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Can we all agree that seasonal fruits and vegetables just taste better? There’s something uniquely appealing about cruising through a local farmers market and picking up in-season fruits and in-season vegetables to take home. But beyond taste, is it actually better to eat seasonal fruits and vegetables? Read on to find out why (and when) to buy your favorite in-season vegetables and fruits.

What Does Seasonal Mean?

These days, you can find nearly every type of fruit and vegetable stocked in the supermarket year-round. For this, we have modern logistics, greenhouses, and food storage to thank. Although produce may be available throughout the year, different crops still have a natural growing season.

Different plants thrive in different growing conditions. Some, like strawberries, rely on the heat of the sun to naturally sweeten. Others, like spinach, thrive in cold months that have chilly weather and shorter days. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables simply means following the natural growing cycle of plants.1,2

Why Eat Seasonal Fruits And Vegetables?

Before technology made it possible to eat almost anything at any time, certain foods were only available during certain seasons. Summer was typically the only season where you saw an influx of high sugar fruits, and so this is when they were consumed. This is the way our ancestors ate, and it may be beneficial to take a page from their book.3

seasonal fruits and vegetables | Gundry MDSyncing With The Seasons May Help Your Body Burn Fat

Spring and summer – the seasons that produce high calorie fruits – are typically times of higher activity for most people. In these seasons, your body may use more energy, and it may be appropriate to consume more calories.

Autumn and winter are typically times of reduced caloric output for most people. Consuming fewer sugary fruits during these seasons can help reduce your caloric intake. When you restrict calories, your body is able to burn stored fat. Your gut can switch from digesting glucose to digesting fat. This may also impact your gut’s microbial composition.4,5

Seasonal Fruits And Vegetables Are More Nutritious

Out of season produce is often harvested early and ripened later so that it can be shipped around the world. Once a fruit or vegetable is picked, it begins to lose some of its nutritional value. Crops that are picked too early may be less nutritious than seasonal fruits and vegetables.6,7

You Can Save Money

When a certain type of produce is in season, it’s abundant in farmers markets and local grocery stores. Naturally, this abundance drives down the price of in-season fruits and veggies. Seasonal produce also doesn’t have the price of storage and transport tacked on. If you’re on a budget, sticking to seasonal fruits and vegetables is a great way to save money.8

seasonal fruits and vegetables | Gundry MDYou Can Help The Environment By Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Approximately one-half of the fruit and one-third of the vegetables purchased in the United States are imported. Buying local, in-season vegetables and fruits saves the emissions caused by carting all of that produce around the world.9

Plus, Seasonal Produce Tastes Better

Have you ever noticed that arugula or blueberries from your garden taste far better than what you can get at the store? When produce is allowed to grow according to its own rhythm and ripen on its own timeline, it tastes delicious.

What Produce Is In Season? Your Guide To Seasonal Fruits And Vegetables

If you’re ready to start eating seasonally, you can use this seasonal food list as a guide to help you. Keep in mind that produce seasons vary from region-to-region. Use this list as a guide, but consult your local farmers market for a more thorough list specific to your location.

Seasonal Produce, Dr. Gundry Style

Naturally, the fruits and vegetables included below are lectin-free and Dr. Gundry-approved. If you follow a lectin free diet, you already know that many fruits and vegetables can do more harm than good for your body. Some vegetables, like nightshades, are high in lectins and should usually be avoided – even when in season. Fruits should be eaten in moderation and should only when in season.10

Spring

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Asparagus
  • seasonal fruits and vegetables | Gundry MDAvocados
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage (green and red)
  • Carrots (raw)
  • Celery
  • Collard Greens
  • Garlic
  • Green Bananas
  • Herbs
  • Kale
  • Kiwis
  • Lemons
  • Lettuce
  • Limes
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Swiss Chard
  • Turnips

Summer

seasonal fruits and vegetables | Gundry MD

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Beets
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Carrots (raw)
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Garlic
  • Green Bananas
  • Herbs
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Passion Fruit
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Fall

  • Apples
  • Beets (raw)
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage (green and red)
  • Carrots (raw)
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Collard Greens
  • Fennel
  • seasonal fruits and vegetables | Gundry MDGarlic
  • Ginger
  • Green Bananas
  • Herbs
  • Kale
  • Kiwifruit
  • Lemons
  • Lettuce
  • Limes
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Radishes
  • Raspberries
  • Rutabagas
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Potatoes & Yams
  • Swiss Chard
  • Turnips

Winter

  • Apple
  • Avocados
  • Beets (raw)
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage (green and red)
  • Carrots (raw)
  • Celery
  • seasonal fruits and vegetables | Gundry MDCollard Greens
  • Fennel
  • Grapefruit
  • Green Bananas
  • Herbs
  • Kale
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Leeks
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Onions
  • Oranges
  • Parsnips
  • Rutabagas
  • Sweet Potatoes & Yams
  • Swiss Chard
  • Turnips11

How To Follow A Seasonal Eating Plan

If you want to eat according to the seasons, first you’ll need to know what to look out for in the grocery store. Print out this list, and tack it to your fridge or bring it with you to the market. You can also sign up for a local CSA (community supported agriculture) box to receive regular deliveries of in-season produce.

If you need some inspiration, think of dishes that are traditionally eaten in certain seasons. For example, you may think of springtime asparagus, summery fruit salads, roasted autumnal sweet potatoes, or wintery Brussels sprouts. Host a seasonal recipe exchange with friends, and celebrate the diversity of produce that comes with each changing season.


Sources
1. https://www.verywellfit.com/seasonal-guide-when-fruits-are-in-season-4104468
2. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/vgen/spring-planting-crops.htm
3. https://gundrymd.com/fruits-season/
4. https://gundrymd.com/fruits-season/
5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30446879/
6. https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/why-eat-seasonally
7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17852499/
8. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4807/10-Reasons-To-Eat-Whats-In-Season.html
9. https://sgp.fas.org/crs/misc/RL34468.pdf
10. https://gundrymd.com/dr-gundry-diet-food-list/
11. https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/seasonal-produce-guide

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