Our relationship with food has changed dramatically, particularly over the last few centuries. We now have year-round access to a bewildering variety of foods from all over the world. Yet for the most part, the basic nutritional needs of the human body have remained the same.
Did you know, for example, that tomatoes were unknown to Westerners until the early 16th century? It’s believed that the Aztecs had been using them since around 700AD. It’s difficult to imagine life without tomatoes, and impossible for Mediterranean food to exist in a tomato-free world!
As we know, all fruits and vegetables have their seasons. They don’t produce all year round. Thus, our bodies were never meant to exist on the same foods day after day. Importantly, when you are aware of what’s in season, you can add more variety to your diet. At the beginning of spring, asparagus is in season, it’s less expensive, it’s fresh and flavoursome – and most likely locally grown. The least time between field and plate, the more nutrients are preserved.
In summer, we need cooling foods, and it’s a perfect time to take advantage of the abundance of berries, stone fruits and leafy greens that are in season. They help our bodies to detox, and they give us more energy for all the great outdoor activities of summer.
Choosing foods at their peak harvesting season also means you’re more likely be able to source organic. And there’s something very powerful and positive about living in harmony with the seasons, and the rhythm of nature. Our heated and cooled environments, our mostly indoor lives, and the year-round grind of work can make us largely oblivious to the beauty and rhythm of nature. Eating seasonally is a way of reconnecting to nature.
When you eat the best nutrients in the right balance, your body learns to maximise the benefits, and to create a balanced environment. It has been my observation that the right foods, prepared the right way, eaten in season, for your individual needs are the absolute foundation for a healthy body and the prevention of avoidable diseases.