It can be hard to tell these days, especially when we visit the grocery store, that we are actually in the middle of winter. The produce section may be full of hothouse-grown veggies and out-of-season foods from all over the world. But just because they are available doesn't necessarily mean out-of-season foods are all that good for you.
Foods grown in the spring and summer tend to grow faster and are more cooling in their nature. Foods grown in the fall and winter usually take a longer time to grow and are more warming. Even though we can now enjoy a fresh green salad or a hearty lamb and potato stew at any time of year, I bet you'll agree, Val, that a green leafy salad reminds us of the freshness of spring and a steaming bowl of stew makes us think of cold weather.
Foods that are grown in season have higher levels of nutrients, and scientific studies support this. One Japanese study showed that spinach grown in the summer had three times more vitamin C than spinach grown in the winter. So, when you buy foods that are grown out of season, they may taste the same, but that doesn't mean they are nutritionally the same. It is a good idea to consider where you live, as the seasons and the local produce will vary between a colder climate, a warmer climate or more temperate one.
Another excellent advantage of eating seasonally grown foods is that it is easier to find them at our local grocers, vegetable and fruit stands, and farmers' markets. Val, foods that are fresh and locally grown are filled with vital nutrients that will help boost your immune system. Plus foods in season are much less expensive, so your pocketbook benefits too. And taste wise, nothing beats fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables harvested in the height of their season.
So, in the spring and summer look for fresh greens like various lettuces; fresh corn and green beans; summer fruits like peaches, pears, apricots and all kinds of berries. In the fall and winter, look for leafy green vegetables like kale and collards; cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower; root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes and fruits like apples.
Val, by choosing to eat local foods that are in season, you'll be taking in the best and freshest nutrients for your body, which will improve your health and also allow you to enjoy the seasons even more. This is all about mindfulness. Being mindful and conscious of our environment, the people around us and ourselves. That is the best way to establish harmony in your life.
I hope you will take some time to look over your forecast to see what the week holds.
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Sunday, February 20, 2011
To Grocery Shop or Not to Grocery Shop, That is the Question
I wanter to share this with you because it support my views! Ha! Isn't that always the way. But , seriously, Bertha says this so well, I have very little to add.