This time of year, we’re conditioned to hit the ground running. We’re encouraged to create resolutions and mindfully stay the course. It’s all a bit daunting. If this relentless pursuit feels overwhelming, turn to your intentions. Remember, we’re still in the thick of winter. This is a season that—from an evolutionary standpoint—is associated with hibernation, rest, and slowness. Trust when it’s time to spring forward. While January signifies a gradual transition, February is about finding roots. As we move into the shortest month of the year, focus on self-care and nourishment. Speaking of, today we’re diving into fruits and vegetables in season in February. They’re very similar to January’s bounty. Think: grapefruit, kale, leeks, lemons, turnips, and cruciferous veg.
why you should eat more citrus
Sweet, brightly colored citrus fruits bring more than a burst of sunshine into cold, winter days. They’re packed with vitamins and minerals. They boost immunity. And they pair well with iron, too. This class of fruits includes lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit, as well as many more hybrids and varieties. As a whole, citrus fruits are very nutritious. They offer a host of micronutrients and plant compounds. We know that vitamin C plays many crucial roles in our health, but it’s particularly important for its role as an antioxidant. And antioxidants are key for keeping inflammation at bay. Citrus also helps lower cholesterol and aid in digestion, thanks to fiber. When paired with a source of protein (Greek yogurt, eggs, etc.) and a source of fat (raw walnuts, pumpkin seeds, etc.), an orange is a delicious snack to keep blood sugar balanced.
what is seasonal eating?
Consider it a sustainable way of eating—with a variety of health benefits. This lifestyle encourages you to focus on fruits and vegetables in season (for your geographic area, specifically). There are many reasons to eat with the seasons. After all, when foods are grown out of season, they can’t follow their natural growing and ripening rhythms. In order for certain fruits and vegetables to be available year-round, ripening agents are used. These include chemicals, gases, and heat processes. If you want berries in the winter, instead of opting for conventional berries (sprayed with pesticides), grab a bag of frozen organic berries instead! Mix them into yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, or make homemade berry jam.
Food in season tastes better. And it’s cheaper. Citrus hits different in the winter. Juicy tomatoes are summer’s candy. You get the gist. Naturally-ripened fruits and vegetables—grown and picked in season—are typically full of flavor and nutrients. Additionally, eating with the seasons is better for the environment. Most of us give little thought to the environmental impact of traveling produce. However, so much of our produce is imported.
fruits and vegetables in season in FEBRUARY
In the spirit of keeping up with winter’s most delicious produce, here are the ingredients to focus on in February:
- Brussels sprouts
- Collard greens
- Sweet potatoes
HEALTHY Winter Meal Prep
Images courtesy of Unsplash.