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Eat the Best Foods of the Season: Tips for Local, Nutritious, Seasonal Eating

Eat local, Eat fresh, Eat in season, Eat colourful. There are so many guidelines for green, healthful, sustainable eating, it’s easy to get confused or overwhelmed.

But there’s no reason to sweat it. After all, no one’s perfect. Besides, the last thing you need to do during. The holiday season is find another thing to get stressed out about. So try to keep your grocery-shopping and cooking as simple as possible. One good recommendation is to stick with “real” foods as much as possible. Avoiding foods in boxes, bags, or “convenient go containers”.  That means lots of fruits, nuts, vegetables and whole grains.

Seasonal Eating

Seasonal Eating

Seasonal Eating

Of course, it also helps to know what’s in season in your area. During December, what’s in season in Vancouver, B.C., will obviously be different from what’s in season in Ocala, Florida. Common sense will tell you, for example, that those avocados in the produce section didn’t come from Vancouver Island. Still, wherever you live. You might be surprised by the wide variety of fruits and vegetables. That are in season at the end of the year.

 Variety of Vegetables

Variety of Vegetables

Vegetables in season in December include artichokes, avocados, beans, beets, bell peppers, bok choy, broccoli, broccoli rabe, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, chili peppers, collards, endive, fennel, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, potatoes, radicchio, radishes, rutabaga, scallions, spinach, winter squash, sunchokes, sweet potatoes and turnips.

Among the end of the year seasonal fruits and nuts are chestnuts, dates, grapefruit, grapes, guavas, kiwi fruit, kumquats, lemons, limes, mandarins, oranges, pears, persimmons, pomegranates, pomeloes, tangerines and walnuts.

Seasonal Fruits

Seasonal Fruits

Once you’ve identified the produce most likely to have come from your region. Choose the fruits and vegetables that pack the most nutritional punch. If it’s vitamin C you’re looking for, stock up on bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, grapefruit, guavas, kale, kiwi fruit, lemons, oranges or peppers. Want more iron? Choose broccoli rabe, chard, grapes, lemons, rhubarb or spinach. And if it’s folates you’re needing, fill your basket with avocados, bok choy, collards, guavas, kiwi fruit, lemons, oranges and spinach.

Overall Nutritional Value

Overall Nutritional Value

Overall Nutritional Value

For overall nutritional value, these fruits, vegetables and nuts come out on top: beets, broccoli, broccoli rabe, butternut squash, carrots, collards, grapefruit, guavas, kale, oranges, persimmons, pumpkin, rhubarb, spinach, sweet potatoes, tangerines and walnuts. And notice how, in most cases, it’s pretty easy to guess which foods are healthiest: bright oranges, reds and greens give away most of these “superfoods.”

By following the above recommendations. You can help make sure your winter grocery-shopping is not only as healthful as possible, but as environmentally friendly as well.

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