If you don’t eat seasonal produce as much as imported produce, it’s likely that you won’t be getting your essential nutrients to remain healthy. Healthy eating for weight loss aims at providing you with the where, what, how and why of nutrient dense food.
In these days of fast air travel, fresh produce is now flown all over the world, tempting us with a kaleidoscope of colourful and varied food. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but you need to know how this is possible.
To get, let’s say an avocado, from the tropical or sub-tropical farm to your larder in a colder temperate zone, the avocado needs to be picked before it is ripe. It is then stored in a cool environment until it can be flown to its final destination.
On arrival, it will again go into cold storage until it is transported to the final retail outlet. You will purchase the avocado in an unripe state and it will take a few days to ripen.
To obtain the best nutrients from any fresh produce, it is best eaten as soon as it is picked. For each hour of delay between picking and consuming, many nutrients are lost.
Obviously, the longest time between harvest and consuming is with imported produce. But local produce is now also undergoing a similar process.
When you harvest produce that is unripe, the plant has not finished finalising the finishing touches to the end product. There may be too many alkaloids. There may not be enough sugar. It’s out of natural balance.
This is why many foods now lack texture as well as flavour. Apples and pears are regularly picked unripe and cold stored for many months. But nothing that can be stored is left out.
It’s all about profit for the retailer. It has nothing to do with good nutrition or good flavour for you, the end consumer.
The best way to get your nutrition is to grow your own produce. And if you can do that organically, then you will be streets ahead of most other people in terms of nutrition. Even if you live in a high rise apartment, you can grow some herbs and sprout some seeds.
If you can’t grow all your own produce, then I suggest you buy from a local producer. Go out of your way to buy this. Perhaps frequent a growers market.
The additional benefit of buying from a local producer, apart from the flavour, the freshness and the nutrients, is that seasonal produce is more beneficial to your health.
For example, summer produce is often dark red or dark green – tomatoes, strawberries, beetroot, water melon, spinach, silver beet, kale. All these contain the necessary nutrients to protect your skin against any harm from excess sunshine. This produce is your skin cancer treatment!
In the temperate winter months, produce that can be harvested locally tends to be root vegetables, the gourds and nuts. These foods have a greater tendency to satisfy you more and to put down a small layer of fat to give you added protection during the cold.
Nature has perfected the system. All you have to do is to use it as she intended.
Eat seasonal produce as your staple diet and enjoy imported foods more as a luxury or when you are chasing a particular nutrient. Healthy eating for weight loss is primarily all about good, nutritious food. The weight loss is just one of the bonuses. But be prepared to carry just a little more weight in the winter months.
Here you can learn more about the most nutritious foods for health and weight loss.