Eating for the seasons – written by written by Dr Nat Kringoudis, expert in Traditional Chinese Medicine;
As much as modern living has brought its fair share of bonuses, there are some things in life that have gone by the wayside. It has been these very things that helped shape our wellness, ongoing. Things like fermented and probiotic foods, medicinal tea’s (although we’ve got that much covered for you) and intuitive eating. It’s all something our ancestors practiced, yet modern living has got itself in the way.
With this in mind, it’s so very important to be constantly reminding ourselves that we are products of our environment – from the desk you sit at when you are at work, right through to the foods you eat in line with your surroundings. It’s impossible to be exempt from what’s around us; in fact it absolutely shapes our lives.
In days gone by, we ate food that was in season because we had no choice – we ate what grew locally. Fridges didn’t exist and preservatives were those naturally produced in fermented and pickled foods. But make no mistake about it; this wasn’t just a coincidence. You see, Mother Nature generally has our back. This was also because seasonally, food that is necessary at certain phases of the year is naturally provided to us.
Foods that make their way onto the table during summer, suit our bodies nutritional requirements at that time. Generally the sun is high, powerful and our bodies are drenched with Vitamin D. This makes us less hungry, so generally lighter foods satisfy us. We can happily include some raw foods into the diet during the warmer months (when there is good gut health – let it be known if your gut is compromised, cold and raw foods are super difficult to digest at any phase of the year) because our metabolism is higher too. This is all part of our bodies perfect ability to know what it needs and when. During winter, we find the opposite. There’s a shift through autumn where vibrant fruits have been and gone and we move more toward foods that grow near or in the ground. These vegetables are typically a little heavier and are cooked well before eaten – think pumpkin, root vegetables and alike. Our bodies crave these heavier foods during the winter months as it does its best to keep warm and thrive, not to mention nutritionally they tick boxes too.
This isn’t only limited to the seasons, however it extends to your environment in general. If we are fortunate enough to live in a tropical climate, the foods available to you are going to differ from that of Eskimos. Typically most of us don’t get excited by eating blubber, however if it is a part of your normal day (and a way to nutritionally meet requirements) then of course, you do what your body asks of you.
It’s so very important we consciously think about our food choices next time we are at the supermarket or grocer. Foods now days are readily available, no matter where you are. Glasshouses allow us to eat foods that may not be in season and importing foods is now a common practice.
So next time you are faced with a choice, think about what nature innately provides to be guided to what’s best for you. You’ll no doubt be surprised that by simply listening and fitting in with what your environment provides, just how much your body will love you for it!