Do you eat healthy? (Hint…don’t answer, it’s a trick question!) From Atkins to Paleo, there’s so many different diets and food fads around that it’s become awfully confusing to decipher truth from trend and determine what indeed is ‘healthy’.
Sorry to disappoint, but unfortunately we don’t have all the answers either. We thought we would share a simple principle though which we think makes a whole lot of sense. Call it a fad or acknowledge it as fact…don’t you agree that it is logical to ‘eat seasonally’? This literally means eating what is actually in season at the time of eating it. I.e. eating what you could grow in your backyard right now.
If you think back to the old days (or imagine, in some of our cases), eating seasonally wasn’t a question. It wasn’t even a choice. In fact, it was just called ‘eating’. One would go to the shops, buy food, come home, cook a meal and voila – they were ‘eating seasonally’.
These days, the concept and act of eating has taken on a whole new reality. We literally have at our disposal any type of food from any time of year and any region of the world at any given moment! Our only concern before each meal is what we ‘feel’ like eating, rather than what our body actually needs in order to sustain itself at that point in time.
On a scientific level, new research is uncovering that microbes in the soil are in fact different in each season. Since our food ingests these microbes as they grow, they then become the microbes in our own gut. It’s these various microbes in our gut that actually correspond to what our bodies require to sustain themselves at different times of the year. In other words, they support our bodily functions by optimising digestion, mood, immunity, blood sugar, weight and sleep in order to combat specific seasonal extremes. For example, particular microbes found in our gut in winter time help us digest heavy grains that have been part of our diet in winter for millions of years.
The interesting thing is that if we listen carefully enough (and are attuned to it), we will come to realise that our bodies actually ‘know’ what they need when. In autumn and winter, we naturally crave soups, nuts, warm grains, and other high fat and protein foods such as meat and fish. Well guess what? The harvest available in winter is indeed high-protein and high-fat! How about spring? Naturally, we crave salads, berries, and leafy greens — all in all, a low-fat diet. Well, you guessed it – the harvest available in spring-time is low-fat and also helps to decongest the body. Then there is summer, when we crave cooling and high-energy foods (such as fruits and vegetables) in order to sustain the heat, which once again reflects the high-carb harvest that is available at that time of year.
So the moral of the story is, trust nature and eat seasonally! It seems to have it worked out pretty damn well…