Whilst the wonders of modern day food production have made it possible to eat our favourite fruits and vegetables all year round, it is important to recognise that there is a time and a place for all things, and this includes your food.
Eating seasonal produce is a great way to clean up your act eating-wise. Unbeknown to most, consuming fruits and vegetables when they’re in season unlocks a long list of benefits for your health and wellbeing.
With seasonal produce you get the goodness you need at exactly the time of year you need it. Studies have shown that your body gets so much more out of seasonal foods than it does eating the same fruits and vegetables out of season, with many seasonal varieties actively supporting your body’s natural, seasonal nutritional needs.
Seasonal produce is packed with more nutrients and vitamins too, as it’s more likely to be sourced locally and retain its goodness as a result of the shorter journey. Another plus point of eating in-season is that you will taste the difference. It’s also cheaper and more environmentally friendly as produce grown seasonally is less likely to need chemical help, additional refrigeration, and long haul transportation.
With all this in mind, you’d be crazy not to eat seasonally, so why not start right now? Summer offers a bountiful choice of seasonal fruits and vegetables, here’s what’s in season at the moment to whet your appetite…
Aubergines are unrated, versatile, extremely healthy, delicious and in season right now. Although technically a fruit, aubergines are generally used as vegetables but can be eaten raw. They’re great in salads, stews and bakes, and are extremely low calorie as well as packed full of health boosting vitamins, minerals and fibre. Its antioxidant content is equally impressive as BBC Good Food explains:
“Research on aubergines has focused on nasunin. It is not only a potent antioxidant, protecting the fatty acids essential for healthy brain function, but it also helps move excess iron out of the body. Although iron is an essential nutrient, necessary for transporting oxygen in the blood, immune support and collagen synthesis, too much iron is not recommended.”
Blueberries are at their sweetest and most nutritious during the summer months, making them the perfect seasonal fruit to add to your shopping list. This superfood is a great snack or an exciting addition to a smoothie. They’re also low in calories but high in nutrients.
The humble blueberry is the queen of antioxidants with the highest levels of all fruits and vegetables. Thanks to this, blueberries have been proven to reduce cancer and diabetes risk, prevent premature ageing, improve heart health and more specifically prevent heart disease, lower blood pressure, boost brain function, and even improve your memory skills.
Celery is no doubt a great and refreshing addition to a summer salad. It is also the ultimate detox food with its zero calories and cleansing abilities beneficial to health.
We love adding celery to hot and cold meals for extra crunch. Celery smoothies are also certain to be unexpected hits with all the family, especially during summer, whilst braised celery makes a hearty and utterly delicious garnish for a long list of dishes.
Chard, courgettes, summer squash, cucumbers, fennel and lettuce are all salad favourites that are in season during August too, and well worth experimenting with in the kitchen.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with some in-season plums this summer, and feel all the better for it thanks to their low calorie, vitamin and mineral rich goodness. Plums contain calcium, magnesium and folate to improve the formation of blood clots, reduce fatigue, manage stress, and boost blood cell health.
Plums can be eaten raw but also cooked to enjoy at breakfast, lunch and dinner, or as a dessert. Try adding them to your morning yogurt, slice them into a salad or warm up on a midsummer’s evening with a slice of plum crumble. Unbeknown to most, plums are also a delicious addition to savoury dishes such as curries, just don’t add too much sugar when cooking.
More seasonal goodness to enjoy…
There are many more fruits and vegetables that are in season during August. Beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, french and runner beans, potatoes, peas, mangetout, peppers, chillies, tomatoes, spring onions, sweetcorn, blackberries, raspberries and selected apple varieties should all be a part of your seasonal menu this summer.