Whether it’s deep mid-winter or at the height of summer, you can expect to find any ingredient you need on a supermarket shelf these days. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should stock your pantry with every type of food under the sun. Instead, eating seasonally — choosing food, produce and ingredients that are currently being grown in the UK according to the season — may be a more responsible, healthier and more environmentally-friendly choice to make.
For example, if a certain produce is currently in season, it’s more likely to have been cultivated without additional heating, protection or pesticides. It’s cheaper, too, and is sure to taste fresher as it’s the time of year that the food is at its optimum. With that in mind, here are a few in-season suggestions to add to your basket ASAP.
Good for decorations, but great for your health, pumpkins are rich in a carotenoid called lutein, which is primarily known for protecting your eyes from harsh sunlight. However, there’s another lesser-known benefit to the Halloween staple — lutein has been found to boost levels of the enzyme AMPK, which can help muscle cells to develop when they’re low on energy. Give this spiced pumpkin, apple and cider soup a go.
Nitric oxide (NO) has long been associated as an aerobic performance enhancer and can be found in beetroots, which come into season from November. NO synthesises L-arginine and causes your blood vessels to dilate, helping to provide more blood and oxygen to the areas of your body that need it. This has been found to have positive effects on producing more energy for your muscle cells.
Loaded with iron and a high concentration of nutrients, kale is the ideal winter staple as it provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits with a low price point. Containing four times the vitamin C content and over double the selenium content of spinach, this cruciferous vegetable has also been found to support healthy blood pressure.