Carmen Hudson is a clinical nutritionist and a Pilates instructor who focusses on how nutrition and movement relates to health through her practice Carmen Hudson Health. She gave Buy West Eat Best some pro tips about the nutritional benefits of eating a seasonal diet.
"Living in tune with nature’s rhythm allows us to live in a more symbiotic flow with our environment. Foods grown in season can grow without too much human assistance and are more likely to be grown locally which reduces food mileage.
This is important when we look at a food’s nutritional profile. The longer it takes from harvest to table results in moisture loss, quality and nutrient degradation, and potential microbial spoilage. Eating in season is perfectly designed to support our health as the foods we eat in season are at their highest nutrient peak.
When we eat locally and in season here in WA, the produce is in abundance and is harvested at the right time when it is ripe and fully developed. This allows the produce to have superior taste and higher levels of nutrients.
If food has been transported from elsewhere then it has often been picked early to prevent mechanical damage during harvesting and transportation. It may take days or even weeks depending on the transport method and it may sit in a warehouse for long periods of time before being synthetically ripened when it’s time to put on the shelves.
Things like fruit and vegetables can then spend up to 1-4 days on display under aircon and synthetic light which causes oxidisation, prior to being purchased and then can sit in the consumer's fridge for up to a week! By the time you eat it, it’s gone through a really high rate of nutrient degradation. This deprives your body of much needed nutrients and your taste buds from appreciating beautiful fresh produce.
That’s why it’s often the best nutritional choice to buy local, seasonal food grown or raise as close to you as possible, right here in WA, and consume it while it is at peak freshness."
Carmen’s Seasonal Shopping Tips:
- Take some time to educate yourself on what is in season right now to make things easier when planning your menu for the week.
- Always read the label and make sure you know where your food is coming from. Local food supports local economy meaning you’re supporting and reinvesting in local business and services. So lookout for the Buy West Eat Best logo when getting your groceries!
- Check out your local farmers’ market for the freshest of produce with the bonus opportunity to meet and chat to some of your local farmers and get to know the people behind your produce.
- Choose to eat fresh and minimise foods from packages. If the pack contains a load of ingredients you can’t pronounce, it’s likely it’s not great for your health.
- Diversify your basket and eat as many different varieties of fresh foods as you can. Don’t stick to the same ingredients day in and day out to improve your nutritional intake.