Eat the seasons: Nourishing your body with seasonal foods

At Eden Health Retreat we love to nurture our guests through well-balanced, nourishing, seasonal dishes. In this week’s blog, we speak to our Culinary Director, Ash Martin, to find out why he’s so passionate about using certain foods at certain times of the year and why he encourages everyone to ‘eat the seasons’. 

The benefits of eating seasonal fruits and vegetables

Nutritional benefits

“Seasonal foods are an important part of all-year health,” says Ash. “The secret to eating seasonally is to shop locally. By shopping locally at farmer’s markets or produce stores, you’re guaranteed the freshest and tastiest ingredients and the provenance of your fruit and vegetables.”

Embracing seasonal eating isn’t just about enjoying the flavours of the produce grown during those months, it’s also about honouring the rhythm of nature and supporting our health and well-being. 

“Fruit and vegetables, when eaten seasonally and purchased locally, are at their peak in terms of flavour and nutritional value,” says Ash. When fruits and vegetables are harvested at the right time, they retain more nutrients, offering a higher concentration of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Environmental benefits

By choosing seasonal foods in Australia, we reduce the need for long-distance transportation and excessive greenhouse gas emissions associated with importing out-of-season foods. Eating locally and seasonally supports sustainable agriculture practices, reduces food miles, and helps preserve the environment.

Connection to nature

Eating seasonal foods also fosters a deeper connection to the natural world. It allows us to appreciate the changing seasons and reconnect with the rhythms of the earth. By aligning our diets with the seasons, we can cultivate a sense of harmony and balance within ourselves and with the world around us.

How to eat seasonally this Winter

In winter, our bodies crave warmth and nourishment to combat the cold weather and boost our immune systems. Nature – and local farmers – provide an abundance of seasonal fruit and vegetables perfectly suited to meet these needs. Here are some winter staples to include in your diet.

Root Vegetables

  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Parsnips
  • Sweet potatoes 

These are all hearty root vegetables that thrive in the winter months. These vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibre, provide essential nutrients and help support digestion and immune function. During winter, when we are more susceptible to colds and cases of flu, it’s important to support and boost immunity by eating seasonal fruit and vegetables.

Cruciferous Vegetables

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Kale 

These are all members of the cruciferous family, known for their high levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients. These winter greens are excellent for supporting detoxification and boosting the body’s defences against illness. 

“I particularly like using some of these ingredients, such as cabbage, in recipes that call for fermentation. This has many benefits for the gut, a must for good health,” says Ash. 

Citrus Fruits

  • Oranges
  • Grapefruits
  • Lemons
  • Limes 

These fruits are in season during the winter months in Australia and are packed with vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that supports immune function and helps ward off colds and flu.

Winter Squash

  • Butternut squash
  • Acorn squash
  • Pumpkin 

These are nutritious and versatile winter squashes that can be roasted, mashed, or pureed into soups and stews. They’re rich in vitamins A and C, as well as fibre. 

If you want a healthy food retreat at home or would like to incorporate more seasonal fruit and vegetables into your weekly meal plan, our Beetroot and Cabbage Sauerkraut Recipe by our Culinary Director, Ash Martin is a good place to start your healthier, seasonal, fruit and vegetable way of eating.