New-rons

Autumn – Eating with the seasons is the best way to eat

Along with the beautiful hues of the skyline and falling leaves that Autumn brings, so too comes gusty winds, darker nights and dropping temperatures. These conditions have an effect on our bodies and thus; we are more susceptible to feeling run down and to catching a cold or flu; as well as irritations such as allergies, asthma, skin dryness and low energy.

For years the human body has evolved to adapt to our environment. Our needs for different types of food, at different times of the year are fundamental to that long evolution. Perhaps you have noticed that you have more energy in spring and crave more sleep during winter? Our digestive systems and metabolisms are tuned to our seasons and therefore require different nutrients at different times.

Autumn is an especially important time for us to nurture and support our bodies from the transition of seasons from Summer to Winter. We need to support our lungs and the large intestine, which are major pathways of elimination and related to a healthy immune system.

Personally, I find that eating with the seasons is not something I have to try too hard to do. I start craving vegetable soups and broths, warm casseroles and root vegetables as well as seasonal fruits like figs, pears and apples. These fruits and vegetables give me exactly what I need at this time of year. Interestingly, I realise it even more having lived in Singapore for over 3 years where there really was only 1 season all year – hot, humid and 32oc every day of the year – compared with how my body changes being back in four seasons.

Helpful foods during Autumn to help reduce dryness and increase immune:
Apples, beetroot, berries, celery, leek,
pears, permissions, seaweed, sweet potato, pumpkin, parsnips, zucchini, shitakke mushrooms, carrots, figs, grapes, limes, ginger, grapefruit, cabbage, bok choy, green beans, beans – particularly lima beans, adzuki beans, grains – particularly millet and oats, fresh nuts – almonds and pine nuts, soups and broths, teas – chamomile and green, yoghurt, eggs, soy products – particularly tofu, soy milk and miso.

Lifestyle factors to help you in Autumn:

  • Keep warm at all times – especially your feet and lower back/kidneys.
  • Cook foods at lower temperatures for longer times i.e. casseroles and soups that use more water.
  • Reduce any stress in your life.
  • Make a plan for a holiday later in the year, budget plan or an eating plan – this will help you focus and keep you motivated.
  • Add low impact exercise into your daily routine, walks, yoga, stretching.
  • Get at minimum of 7 hours sleep a night.

Not eating seasonally has only become an option in the past 60 years or so with all of the conveniences of our modern world.  What is unhealthy about the modern diet is that particular foods are now available all year long and may be chemically treated instead of being grown naturally.

Eating Seasonally Benefits:

  • Easy on the Bank Balance – When produce is in season locally, the abundance of the crop usually makes it less expensive.
  • Taste Counts – For most of us, the taste of the food we buy is every bit as important as the cost. When food is not in season locally, it’s either grown in a hothouse or shipped in from other parts of the world, and both affect the taste. Compare a dark red, vine-ripened tomato still warm from the summer sun with a winter hothouse tomato that’s barely red, soft and mealy, and lacking in flavor.
  • Variety All Year Long – Autumn also brings a change in the fresh produce that’s available at farmers markets and your local green grocer, giving us the chance to change up our diets. To find out what’s harvested seasonally in your area, go to http://seasonalfoodguide.com/australia-general-seasonal-fresh-produce-guide-fruits-vegetables-in-season-availability.html.
  • Hold on to the Nutrients, Flavour, and Help the Environment – If you harvest something early so that it can endure a long distance shipping experience, it’s not going to have the full amount of nutrients it might have had. If possible, grow it and pick it yourself – you’ll know exactly what went into growing those vegetables and you can enjoy them at their peak the day they are harvested. If gardening isn’t your thing, visit a local farmer’s market.

So find out what’s in season right now and dig in. You will reap the rewards of quality produce, packed with nutrition, at a lower cost. And your taste buds will definitely thank you for it! To view Australia’s seasonal produce guide visit: http://seasonalfoodguide.com/australia-general-seasonal-fresh-produce-guide-fruits-vegetables-in-season-availability.html

To view Sydney’s list of fresh produce markets go to: http://www.localmarketguide.com.au/directory/fresh-produce

The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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