A seasonal perspective
We’ve been ever-so-lucky with the weather this Bank Holiday, the continuing heatwave (for the UK anyway) giving us a burst of summer sun.
To most of us, it felt like a mini holiday having spent the weekend around the garden if the smell of BBQs are anything to go by.
The great outdoors, or at least the garden, and visiting a garden centre, is wonderfully beneficial. Interacting with nature is a multi-sensory experience. In the garden you take time to notice what is around you. Feel the soil in your fingers. Listen to the birds tweeting. Look at the different flowers and trees around you. Working in a garden, you become more mindful of the natural environment. In contrast to the ups and downs of human life, such as a visit to the supermarket, and the prices.
With perfect timing, nutrition experts at Bulk.com has explored the benefits of eating seasonally and shared what foods we should be eating this season. At a time where we all have our part to play in sustainability, eating seasonal foods is a good way to reduce our carbon footprint as well as be more local.
We should look into the following according to bulk.com:
- Samphire – this is in season between May and August. Samphire is known for its crisp texture and salty taste. This is great to eat raw in salads or cooked, which will reduce the saltiness. Samphire is a source of dietary fibre and can aid in digestion. It also has antioxidant properties, can improve bone health and boost your immune system.
- Wild Garlic – also known as ‘Ramsons’, Wild Garlic is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, phosphorus and copper. It is also known for its antibacterial properties; studies have shown it can lower blood pressure. Wild Garlic starts to sprout flowers in April and can be harvested until the end of the season, June.
- Artichokes – these are loaded with nutrients, including vitamins B6 and C. A single serving also contains 10g of fibre, which is excellent for digestive health and promotes bowel regularity.
- Rhubarb – often considered a fruit, this is a vegetable. Rhubarb is high in vitamin K, vital for bone health and can prevent blood clotting. It also contains vitamin A, which can help fight free radicals that cause your skin to age prematurely.
- Asparagus – this is in season from late February but peaks in April and May. Asparagus is high in vitamin E and antioxidants, which protect the skin from damage. It is also high in folic acid and is excellent for gut health.
- Cucumbers – these are in season from mid-summer to mid-autumn, but you will find the best cucumbers in warmer conditions. These are great for those wanting to maintain or lose weight as they are very low in calories but high in nutrients. They are high in vitamins K, B and antioxidants, and they also promote hydration.
- Strawberries – these are in season from May to September. Strawberries are a great source of polyphenols which protects the body’s tissues from oxidative stress. They are also high in manganese, potassium, and vitamin C. Strawberries are particularly good for pregnancy as the high levels of vitamin C can help a foetus’ development.
- Spinach – Spinach is high in zeaxanthin, which helps flush out free radicals in your body and can help reduce the risk of glaucoma and cataracts. Spinach is also high in iron, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K.
- Cherries – these are a great source of fibre and are also low in calories. Cherries contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds and are very similar to Strawberries as they contain polyphenols. They are also a great source of anthocyanins, which not only give Cherries their colour but also help muscle recovery after a workout.
- Tomatoes – these are in season from June to October. Besides vitamin C and K, Tomatoes are high in folate, vital for tissue growth and cell function – another great superfood to eat during pregnancy.
A nutrition expert from Bulk.com says: “It is clear that eating seasonally has numerous benefits that can impact the consumer and suppliers positively. It can also promote a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet by providing a variety of nutrient-rich produce that allow people to try new recipes and dishes.”
Many of us are fortunate to live in countries with seasons and a variety of fruits and vegetables that this provides. It makes for a rich, delicious and healthy diet…we just need to make a conscious effort to discover it!
- Rodney Jack, editor, Food & Drink Technology.
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