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  • Isobel Austin-Little

THE IMPORTANCE OF EATING SEASONALLY

Updated: Mar 30



We all live such fast-paced lives that convenience foods have become a staple in people's diets. People spend less time cooking and preparing their meals and more time eating out, ordering takeaways or shopping in the inside isles in supermarkets rather than the outside aisles where the fresh produce is.


But here's the thing. We need the nutrients in whole foods to survive. Processed food comes packed with partially hydrogenated oil and excessive levels of sugar and salt. These might make the food taste good, but they're not doing much for our health, and this is becoming more and more apparent with increased rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. When it comes to my clients, these foods are the first to go due to their ability to negatively impact many areas of health and a couple's fertility.


When I work with clients, a top priority is to reconnect them with the food they eat, where they get it, and how they cook it to help maximise all the benefits that fruits, vegetables and other whole foods offer. Our food system has been shaped over the past decades by the 'cheaper food' paradigm, where the goal has been to produce more food at a lower cost. However, this intensified agricultural production degrades soils and ecosystems, reducing the quality of the foods we grow today. In addition, current food production relies heavily on fertilisers, pesticides which have health implications. Fruit and vegetables do not contain the levels of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals that they once did, making it even more important that we become savvy shoppers and find ways to consume foods with the best health benefits.


Over the next year, I will start drip-feeding you lots of wonderful content on seasonal foods and how to purchase, cook and store them to get most of the nutrients from them.


We are so lucky to live in a climate that has four distinct seasons that offer up delicious vegetables and fruits. It is crucial for our health and the planet's health that we begin to make more sustainable food choices, and eating seasonally is a great place to start. Here are just some of the benefits to shop seasonally:


  1. First and foremost, foods grown in the UK and eaten in season are more nutritious as well as tastier, providing the body with the nutrients it needs at that time of year.

  2. Foods are cheaper when brought in season as they are not travelling the long distance to get to you.

  3. Eating seasonally supports the local economy.

  4. Eating seasonally reduces the energy (and CO2 emissions) needed to grow and transport the food we eat.

  5. Eating seasonally allows us to reconnect with nature and what each season has to offer.


Here are just some of the benefits of eating seasonally:

  1. First and foremost, foods grown in the UK and eaten in season are tastier.

  2. Foods grown and eaten in the season are packed with more of the good stuff like vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that our cells love!

  3. Foods are cheaper when brought in season as they are not travelling the long distance to get on your plate.

  4. Eating seasonally supports the local economy.

  5. Eating seasonally reduces the energy (and CO2 emissions) needed to grow and transport the food we eat.

  6. Eating seasonally allows us to reconnect with nature and what each season offers.


My top tips for eating seasonally

  • Download my Seasonal Eating Guide below.

  • Shop at your local farmers market or independent grocers. If you don't have a local market nearby, sign up for a weekly veg delivery with suppliers such as Riverford.

  • Choose local produce, always check the labels to see a products origins and try to purchase products from the UK that are in season. For example, in Autumn, there is no need to be buying apples from Spain, when UK apples will be far tastier and more nutritious too.

  • Avoid prepped and packaged fruit, veg and salads. Often when they are preprepared, vegetables will have been grated and cut, or fruits will have their skin removed and cut into chunks, this can strip the food of its nutrients.

  • Try and grow your own - even if it is just salad and herbs, these grow quickly and do not require much room. It can also be extremely rewarding, so why not give it a go!




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