WELLNESS--If we look at our ancestor’s diet, we see clearly that it was back to basics the way nature had intended. For the most part they grew and harvested their own food and stored up enough for the winter months. They instinctually and by necessity ate according to the seasons. Certain foods grew early in the summer while others in the spring or fall and their meals were governed around that.
These days everything is available at our fingertips. If we want squash in the spring, we will have it. It we’re craving spinach in the winter that too is easily acquired. But what numerous people are realizing is that our bodies are meant to eat according to the natural flow of the seasons. Although we have certainly been doing fine by mixing it all up, many are finding an increase in energy, vitality, and overall health by getting back to our ancestral diet of seasonal eating.
Local and seasonal produce tends to be tastier and richer in nutrients and we also benefit financially because seasonally grown fruits and vegetables are generally less costly because of a higher demand and increase in availability.
If you’re like me you’ve fallen into a pattern of eating the same things over and over again out of habit. What’s great about eating seasonally is that it forces us to try a variety of foods that we may not normally consume and that equals a wider array of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for our body.
Let’s look at how this might work and which foods fit which particular season. Keep in mind that if you have allergies to certain foods like I do, or dietary restrictions due to health issues, then you’ll need to skip over those particular foods and choose ones that don’t cause a reaction. Here is a general guide:
SPRING March, April, May
Apricot, artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, collard green, garlic, lettuce, mushroom, onion, scallion, pea, pineapple, radish, strawberry, Swiss chard, turnip, lime, tomato, spinach, zucchini, watercress
SUMMER Late May, June, July, August, September, Early October
Apricot, bell pepper, blackberry, blueberry, cantaloupe, pineapple, cherry, collard green, corn, cucumber, eggplant, garlic, green bean, honeydew melon, kiwi, mango, nectarine, okra, peach, plum, raspberry, strawberry, lychee, fig, watermelon, lettuce, radish
FALL Late October, November, December
Beet, bell pepper, broccoli, corn, cucumber, okra, Brussels sprout, cabbage, cauliflower, collard green, cranberry, garlic, ginger, grape, green bean, kale, lettuce, spinach, persimmon, mango, mushroom, onion, parsnip, pea, pear, potato, kumquat, cranberry, guava, pomegranate, quince
WINTER January, February
Beet, Brussels sprout, cabbage, broccoli, fennel, endive, olive, red currant, grapefruit, kale, leek, onion, orange, clementine, tangerine, date, passion fruit, parsnip, pear, potato, pumpkin, rutabaga, sweet potato & yam, turnip, winter squash, rhubarb
Apple, avocado, banana, carrot, celery, coconut, lemon
To get a more accurate picture of what is seasonal in your area, go to a local farmer’s market or research seasonal produce in your particular region. It will differ from state to state and for various countries.
By eating homegrown and seasonal produce you are also supporting local farmer’s who rely on your patronage to continue their business. Most of these farmers grow without pesticides or chemical sprays even though they may not be able to afford the organic certification.
It’s easy to fall into a routine of eating the same things week by week. Why not challenge yourself and begin experimenting with a variety of local produce that you wouldn’t normally consume? Consider getting a weekly organic fruit and vegetable delivery, which ensures that you’ll receive a new selection throughout the year.
The new message of health and balance is to get back to basics trusting that nature knows best. What is more basic and natural than eating like our ancestors did while providing an exciting new selection of meals for yourself and your family?
(Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles http://www.jaybradleylifestyle.com. He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!)