Our resident Healthy Food Ambassador, Matt Golinski gave us his low-down on eating fresh, best and healthiest.
Eating fruit and vegetables that are in season means we’re enjoying them when they’re at their best for quality, nutrition and flavour—and it’s no coincidence it’s also when our bodies need those nutrients the most.
Citrus is a good example, abundant during winter (aka cold and flu season) and when we need a boost to our immunity. Its high vitamin C content may contribute to good immune function.
By eating seasonally we can’t help but increase our vegetable and fruit consumption, which means we experience a more diverse diet, have a greater chance of eating a rainbow (think veggies and fruit in all the colours)—and we’re getting more fibre in our diet, which has a whole host of health benefits.
Matt’s five tips to eat with the seasons:
1. Firstly, check the price. Generally fruit and vegetables that are in season are cheaper because there’s plenty of them in the market at the same time so the price drops and you get to save money at the checkout.
2. Visit your local farmer’s market. The best way to see what’s in season in your local area is to go and meet the people who grow it in person. By buying direct from a producer who most likely picked what you’re buying just the day before, you’ll also get a much better shelf life from your vegetables and fruit.
3. Get familiar with seasonalfoodguide.com. It pays to learn what vegetables and fruit are at their best in your region. Remember this is a guide for all of Australia, and it’s a big country. So, when something is in season in Queensland it probably won’t be in Victoria. A good example of this is strawberries: the Victorian season begins just as the Queensland season ends.
4. Check the country of origin. Australian laws mean supermarkets must state where produce comes from, so as a guide if the cherries are from the USA, they’re probably not in season.
5. Lastly, use your eyes and your nose! When produce is at its best, it looks vibrant and alive, and often, in the case of things like mangoes, stone fruit, melons and citrus, you can smell them before you see them.
Image supplied by Matt Golinski of his own gardening efforts!