From taste to nutritional value, fitness expert Abhinav Mahajan shares his top tips for making the most of the season when it comes to your nutrition and fitness
The consumption of a season specific diet has always been core to the Indian kitchen as a rule of thumb and a sustainable way of changing your diet seamlessly from season to season. What season specific diet literally translates to is eating fruits and vegetables that are in season in your demographic. Instead of eating the same set of fruits and vegetables throughout the year, seasonal eating forms a great alternative that encourages you to experiment with a variety of meals.
They say, “You are what you eat”, meaning what your body ultimately looks and feels like is a direct consequence of the food that you put in your gut. Season specific diet not only offers a variety of elaborate fresh produce that not only impresses your palate but adds to your health benefits as well. A fresh produce empowers you to include important vitamins, nutrients and minerals in your diet that you could’ve easily missed upon had you decided you limit yourself to a restricted diet.
A diet that reaches you from a farm rather than a frozen pantry is unquestionably always a winner. Although these days, the paramount advancement of sciences has allowed us to even have access to out-of-season produce, the scientifically modified produce is put to your table at the cost of taking away some of its nutritional benefits. On the contrary, the fruits and vegetables that are grown within their natural time frame grow without any scientific interference and thrive without any harmful additives to boost their growth or modifications.
When you eat seasonal produce that has naturally ripened in the sun, it is fresher and tastier. It is important to note that, what your palate recognizes, your gut does too. Fresh fruits and vegetables boast of an exceptionally elevated taste, sweetness and flavour that only comes when they are harvested at the correct time while processed and canned foods do offer convenience, they can never offer the same freshness and taste.
Seasonal Produce not only tastes better, is sweeter and perfectly ripe but also has a higher nutritional value. Fresher produce reaches your plate close to the harvesting and hence higher in nutritional value Antioxidants, Vitamins, Folates and Carotenes. However, all of these nutritious elements keep declining, longer the produce is stored.
Nature works in mysterious ways is not an unknown phenomenon, During the winter season, it provides us with fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C which is exceptionally beneficial to keep Cold and Flu at bay, which are common ailments that circulate during the winter season. Not only that, we have greens like mustard, spinach, fenugreek and amaranth, etc that make for perfect iron rich meals and healthy stews, soups and casseroles. On the contrary, Summer’s berries and stone fruits are filled with beta carotene and other carotenoids that protect us from Sun damage and pump us with required nutrients, vitamins and minerals and all by nature’s default.
It is highly important to try and eat meals in your diet that are seasonal and healthier for you and your fitness. While some out-of-season inclusions are acceptable and even easier on the palate, one must ensure that the diet they are consuming is fresh, nutritious and healthy.
Abhinav Mahajan has over 7 years of experience in workout programming, nutrition and lifestyle coaching — as an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Sports Nutritionist, he’s helped over 1,000 clients transform their lives.
Lead Image: Abhinav Mahajan