5 Reasons You Should Opt for a Holistic Approach to Seasonal Eating

Nothing tastes better than eating seasonal foods at their peak freshness. Yet, there’s more than flavour behind why this growing food trend is gaining traction – it can be a more sustainable choice. However, it’s important for your health to take a holistic approach to seasonal eating – here’s what you should know:                                                                                                                    

10 Reasons to Eat Seasonally for Better Health & Nutrition

  1. Better Taste
  2. More Antioxidants
  3. Richer Flavours
  4. Higher Amounts of Vitamins
  5. Greater Phytonutrients
  6. More Sustainable
  7. Lower Carbon Footprint
  8. Affordable
  9. Supports Local
  10. Inspires Change

What Does it Mean to Eat Seasonally?

Seasonal eating is a phrase used to refer to consuming foods when they are at their peak freshness. You’ve probably done this: a crisp apple in autumn, or a juicy berry in the summer. The flavour is incredible! However, up here in the Great White North, winter covers farm fields in snow, making it hard to eat seasonally. The answer: for optimal health try a holistic approach to seasonal eating.

Why Eating Seasonally Is Important

Eating seasonally is more delicious.

When in season, fruits and vegetables are delicious. A ripe, juicy peach from the local farm or vine-ripened tomatoes are arguably the most delectable mouthfuls of the summer. Crisp apples off the tree in the fall are packed with flavour. Lettuce not forget the sweet crunch of cucumbers or the buttery flavour of squash when eaten in season. Out-of-season produce often needs to be harvested early to ensure its suitable for long-distance transportation. The result is less flavour and nutrient loss.

Eating seasonally is more nutritious.

Fruits and vegetables lose nutrients from field to table – the longer that process takes, the fewer nutrients are available. In a study, researchers found the amount of nutrients in fresh fruits and vegetables drop the longer they are stored. In fact, that spinach in your fridge has lost half of its folate content in about a week, according to Penn State researchers. The shorter the time from harvest to consumption the more nutrients you’re getting per bite. Eating seasonally grown fruits and vegetables is a nutritious choice.

Eating seasonally is more sustainable.

Plus, it’s a sustainable diet – the smaller the distance between your plate and the field your food was grown reduces the energy required to ship your meal. The lower carbon footprint of eating a local fruit or vegetable that is in season can add up.

5 Reasons Why You Should Opt for a Holistic Approach to Seasonal Eating

  1. Delicious, seasonal eating makes eating fruits and vegetables more enjoyable.
  2. It’s inspiring too! As seasons change the market fresh produce shifts inspiring new flavour combos.
  3. An excellent way to feed cravings. Seasons cause natural shifts in cravings that tend to align with what’s available. Juicy fruits come into peak freshness as summer temperatures rise and you seek refreshing bites. Starchy, filling squashes and tubers are in season as cooler autumn temperatures lead to cozy, hearty cravings.
  4. Most important, adopt a holistic approach to seasonal eating. It should not be an all-or-nothing diet. That style of eating is restrictive which can lead to frustration, deficiencies, and uncontrollable cravings for unhealthy foods.
  5. Holistic nutrition is more than your mind and body – take into consideration your community and planet too! What researchers call Mindful Consumption, you can adopt a mindset of caring for yourself, your community, and nature by choosing to avoid excessive consumption that is greedy, repetitive, or materialistic. For example, while buying bulk fruits and vegetables may reduce packaging, if it’s too much food it results in food waste, thus your planet-saving intentions were ineffective.

How to Enjoy More Seasonal Produce

Grow your own food in a pot on your patio or in a raised bed in your yard during the summer.  In winter, you can nurture small herb plants near a window. Visit your local farmer’s market from spring thru autumn to find fresh, local, in-season produce. Feeling adventurous? Learn about foraging for edible plants – be sure to do this carefully and safely.

Your Guide to Year-Round Seasonal Eating in Canada

Here are some delicious, nutritious, seasonal eats you can enjoy all year-round in Canada.

Best Foods to Eat in the Fall

Apples, pears, squashes, and potatoes are in season in the fall. You may enjoy trying these delicious recipes:

Best Foods to Eat in the Winter

When seasonal eating is limited frozen produce becomes a nutritious choice. Studies show frozen fruits and vegetables (particularly broccoli) are as nutritious as fresh – in some cases, more nutritious. In fact, research has shown that frozen produce can even be more nutritious than its 5-day fresh-stored counterparts.

  • Frozen broccoli
  • Root vegetables
  • Onions
  • Potatoes

Best Foods to Eat in the Spring

As the plants start to grow, some

  • Rhubarb
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach
  • Chives
  • Fiddleheads
  • Garlic scapes

Best Foods to Eat in the Summer

One of the best seasons in Canada, summer is one of the best times of year to enjoy eating seasonally. Read more in our blog on Best Foods to Eat this Summer.

  • Blueberries
  • Leafy greens
  • Herbs
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Melons

Start Today!

Eating seasonally is a more nutritious and delicious way to enjoy healthy foods, all while lowering your carbon footprint. Learn more about easy ways to incorporate holistic approaches to healthy living into your day through programs offered at CSNN Distance Education.



Selected nutrient analyses of fresh, fresh-stored and frozen fruits and vegetables. J Food Comp Analy 2017 June; 59:8-17

Vitamin retention in eight fruits and vegetables: a comparison of refrigerated and frozen storage. J Agric Food Chem 2015 Jan 28; 63(3):957-62.

Effect of eating seasonal on the carbon footprint of Swedish vegetable consumption. J Cleaner Prod 2013 Nov 15; 59:63-72.

Mindful consumption: a customer-centric approach to sustainability. J Acad Market Sci 2011 Aug 17; 39: 21-39.

Contributed by Allison Tannis

Known for her deliciously geeky words, Allison’s articles and books are read around the world by those curious about where to find the most delicious (and nutritious) places to stick their forks. More at allisontannis.com. Follow @deliciouslygeeky.