
What’s in season now?
In June, look for:
- Stone fruits like peaches, plums, nectarines, and cherries.
- Strawberries, raspberries, and honeydew melons
- Cucumbers, asparagus, and zucchini
- Green beans, broad beans, and peas
- Garlic, onions, scallions, and chives
- The last of the leafy greens: lettuce, spinach, chard (don’t worry, they’ll be back in the fall!)
- Root vegetables: radish, carrots, and early potatoes.
This summer, turn to locally sourced seasonal produce to feed your family. You’ll be able to taste the difference, reap the health benefits, and support a sustainable environment all at once!