7 Reasons to eat fresh and local for a healthy diet

We all want to “eat better”. But what does a healthy diet mean to you? Perhaps it’s a way to support your goal of getting in shape or losing weight. Maybe you want to support local businesses, or set a great example for your kids.

You may have guessed that local, in-season food is healthier. But do you know why? This is why I recommend you eat local when you can (some of these reasons may surprise you!)

The truth is, using fresh, in-season foods from local growers is one of the best ways to tick a ton of boxes: dietary, financial, ecological and even emotional! Stick with me and I’ll explain all. 

The human body vs modern environments

Our environments have changed far more quickly than our bodies have. The human body has the same basic needs as it did thousands of years ago. But of course our environment – both global and local – has changed dramatically. Eating local and in-season supports the human body in a way it will understand and appreciate!

Think about it – our bodies have different dietary needs at different times of the year, to coincide with seasons and sunlight and changes in temperature. Scientists have long known that people from different geographical backgrounds are better at digesting the foods native to their ancestors’ countries. (1) Whilst it’s impractical to dig into your family tree to research how to feed your ancestral gut microbiome (!), there’s plenty we can all do to nurture our bodies with local food.

The nutrition benefits of in-season food

Fresh, local, in-season food includes vegetables, root vegetables, fruits, berries, bread, fish, and meat. For the purposes of this blog, I’ll talk about fruits and vegetables since we all need to eat more of those!

Most fruits and vegetables are flown immense distances (check the packaging and prepare to be shocked!) This is not only bad for the environment but it’s bad for your body too. This long-distance produce is sprayed with pesticides, chemicals, and waxes to keep it “fresh”. Yummy… how appealing.

The journey time means there’s also a huge delay between picking and arriving in your home – every item needs to be picked, packed, shipped, stored, displayed in the supermarket and finally bought by you. That’s hardly fresh, is it?

Compare this to local, in-season fruit and veg which can be in your home within a day of being picked. The micronutrients will be fresh, the taste will be superb, and it won’t have been sprayed with wax!

More reasons to eat local and in-season

(1)    Local food is fresher, tastes better, and has more vitamins and minerals (less time between being picked and being eaten!)

(2)    Eating in-season foods supports your body with specific micronutrients it needs at different times of year

(3)    Buying from local growers helps you discover different varieties of foods rather than sticking to the same thing

(4)    Buying local supports local businesses – these are people in your community!

(5)    Buying from the grower or from a farm shop or farmers market means you have more of an emotional connection with the food…

(6)    …which leads to more mindful eating and less food waste

I’m a big fan of eating local, in-season food wherever possible. If you’d like my help in making this switch in your own family, get in touch.

Coach Joseph Webb.

‘The number one rated Personal Trainer In Henley and Oxfordshire’

References used in todays blog:

1)  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4791684/

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