When I go to the supermarket, I love walking through the produce section. It’s exciting to take in the different colors, smells and shapes of the fresh fruits and vegetables. One thing that I also notice is that the same types of food are always there, no matter what the season.
We’re used to having access to all our favorite foods year round. But eating seasonally, like our ancestors did, can offer extra health benefits.
Here’s what I mean by this: instead of eating the same foods in spring, summer, fall and winter, we can adapt our diet based on the season. Think about it — a hundred years ago, we ate what was growing on the nearby farms. That meant lots of greens in the spring, fresh corn and tomatoes in the summer, and pumpkins, cabbage and carrots during the fall.
According to author and chiropractor John Douillard, if we eat the same foods year round, our bodies miss out on as much as two-thirds of the nutrients they require, or what he calls our Recommended Annual Allowance. We may get enough calories, but not essential proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals that are present at different levels in foods that grow at different times of the year.
During spring, eating seasonally is all about cleaning out our bodies after the winter and rejuvenating for the rest of the year to come.
Much like the earth around us is opening up to new growth, the tissue in our bodies is also opening up and softening. Our bodies tend to hold onto more moisture in the spring, which helps flush out and detoxify our cells. To assist with the cleansing process, it’s best to avoid wheat, rice, red meat, excessive use of oils, and dairy during spring. Heavy and sour fruits such as oranges, bananas, pineapples, figs, dates, avocado, coconuts and melons also tend to promote allergies.
I suggest eating lighter. Try foods like:
• Leafy greens
• Root vegetables
• White meats
• Some grains (barley, rye, corn, millet and buckwheat)
Chlorophyll, the pigment that gives plants their green color, is a potent internal cleanser, deodorizer and breath freshener. I like to mix a tablespoon of powdered chlorophyll with water and drink before breakfast during the spring season.
For more inspiration, check out your local farmer’s market. The fruit and vegetables they sell will always be in season! I love the one in Reston.
Eating with the seasons is a wonderful way to ground us in the present and help us connect with our bodies. It can also help us feel great!