How To Get the Biggest Health Benefits from Fruits and Veggies
Note from Jennifer: Now that most of us are enjoying summer produce, it’s a great time to visit a local farmers’ market or grow your own. Paisley is here to share a little insight into why local is so much better than grocery store organic.
Why You Need to Eat Fruits and Vegetables That Are In Season
By now, everyone has heard of the benefits of eating organic. Pesticides add up when you eat them on a daily basis.
What most people don’t know is that there are far more benefits to eating fruits and vegetables that are in season than just looking for organic.
Always be sure to check what fruits and veggies are in season and the best time to eat them.
[Note from Jennifer: You can find some good charts for your area with a quick Google search.]
You will gain more health benefits by eating them in season and save a lot of money in the process.
It keeps the nutrients intact
Ask yourself this question: What do you do if you want to eat out of season fruits and veggies and they’re available at your local grocery store?
The obvious answer would be to buy and enjoy them in your meal. By eating fruits and veggies that are out of season, you actually get less nutrients than local and in season.
Because the fruits and veggies have to be shipped from so far away, they cannot retain the “freshness’ level that they would hold if they were local.
The longer time they spend off the plant, the more nutrients they lose. By shipping produce across the country, fruits and vegetables are one step closer to decomposing.
As they break down, they lose vital nutrients.
They are Picked While Still Immature
By removing fruits and vegetables when they have not yet fully matured, they don’t develop the full nutritional factors that a mature fruit or vegetable would.
They also decompose at a much faster rate thanks to the lack of antioxidents.
Buying produce when it’s ripe and ready to be picked means that you are enjoying the full nutrition in that piece of fruit or veggie.
[Note from Jennifer: We won’t go into soil depletion in this post, but that’s another reason to eat local and make sure our food is grown in nutrient rich soil.]
Shipped Out of Season Fruits and Veggies Are full of GMOs
In order to preserve a longer shelf life, foods are often pumped full of GMO preservatives (Genetically Modified Organism).
These preservatives are added into fruits and vegetables and mixed with pesticides to help keep the shelf life of the fruits and vegetables shelf stable much longer than their natural lifespan.
Unfortunately, GMOs have been known to cause health problems.
By eating locally, and especially in season, you can choose your growers to avoid the pesticides and GMOs. Enjoy healthy, nutritious fruits and vegetables found in your backyard or at your local farmers’ market.
[Note from Jennifer: By getting to know your local farmers, you can find much better prices with those who grow organically and biodynamically but aren’t certified organic. The certification is very expensive and small farmers usually can’t afford it. If they are certified, they have to pass the hefty costs onto us.]
Fruits and veggies are full of cancer fighting antioxidants that can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle so choose local to get the biggest bang for your buck.
If you’ve ever picked a ripe apple or tomato, you know how amazing the flavor is. Your body knows the difference between that and one shipped thousands of miles and left to sit in a warehouse, a truck, and then on a store shelf for days or weeks at a time.
Always remember to shop in season and from your local farmers’ market or even grow your own!
Not only are you receiving greater health benefits, you are also helping the environment and supporting local farmers too. Win win win.
When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.
Jennifer Nervo is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master Practitioner & teacher, and Aromatherapist. Her focus is on digestive, nervous, and immune system dysfunction and the fields of functional nutrition & psychoneuroimmunology. She works with all conditions and diseases including environmental and food allergies, autoimmune diseases, multiple chemical sensitivity, diabetes, eczema, anxiety, weight loss as a symptom of dis-ease, and gut-brain disorders like autism.
When she’s not herding her small troupe of monkeys or seeing clients, her free time is packed with researching and perfecting new wellness techniques (her not-so-secret passion). Jennifer is currently a group leader for the newest class of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners out of Ann Arbor, MI, studying for the national board exam in holistic nutrition, and running a combined distance and brick and mortar practice in metro Detroit. She’s also a homeschooling suburbanite, foodie, and mama to two littles and a schnoodle.