Read more about seasonal foods


4 reasons to eat seasonal fruit and vegetables

As the promise of warmer weather looms, at Love Your Gut, we want to shine a spotlight on seasonal foods during May!

But first – what does eating seasonally mean?

 For many of us it is possible to buy our favourite fruits and vegetables at any time of the year. Thanks to different climates around the world, supermarket shelves are jam-packed with an array of fruits and vegetables all year round. This means it can sometimes be difficult to know which are in season within the UK and Ireland. Eating seasonally focuses on foods which are grown locally at that time.

What are the benefits for eating seasonally?

 

  1. Money: When buying fruits and vegetables out of season, the produce will have to be grown in regulated conditions like heated greenhouses or transported across the world – both of which increase costs compared to local produce grown in natural conditions. Supermarkets are also likely to have deals or offers on seasonal foods (higher prices usually indicate a food is out of season) – so keep an eye out next time you’re doing your food shop!

 

  1. Nutrition: The nutritional content of fruits and vegetables tends to decrease afterharvest.1-2 So Buying seasonally means you’re more likely to be buying local produce which has a significantly shorter journey from farm to shop, with less opportunity for nutrients to be lost. This is the reason why frozen fruits and veggies can be a great nutritious option, as they are  frozen quickly after being picked or harvested and therefore retain their nutritional goodness!

 

  1. Sustainability: By buying local produce you can reduce your food miles and your carbon footprint and be a little bit kinder to our planet.

 

  1. Creativity: Are you stuck in a rut creating the same meals? Eating seasonally can be a fun way to challenge yourself to try new recipes.

So what’s in season right now?3

 

 

As you can see, there are lots of options when it comes to eating seasonally at this time of year. They’re all packed with different vitamins and minerals too. For example, Popeye’s favourite food, spinach, is rich in non-heam iron (found in plant foods), vitamin A and potassium. Strawberries are often symbolic with entering warmer months and they’re a great source of antioxidants including vitamin C and fibre.

By including a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet, you’ll keep your gut bugs happy too!

Looking ahead – what about June, July and August?3

 Now that you know what’s in season, it’s time to put your culinary skills to the test! Here are a few tasty Love Your Gut recipes to help you make the most of seasonal eating at this time of year:

References

  1. Villa-Rodriguez et al. (2015) Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 55(6): 806–822.
  2. Ansah et al. (2018) J Sci Food Agric, 98(10): 3614-3626.
  3. British Dietetic Association. Available from: https://www.bda.uk.com/food-health/your-health/sustainable-diets/seasonal-fruit-and-veg-a-handy-guide.html

 

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