With most of us becoming increasingly aware of our carbon footprint, eating the fruit and vegetables that are in season is common practice for a lot of households these days. Companies such as Odd Box and Farm Drop have made it effortless with their weekly deliveries of locally sourced produce that supermarkets have rejected due to their peculiar shapes and sizes.
There are other benefits to eating seasonally too. Speak to almost any nutritionist and dietitian about how to eat a healthy, balanced diet and they’ll recommend you shop seasonally as the food is deemed to be more nutrient rich.
It is also a fundamental pillar of Chinese medicine, as founder of Hayo’u explains: “Chinese wisdom has suggested ways to adjust what we do every season to stay in balance with nature. The amount we sleep, the food we eat and the life choices we make can be gently adjusted to bring us into line with the natural cycle.”
So, what should we be eating?
Root vegetables are very much in season. Think carrots, beetroots and artichokes. “Bone stews, warming casseroles, fresh ginger, turmeric and miso soup paste are all good things to indulge in,” says Brindle.
It’s definitely time to lay-off the salads as it’s thought that eating too much cold, raw food during the winter can play havoc with your digestion. However, warming, hearty soups and stews packed full of grains, cabbage and root vegetables alongside a cup of ginger tea – cue Triple Leaf Tea’s Ginger Tea – can do wonders for you.
Brindle goes as far as to recommend going no colder than room temperature. “I only eat warm food and definitely no ice in my drinks to avoid unnecessary work for my digestion,” says Brindle. “In Chinese medicine, the stomach is described as a bubbling cauldron, full of digestive fires that are put out by the cold. Any raw food sits undigested in your stomach.”
Will eating seasonally fend off colds and lurgies?
As we mentioned, seasonal produce is thought to be more nutrient dense, however you need to eat a lot of vegetables to ensure you’re maintaining the daily amounts to keep your body at optimum health. Hence why Alive Once Daily Multivitamin by Natures Way are one of the most common supplements Shabir recommends to readers.
If you are prone to catching colds throughout autumn and winter it might be worth introducing Daily Immunity by VH into your routine. With the help of probiotics, zinc, vitamin D and C and astragalus, this daily supplement helps to support your immune system. It’s one of those supplements that you don’t realise is working until you stop taking it and start to feel the glands in your throat.
To learn more about Chinese medicine and eating seasonally, check out Katie Brindle’s book, Yang Sheng: The Art Of Chinese Self Healing.