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With the gorgeous summer weather upon us, now is a good time to take advantage of delicious seasonal fruits and veggies. With our modern global food supply chain, it is easy to forget about seasonal and local eating but there are many health benefits to eating this way. Produce that is local and has travelled less distance from the farm to our plate will naturally retain more of its nutritional value along with its freshness and flavour. Harvesting fruits and vegetables in the appropriate season also plays a role in preserving nutritional content. For example, when spinach is harvested in the summer, it contains more vitamin C vs. when it is harvested in the winter months. Seasonal food is also more cost effective.
Eating a wide variety of seasonal veggies and fruits also provides a good source of fibre in our diets. Fibre is often called nature’s broom because it can help to sweep away toxins along with potential cancer-causing substances from our digestive tract, out into our stool. Fibre can also help keep you full, which is an important factor when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight and it is linked to lower levels of cholesterol, blood sugar and inflammation. Eating plenty of fibre helps to support the diversity of our gut bacteria which plays an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system, another significant factor in improving outcomes in people with cancer.
Be sure to check out your local farmer’s market to see what is in season. You can also check online to see which veggies and fruits are in season here: https://www.ontario.ca/foodland/page/availability-guide. We encourage you to eat at least 3-4 servings of veggies and 2-3 servings of fruits from this list each day. Make sure to get a variety of these foods in your diet, as the greater the variety, the better the health effects.
Author: Dr. Sukriti Bhardwaj ND