This is another in my series titled: Stop Shopping at the Grocery Store.
This tip is to about eating with the seasons.
What does that mean? Eating with the Seasons?
It means essentially eating locally grown foods. Here’s why it matters:
In a nutshell: It’s how we were designed to eat.
Each area of our world is its own ecosystem where the plants and animals live in a complex symbiotic relationship. Plants native to an ecosystem are the ones that are able to thrive in that climate based on the sunlight, rainfall, temperatures and type of soil. The animals native to that ecosystem live in harmony with the climate and the plants.
For most of mankind’s existence, humans also lived in harmony with that ecosystem. They consumed only what they could find locally or within on day’s travel.
That all changed beginning around 1850 with the start of the Industrial Age. Food could be transported by trains and eventually by trucks and airplanes. No longer were we limited to the plants and animals native to our environment. We could have food from all around the world.
That sounds marvelous. But is it really a good thing?
Why Eat with the Seasons?
Your body is its own ecosystem, taking its cues from the local environment, including sunlight, temperature, environmental factors and what you’re eating and drinking.
Your pineal gland — a pea-sized gland deep inside your brain — takes in all of those cues and controls your body’s circadian rhythm. You may be familiar with circadian rhythm and its relation to sleep/wake cycles, but it’s responsible for much more including: endocrine function, hormone production, digestion and nutrition, cell regeneration and more. When you disrupt your circadian rhythm, it can lead to other chronic health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder.
The good news is that you can reset you body’s natural circadian rhythm by changing what you eat and by spending time outdoors in nature.
And that’s why eating with the seasons is important. Eating seasonally and locally grown food as often as possible will help your body be in harmony with your local environment. And when your body is balanced and in harmony, your energy levels increase as does your ability to heal.
But if you’re not in balance, your body may not heal or may heal more slowly. And that creates an environment internally that allows chronic health conditions to develop.
Imagine if you lived in a cold climate. You’re not likely to eat much ice cream because it would just make you colder. That sends the wrong message to your pineal gland. Eating tropical foods such as bananas, coconuts and pineapples during that cold climate also sends a message to the pineal gland that is in contradiction to your physical environment.
Likewise, you’re not likely to eat a hearty beef stew with winter root vegetables in it in the middle of a hot summer.
Does this mean you can never indulge in foods out of season? No. It’s not an absolute rule. Choose the foods that are seasonal and local most of the time. You can eat out of season occasionally. But it’s a good idea pay attention to how your body feels and reacts to those foods.
Best advice for Eating with the Seasons
Stop shopping at the grocery store. Find locally grown foods. I talked about this in my last post in this series Buy Fresh Local Produce under the heading: “Where to Find Fresh Local Produce.” Find your local farms and farmers. Not only will you better support your own health, but you’ll be helping local farmers and your local economy.