Late spring and summer is a great opportunity to include larger amounts of vegetables and fruits in the daily menu. These warm months are the period when we have access to the richness of various colorful gifts of plants. Vegetables and fruits are also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, which multivitamin tablets can not replace.
The most important principle in the theory of seasonal nutrition is the consumption of those products that grow and mature in the current time of the year. This means that when shopping, we choose only those vegetables and fruits that naturally appear at that time. The concept of seasonality also combines locality. It depends on the selection of those products that are naturally available in our climate zone. It is even said that it is best to grow as close as possible to our place of residence (of course, most of us can not afford it).
Vegetables and fruits are a natural richness of vitamins and minerals that ensure proper functioning of the body. It is also worth remembering that they contain antioxidant substances that prevent damage caused by free radicals. Vegetables and fruits give us energy (they contain naturally occurring simple and complex sugars) and strengthen our immunity. The dietary fiber contained in them improves and regulates the digestive processes, and also has a positive effect on cholesterol levels. No wonder that the latest Nutrition Pyramid (developed by the Institute of Nutrition) placed vegetables and fruits at the base, as the most important element of the diet. Let’s remember all vitamin and mineral preparations, they are not able to replace their natural sources.
Why is it worth it?
Seasonal and local vegetables and fruits should be the basis of our diet. The climate and the place of cultivation should decide which of them will appear in our current menu. Such products, which naturally occur in given time of the year, are the most optimally equipped (suitable content) with vitamins, minerals and biologically active substances. Purchased when they are naturally ripe and ready to eat, they will be the healthiest, the smartest, but also the tastiest diet choice.
Thanks to the principle of locality when buying vegetables and fruits, we minimize the loss of vitamins and minerals that occur during transport and storage (it is worth to compare the delivery of Polish and Italian tomatoes, for example). Mention must also be made of all preservative treatments that ensure attractive appearance and taste. Local vegetables and fruits “do not stay” so long routes that they would require such processes.
Vegetables and sheep occurring seasonally and locally are also a wise choice due to their price. In the appropriate months they will simply be cheaper, so you will not have to worry about your home budget.
Exotic on the plate
Is it worth choosing exotic fruits and vegetables in this case? Of course, reaching for such articles will not be harmful to us and we should not be afraid of them. Exotic products have interesting flavors, interesting looks and a lot of nutritional value. It is worth being open to culinary “curiosities” and showing this diversity of vegetables and fruits to our children. However, in everyday nutrition, the basis should be local and seasonal.
In order to get to know which vegetables and fruits occur naturally in given times of the year, it is worth to buy the so-called seasonality calendar. Such a calendar illustrates which plant products occur in a given season of the year. Thanks to this, shopping will be even simpler).
The choice of seasonal and local products should be part of a healthy and balanced diet of the whole family. Reaching for such vegetables and fruits, we can take full advantage of their health and flavoring qualities without additional burden on their budget. Let’s focus on locality and seasonality! Let us also teach our children!