Eating with the seasons, although not a new concept, is a vital one to anyone working to create a healthier lifestyle. Experts agree that a healthy diet full of whole foods is the best source for your health needs, and that the best nutrient profile comes from fruits and vegetables that are in season. However, many people struggle to understand which foods are in season in their area at any given time, or how to include them in their healthy eating practices.
What is seasonal produce? Seasonal produce is, simply put, the fruits and vegetables that are naturally ripe at any given time in your area. It follows the cycles of the year, including weather, and our bodies tend to crave the fruits and vegetables that are usually available during the time of year we are experiencing. This means that, if we cultivate awareness of what is in season, we can create a meal plan that satisfies our body’s cravings without resorting to empty calories or snack foods trying to figure out what we’re missing. Given that seasonal produce also brings the biggest boost in vitamins and minerals with every bite, our bodies are likely to feel satisfied with smaller portions of seasonal produce than if we always ate the same fruits and vegetables regardless of the season.
Produce typically in season in Illinois during the coming Autumn season includes the foods we mentally associate with Thanksgiving, or the harvest season: picture a cornucopia in your mind, and think about what’s usually in it.
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How and where can you best find seasonal produce? The good news is that it can be easy to find seasonal foods if you are able to visit a farmer’s market. The produce at a farmer’s market always comes from a local source. However, it can be easy to spot seasonal foods in the grocery store, too. Look for items moved to a more prominent display area in the produce section – they probably came in recently. Seasonal produce is also likely to be cheaper, so look for low prices to determine what’s in season right now. The price change comes from not having to pay to ship that food in from another area with different weather, so you not only save on your grocery bill, you know that you are getting the freshest and most nutrient-rich food possible. That’s a win for everyone!
If you’re looking to make the change to a healthier lifestyle, including a diet in keeping with the seasons, Olivera Health + Wellness is always happy to help. When you come to see us for Medical Weight Loss treatments, we make sure that every patient has access to meal planning and shopping lists to ensure that seasonal whole foods are a part of your healthy living action plan. Our goal in every patient interaction is to ensure that you have the tools and support you need to look and feel your best, getting healthy from the inside out. To get started, make an appointment with us today, and discover how great it can feel to be healthy in every season.