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Eating with the Seasons

It's been a long winter of root veggies, squash, cabbage and all the pickled & fermented things! Coming out of winter, my body is ready for the offerings of the spring.

It's feels like such a gift to eat with the seasons. It's thrilling to have that first bite of fresh greens in the spring, the sweetly ripened cherry tomato and the coolness of that first cucumber when its been hearty stews all winter long! Coming out of the winter - my body is certainly ready for the offerings of spring.

And hey there might be something to it!

Just like our bodies have a circadian rhythm, we also have a circannual rhythm. We've drifted so far from it though with everything being at our finger tips 24/7, 365 days a year!

Seasons indeed bring cyclical changes to our metabolism. The body sets the time of its cellular clocks using signals such as light. With the days shorter and colder in the winter, our bodies shift into a metabolic state that is better able to accommodate heavier foods such as root veggies and starches - think hearty, warm, and comforting. Spring comes along and it's time for a detox with those leafy greens, spinach, radishes and asparagus. Summer time equals fresh and light. Days are long, energy is high with the sun, it's hot. And in come the hydrating offerings of the summer - melons, cucumbers, fresh fruit and tomatoes! And right back to autumn finishing off the season with a bountiful harvest to store for the winter.

Seasonal food holds the most nutrients for our bodies to thrive. Seasonally fresh produce is picked when it is fully developed at the peak of the season. With optimal growing conditions and more sun exposure come higher levels of nutrients such as Vitamin C, folate, and beta-Carotene. Fruits and vegetables lose nutrients from field to table – the longer that process takes, the fewer nutrients are available. Consider that out-of-season produce is forced to unnatural ripeness with gases and chemicals, skips nutrient-building seasonality, and spends much time in transit before it reaches the supermarkets greatly reducing nutrient density.

When you expand the variety of foods you eat and rotate them seasonally, your gut microbiome benefits from a more varied, dynamic population of health. Happy gut equals a more resilient body and immune system - lower risk of allergies, less inflammation and a wider range of nutrients.

With eating seasonally comes as well the richness of community connections. It all circles back to the local food movement and connecting with all your local farmers for a more resilient community.

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