Should We All Be Eating Seasonally?

SeasonalEating

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

Why Blueberries Are The Ultimate Super Fruit

Blueberries

Blueberries have been touted as a super fruit for years thanks to their antioxidant powers. Plenty of studies have cemented their position as the top fruit with research revealing that blueberries can help combat oxidative stress, which is known to exacerbate the natural ageing process and increase the risk of age-related diseases. Read More…

Five Nutritional Trends To Have On Your Radar

Nutritional Trends

Confused about celery juice? Tempted to try a new dairy alternative? Between the continuously changing health advice and the latest buzz ingredients we’re encouraged to adopt, the term ‘healthy eating’ can be tricky to balance. To make your life a little easier, health and beauty writer Danielle Fox has spoken to the experts and outlined the key nutritional trends to take note right now… Read More…

Why ‘Dieting’ Has Become A Dirty Word

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Over 80% of us might have attempted a diet at some point or another, but three quarters of us were too embarrassed to admit that we’re dieting to our friends. While there was a time when following the latest fad diet and surviving on nothing but cabbage soup for weeks on end was deemed entirely logical if you want to shift the extra pounds you put on in December, these days we’re cutting out food groups under the guise of ‘mindful eating’ or ‘clean eating’. The ‘D’ word has become a dirty term that no one wants to use. Read More…

New Year’s Habits

a lit red candle surrounded by darkness

Have you ever, ever kept a New Year’s resolution beyond – oh, about 3rd January? Maybe 1st February, if you’re really pushing it? That’s because New Year’s resolutions are often completely unrealistic goals. Going to drop three dress sizes. Going to walk five miles a day. Going to give up chocolate completely. (Were we MAD???)  Read More…

Why Changing When You Eat Could Boost Your Health

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With the festive party season about to start some of us might be tempted to enlist in a quick fix diet to burn off the extra calories we picked up on holiday. Cue the endless fad diets and mind-boggling eating habits. The most bizarre one we’ve heard of so far is a diet that consists of just beef, salt and water.

For years we’ve been focusing on what we eat (or what we shouldn’t eat), but new research suggests that we should be just as concerned about when we eat. According to the Salk Institute, eating in a ten hour section during the day can actually help you to lose weight because it works with your body’s circadian cycle.

“For many of us, the day begins with a cup of coffee first thing in the morning and ends with a bedtime snack 14 or 15 hours later,” Satchidananda Panda, a professor in Salk’s Regulatory Biology Laboratory and the senior author of the new paper told Science Daily. “But restricting food intake to 10 hours a day, and fasting the rest, can lead to better health, regardless of our biological clock.”

The study found that by working with our circadian cycle and eating when our digestion genes are most active. Impressively, the study found that eating within that time-frame also reduced the chances of obesity, high cholesterol and other diseases.

A similar study found that eating breakfast 90 minutes later than usual and having dinner 90 minutes earlier could also be beneficial to your health and help you lose weight. Over a 10 week period the study found that those who tweaked their eating times tended to have a reduced appetite and snack less throughout the day, compared to those who had unrestricted eating times.

“Although this study is small, it has provided us with invaluable insight into how slight alterations to our meal times can have benefits to our bodies,” Dr Jonathan Johnston, Reader in Chronobiology and Integrative Physiology at the University of Surrey, told Science Daily. “Reduction in body fat lessens our chances of developing obesity and related diseases, so is vital in improving our overall health.”

While restricting your intake of food to 10 hours might not be appealing to some, it’s certainly more feasible than living off beef, salt and water. Regardless of what diet you’re tempted to try, ensuring your body gets the recommended nutrients is essential for it to function properly. Shabir recommends that almost all of us take a good quality multivitamin, such as Alive Multivitamins. Deficiencies in iron and magnesium are fairly common in seemingly healthy adults, so it is also worth looking into these supplements. If you’re unsure of what to take, contact us and Shabir can advise you.