SEASONAL EATING FOR BETTER SKIN
WE OFTEN TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE FOOD HAS WHEN IT COMES TO OUR SKIN, AND OVERALL HEALTH. IN THIS ARTICLE WE DISCUSS EXTENSIVELY THE REASONS WHY EATING SEASONAL FRUITS AND VEGETABLES IS CRUCIAL FOR OPTIMAL HEALTH, AND ALSO FOR A MORE SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE.
Do you ever think about how difficult it must be to grow berries in the winter? Or pumpkin in the peak of Summer? Under natural circumstances, fruits and vegetables have specific times in the year where they bloom and are ready for harvest. One of the biggest blessings that we have is that we don’t have to wait for the right month to buy bananas! If I feel like getting one right now, there are easily five grocery stores within a 2 mile radius abundant with them.
So how do we have easy access to all the varieties of out of season produce? The answer is simple: fertilizer and genetic modification! Mega farming is one of the leading problems causing deteriorating environmental health. Overfarming of the soil depletes the nutritional value in produce, which in turn decreases the amount of high quality nutrients plants can absorb for your body. Roughly 54% of our fruits and 36% of our vegetables contain pesticides – which actively contain carcinogenic chemicals – according to the USFDA. In fact, Apples can be sprayed with over 30 different chemicals in their lifetime. Growing out of season, genetic engineering is used to grow larger, hardier, and better-looking produce, regardless of nutritional content. Additionally, produce is forced to unnatural ripeness, skipping nutrient-building seasonality.
ON A SUSTAINABILITY FRONT
Seasonal eating promotes support for local farms that protect land and encourage sustainable agriculture. Research has shown that sustainable agriculture may increase food production by 79 percent, while reducing the effects mass agricultural farming practices on the climate. Buying from local farms ensures that produce is naturally ripened and nutrient-dense, without the addition of packaging and excessive processing. Ecologists consider seasons a source of natural diversity, as the changes endured by changing seasons are critical in balancing Earth’s resources for life that inhabits it.
SEASONAL EATING AND SKIN
With the greater abundance in nutrients found in produce seasonally, antioxidants are found in higher concentrations in these produce. Antioxidant rich foods are greatly impactful to skin health. Vitamins A,B, C,D, and E are essential antioxidants to immune health and enforcement. The immune system is not only found internally, but on the barrier of your skin as the outermost defense system. Nourishing your skin and body with antioxidant rich foods and skincare are essential to fortifying the skin barrier, especially in times of seasonal changes making your body more vulnerable to illnesses.
Red and pink produce contain natural pigment and carotenoid called Lycopene, which has been shown to protect against IV induced skin irritation. Lycopene assists the body in eliminating free-radicals. Beta-carotene, a carotenoid found in orange and red produce, is linked to reducing the intensity of sunburns. Similarly, citrus fruits that are loaded in flavonoids have been shown to improve the skin’s ability to protect against UV rays.
WHAT FOODS TO LOOK FOR IN THE FALL:
Ideal produce to consume or harvest during the fall season include fruits and vegetables that are good for storage.
Examples include hard-skinned winter squashes, root vegetables, onions, and potatoes.
WHAT FOODS TO LOOK FOR IN THE WINTER:
December through March, citrus fruits are essentially to replenish decreased levels of vitamin D, compensating for the lack of sun exposure. Certain plants require frost to develop special flavors., like parsnips.
Examples include pomegranates, lemons, blood oranges, beets, parsnips, squashes.
WHAT FOODS TO LOOK FOR IN THE SPRING:
These are cool-season crops and start to germinate in colder soil and are able to tolerate cold temperature.
Examples include asparagus, spinach, radishes, rhubarb, scallions and chives, fiddlehead ferns, ramps (sometimes called wild leeks or spring onions), and garlic scapes.
WHAT FOODS TO LOOK FOR IN THE SUMMER:
These are warm-season crops that thrive in hot conditions and are sensitive to cold and frost.
Examples include melons, cucumber, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, stone fruit, summer squash, and herbs.