In the food industry, we love the term Superfood and want to put it in our marketing messages. Well, what exactly is Superfood and is it real, or simply a scam? I touched upon these topics in my previous blog article Superfood or Scam. One of the reasons we came up with this term is because the modern food doesn’t have the quality it used to. Many of the fruits and vegetables we eat are mass-produced and they are likely missing nutrients due to depletion of natural minerals in the soil and water, being harvested too quickly, and many can have unwanted pesticides and other chemical residues.
Another reason food is not what it used to be is related to WHEN we choose to eat it. It might seem kind of obvious, but a supermarket is not a vegetable garden. With a vegetable garden, things are there at certain times of the year. It would be strange to find apples in spring, turnips in summer, sweetcorn in autumn or watermelon in winter. A supermarket is different. In a supermarket, it’s strange for something to not be available. And that’s convenient, but it’s not natural. And it has created a gap in our nutrient system as our bodies are in tune with our surroundings, and Mother Nature knows what is best for us.
In the modern world dominated by technologies, it is nice to know that our instincts still play a part. In the heat of summer, we want light and watery foods to cool us down like watermelon and cold salad. In the winter, we like to curl up and hibernate with something heavier, like a lamb stew and hot coco.
Fruit and vegetables that are picked in the right season have higher nutrient content, and more of the nutrients we need at different times of the year.
Spring is a time when everything is blooming and flowering. And that means pollen and allergies. Luckily nature has an answer. The leafy green plants that come into season in the spring also relieve inflammation which plays a big role in allergies.
In summer, fruits like peaches and watermelon are refreshing and easy to eat, with high levels of water and antioxidants. Blueberries are rich in powerful antioxidants that fight off free radicals that can damage skin due to sun exposure and stress. Watermelons and tomatoes contain lycopene, which absorbs both UVA and UVB radiation. Leafy greens such as spinach are high in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. These can protect against wrinkling, sun damage, and even skin cancer.
Autumn brings changes too. For example, a study that demonstrated the broccoli in autumn has two times the vitamin C content of broccoli harvested in the springtime. And going into winter, vitamin C is important to our immune system. Autumn also brings apples and pears, filled with fiber and pectin to help us digest those bulkier foods we’re eating for warmth.
Whether you follow the science or your gut instinct, as the season’s change, so should what you eat. Otherwise, you are at risk of having of nutritional gap. Nature provides us with what we need to eat in each season. If we do this, it gives our bodies what we need, when we need it most.
And what’s good for you is good for the environment too. Locally grown seasonal foods are better sources of vitamins and minerals than food grown out of season or grown elsewhere and shipped hundreds or thousands of miles to our grocery stores.
So the next time you’re walking down the supermarket aisle, think about the season. Your health will thank you. There are lots of guides around. A good place to start is this US Department of Agriculture guide to seasonal eating, the SNAP-Ed database.
In the modern age, like any form of healthy eating seasonal eating isn’t always easy. I believe the value of Superfood then comes in as a way to bridge the nutrient gap throughout the year.
At Karuna, we use natural superfoods to create nourishing drinks are always the best source for prebiotic fibers, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that are lacking in our daily diet. Karuna Whole Plant Wellness Drinks and Karviva ACE Sport Juices are convenient and safe way to keep up your daily nutrient intake.