photos: local farmer’s market, eggplant and tomatoes: Blair Sneddon Photography
We already know that eating more fruits and veggies (especially those with loads of color) is great for the health of our skin. These foods are loaded with vitamins, minerals water, fiber and antioxidants. However, many times produce is picked before it ripens and transported long distances before reaching the grocery store, let alone your table. Some of the books and articles I’ve been sifting through the past few weeks highlight the reasons we would be better off eating local and seasonal foods. Simply put, they are more nutrient dense. A fruit (or veggie) is at it’s highest amount of nutrient density when fully ripe. Immediately after this, the enzymes in the fruit start a deterioration process which breaks down these nutrients. If this fruit is picked before it’s ripe, nutrients are lost. If the fruit is then artificially “ripened” while being transported long distances, the fruit loses even more nutrients. The shorter the amount of time between ripening and eating, the better. Foods that are in season, local, organic and whole will provide the best nutrition for the body and the skin. Every apple (for example) is not equal – although they may look identical – their nutritional values can be very different depending on these SLOW factors:
S – Seasonal: When foods are not in season, they are usually being shipped in from other parts of the world where they are in season. Seasonal foods are easier to find locally, and less expensive.
L – Local: Foods that are grown closer to your home are harvested closer to the date you actually eat them, meaning that their nutrients are higher.
O – Organic: Pesticides and artificial fertilizers mess with mother nature and can be harmful when ingested – even if the produce is washed!
W – Whole: Boxed orange juice is not the nutritional equivalent of an actual orange, neither is orange flavored soda (even if it is “organic”) Whenever possible, eat our produce in whole form (cooking is fine, just limit excess processing.)
Want to start eating SLOW? Here are some great ways to do it:
Look for organic produce that’s in season at your local stores
Shop in grocery stores that support local farms
Grow a backyard produce garden
Check out your local farmer’s markets
Get information on the co-ops in your area