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The Benefits of Eating Seasonally

May 12, 2023

Eating seasonally grown foods offers many benefits that promote our health, support local economies, and contribute to environmental sustainability. In addition, when eating with the seasons, we can enjoy various advantages by aligning our diets with natural production cycles.

According to Kenlyn Young, LDN, MS, RD at Duke Integrative Medicine, “Eating in season means eating fresh produce at the right time of year, when it’s naturally ready for harvest and when nutrients peak, resulting in better flavor and higher phytonutrient content. For example, one study found that broccoli grown in the fall has nearly twice the vitamin C content as broccoli grown in the spring. If you ‘Eat with the Seasons,’ you eat food at the right time of year when nature intends us to.” 

 

Eating in season means eating fresh produce at the right time of year, when it’s naturally ready for harvest and when nutrients peak.

 

Let’s explore the multiple benefits of eating seasonally:

Flavor the freshest and most nutritious foods.

Seasonal eating provides us with the freshest and most nutritious foods. Fruits and vegetables that ripen naturally and are harvested at the right time are richer in flavor, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients are crucial for maintaining a balanced diet and overall well-being.

“I am sure you have noticed how juicy and red the tomatoes are in the summer, as are watermelon and corn on the cob, for starters, as this is the peak time of year when they are meant to be harvested and eaten. So go to your local farmers market and stock up on what the farmers are selling, as these foods nourish us during the summer months,” suggests Kenlyn Young, LDN, MS, RD.

Support regional food systems.

Embracing seasonal produce supports local farmers and cultivates regional food systems. When we choose locally grown foods, we contribute to the vitality of our communities, foster local economic growth, and reduce the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transportation.

Foster culinary creativity.

Eating seasonally grown foods encourages variety and culinary creativity. As different fruits and vegetables come into season throughout the year, we can explore new flavors, experiment with recipes, and diversify our meals. This culinary adventure adds excitement to our diets and expands our culinary horizons.

In conclusion, embracing seasonal eating offers numerous benefits. It provides fresh, nutritious, and flavorful foods, supports local communities, and fosters culinary exploration. By making mindful choices about the foods we consume, we can enhance our well-being while positively impacting the world.

Download our Summertime Recipe Pack provided by Kenlyn Young, LDN, MS, RD at Duke Integrative Medicine. This recipe pack contains a collection of healthy summertime recipes with simple and delicious options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Get Your Summertime Recipe Pack

References

Nutritional quality of organic, conventional, and seasonally grown broccoli using vitamin C as a marker.

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