With autumn creeping up, many of us are no doubt on a continued quest to maintain a healthy diet – especially during these uncertain times. Eating in season (that is, consuming foods that are highly nutritious, locally produced and readily available) can bring with it many benefits that may surprise you.
Maintaining a healthy diet can be confusing and laborious. Every other day new theories are published on screens, in newspapers and on blogs around the latest dietary trends and quickest ways to trim a few centimetres.
It’s no surprise then that a lot of us end up with a very mixed message when it comes to how exactly to ensure we are maintaining a healthy, nutritious diet – or the surprising benefits of doing so. The benefits go beyond just the individual – eating healthily can also positively impact the environment and economy in the long run.
Below are a few tips from Andre Redinger, Founder of Millhouse International, to ensure that you make the most of your dietary intake this autumn while also inadvertently contributing to the local community and economy.
Eating in season is healthier
Surprisingly, eating fruits and vegetables that are local means that you are automatically consuming produce that has higher nutritional value. It will also taste better! This is because, when foods are grown out of season, they are not able to follow natural ripening rhythms. Because of this, manufacturers and farmers often use ripening agents such as chemicals and gasses. The long distances the fruit, vegetables and other seasonal foods need to travel also significantly impacts the nutritional value.
It’s easier on the pocket
Eating produce that is readily available and in season can ease your spending as well. This is because, in season, local produce is a lot cheaper – saving many individuals, particularly those who cannot afford a vast variety of produce, a lot of money in the long run.
You will be supporting local
Besides the benefits to your health and spending, eating in season will allow you to support local farmers and manufacturers, who have worked hard to harvest their crops in time. Supporting local farmers and SMEs in the space will in the long run ensure that you are not only healthier but also that the local economy thrives.
Eat fortified foods
More often than not, particularly in underserved communities that lack access to fresh produce, not many options exist for fresh, nutritional foods. One way of ensuring that you still get an adequate nutritional intake daily is to purchase food that is fortified with the correct vitamins and micronutrients. This will ensure that you maintain a healthy, nutritious intake from day to day.
The global pandemic has made everybody more conscious about their overall health. Eating locally and in season will go a long way in ensuring that a varied, nutritional local diet is sustained. It will also ensure that the local industry continues to thrive.