Eat for Summer
By Laura Lambert
Summer time is here and we are all aware that we need to treat our bodies right and protect our skin from the sun and heat, but what about treating your body right on the inside. There are numerous reasons that one should eat seasonable produce, for starters, it is more cost effective and healthier for you and the environment. Furthermore, purchasing seasonable produce locally often supports your local farmer instead of commercial business.
The health related benefits of eating fresh organic produce are infinite. These from-the-ground fresh fruits and veggies are loaded with powerful nutrients and antioxidants, which work not only to support your body’s daily function, but also to help ward off future infections and diseases by boosting your immune system.
And, since nature cures, the specific nutrition and health benefits of fresh produce, actually matches that of what our bodies need during that time of year. For instance, during the autumn of each year, thick hearty produce such as squashes and pumpkins come into maturity just as our body needs to build up for winter months and cooler weather. Such as the same in late spring early summer when much of the lighter fruits and veggies are available. For example, berries, which are packed with sun-damage protection (aka: antioxidants) come into season during the high sun months, though in Arizona that may seem like all year long.
Beyond the health benefits, eating seasonable is easier on the pocket book. The seasonable produce is more easily available, making it cheaper to stock the grocery store shelves, avoiding trans-global shipping, and making the whole process more energy efficient. In addition, due to the abundance, seasonal produce is often on sale. For example, those same berries that are $1.99 per pound during the summer will often cost you around $10.00 per pound during the winter.
One could also argue the energetics around eating in accordance to nature’s cycle. By doing this we are obtaining the full life-energy, or vital force, of the plant into our own beings, thus, creating a stronger spirit and harmony with Mother Nature.
Here is a condensed list of summer-ripe produce:
- Most lettuces and gourmet salad mixes
- most herbs (i.e. cilantro, parsley, fennel)
- string beans
- summer squash
- tomatoes and peppers
- most berries (late summer)*.
In opposition, here are some of the top winter produce items:
- winter greens (salad mixes)
- sweet potatoes
* These lists are in no way inclusive. For more information, talk to your local produce
market or look online.