In recent decades we have seen scientific research and other data show that healthy eating habits have numerous medical benefits, such as longer life expectancy, decreased rate of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardio-vascular diseases and more. While some people find it hard to cook healthy meals for their families, it must be remembered that our eating habits are important factors that ultimately affect our health and help maintain vital body functions and stimulate multiple processes. Our body is a complex mechanism that needs special ‘power supply’ and ‘fuel’ to regulate all the organs and systems that are part of it. Eating healthy food is an effective and harmonious strategy that supports normal functions of our body, ensures health and prevents many diseases. Buying fresh produce and consuming it within the next couple of days is an ideal situation, but many people live in northern climates, where there is little produce during the winter, or they don’t know which vegetables are in season and buy the same things over again. Understanding such issues as how we can benefit from the micronutrients, vitamins and minerals, contained in fruits and vegetables all year round will help us in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
From the moment that vegetables are collected, they gradually lose their nutritional value, meaning that the longer they are sorted, transported and lay at the grocery store, the less likely it is to be filled with essential vitamins, minerals and micronutrients that we are looking for. The best solution is to buy fresh produce. Many cities have weekly farmers markets, where local farmers sell their organic produce, be it fruits and vegetables, milk, cheese, eggs or even pickles. When you know when your purchase was collected and where it came from, it ensures that your body received the best quality of produce there is. Surely it is more expensive than that available at a big name chain supermarket, but you get top quality products that you will benefit from.
Learn about seasonal products
It is no secret, that during various seasons, there are certain vegetables and fruits that are harvested at that particular time. Finding out what is fresh this season is a great way of creating weekly meal plans. If you know that now pumpkin is in season, you will be sure that the squash and pumpkins you buy are fresh. There are various ways to prepare fresh produce, be it as a main meal, appetizer, dessert or side dish- as long as you know it’s fresh, take the opportunity to create tasty, healthy meals for you and your family.
Grow your own
A great way of having fresh, organic vegetables all year round is to grow them yourself! While many people may have gardens, this is not necessary, as the requirements for growing produce indoors is time, space, proper light and information. You can grow things like onions, leeks, fennel, sweet potato, celery, lettuce, cabbage, potatoes, garlic, mushrooms and even pineapples. In order to grow, these will need plenty of light, which can be provided with specialized LED lights that come in various shapes and sizes, more information can be found on this website.
A lot of fresh fruits and vegetables can be bought in grocery stores in the winter, but they are more expensive and they don’t taste the same as they do in the summer and early autumn, when they are harvested. One of the ways to have delicious fruits in winter is freezing them. If the temperatures are not fluctuating, vegetables, fruits, mushrooms and berries can be kept in the freezer for a long time. Unlike canned foods, they won’t contain salt or preservatives, and you will rest assured that you have produce that is rich in vitamins and minerals all year round.