Want to eat well without breaking the bank? Most diets can get pretty pricey, but a seasonal approach can save you money.
What is seasonal eating?
Put simply, eating seasonally means focusing on foods that grow naturally in the season that you’re in right now.
Seasonal eating used to be all that we had available to us but as technology has advanced, we’re able to import food from other countries and grow fruits and vegetables outside their growing season.
What are the benefits of eating seasonally?
Seasonal food is tastier
Just consider tomatoes in winter – they’re pale and flavourless whereas summer tomatoes are bright red and juicy.
When food is grown in its natural season, it is more likely to get the conditions it likes best. The amount of water, the temperature and the sun exposure that a plant likes can vary – just like us humans! But when it gets the right conditions, it will contain plenty of nutrients – AND more flavour.
It contains nutrients specific to the season
Have you ever noticed that tropical fruits and salads have a lot of water content? This high water content helps to keep you hydrated during the hotter weather. On the other hand, citrus fruits contain vitamins and antioxidants that support immunity during the winter.
You’re supporting local growers and economies
Seasonal food generally comes from a local area, or at least within the same country. By choosing to buy cherries in summer instead of winter (when they are imported from the US), you are supporting the local economy.
Let’s look at a few ways to get more seasonal options into your daily diet
Shop at farmers markets
The popularity of local food means that farmers markets are available in most areas and because it’s seasonal and local, it is usually more affordable. Those of you who call the Swan Valley and Perth hills home, keep an eye out for the Swan Settler’s Market which is soon to open at 124 Lennard Street, Herne Hill.
Look for the more affordable produce options
If you don’t have a local farmers market, or just don’t have time, you don’t have to miss out. Even the supermarket will stock seasonal options. The key here is to look for in season, more affordable produce which will usually be in greater quantities and at the front of the section.
Read your labels
Seasonal food is often local however it’s worth checking labels on your fruit punnets to see where it’s come from. If it’s listed as grown in Western Australia, go for it!
Grow your own!
It might not be feasible for you to grow all of your own food but you can start off small with a handful of your favourite herbs and greens. As we head into the warmer months, leafy vegetables are an easy option to grow in a pot or on a balcony. Drop into your local nursery to get some advice if you’re unsure. For Swan Valley and Perth hills people, drop in and visit the Green Life Soil Company on Farrell Road, Midvale. They have organic vegetable seedings and organic soil mixes guaranteed to grow the best crops.
A seasonal diet approach is a great start towards a healthier relationship with food. For more personalised support, book a naturopathic consult with Jenni Greaves at Evoke Naturopathy.