Nourish Well With Seasonal Food - Alliance Integrative Medicine

Nourish Well With Seasonal Food

I am always excited when this time of the year arrives in Cincinnati. The new energy that exudes from nature is contagious, and it is a wonderful feeling to brush aside the quiet, introverted energy of winter. I love to get out into nature and watch how the plants change daily.

Have you taken notice of it, too?
Have you wondered how this cycle of life in nature affects your food choices?

One of my passions is guiding people to improve their food choices. Every bite of food we consume has a profound effect on our body. Think of it this way – the food we chew and absorb is broken down into tiny particles that act as messengers and send signals to all the cells in our body and tell them how to behave. It’s as if the food we eat everyday is a marinade for our cells. As we bite and savor a taste or flavor we tend to forget about this aspect of food. I challenge you to change your relationship with the food you eat by thinking about it this way.

The most important messages in our food come from vegetables and fruit, because they contain chemicals called “phytonutrients”. In other words they are “nutrient dense” and send a lot of chemical signals to our cells. One of the easiest ways to improve your health is to eat at least five servings (five fistfuls) of fresh fruits and vegetables a day. Or jump to superstar status by increasing that number to NINE! It’s not that difficult to do. And, the more variety and color the better!

Fresh is always best.

We are privileged to live in a society where markets with produce are abundant. All types of produce are available year round from all over the world – so much so that many of us do not even know when certain foods are in season. Strawberries are a good example. Have you noticed how you can get them year round at the grocery store, and how they don’t even taste or smell like a strawberry most of the time?

What’s in season for spring?

Right now my favorites are asparagus, artichokes, arugula, radishes, young tender lettuce leaves, spinach, and strawberries!! They taste and smell completely different! Try it and you will notice how wonderful they are. Since they are in season now, they are fresh and far more nutrient dense.

Many of the farmers’ markets will be opening soon all over our city. This is one of the best ways to buy local, seasonal and often organic produce and vegetables from local farmers. It is a wonderful experience and the produce will taste delicious when cooked simply in your kitchen. An easy way to find out more about the local food community is through Edible Ohio Valley. This is a great resource for local foodie events. Or consider joining your local CSA! Find out where your closest farmers’ market is this season and go check it out!

Grow Your Own!

This year I decided to commit to a new project that is aligned with this cycle of nature. I had raised container beds installed in my yard to grow vegetables. What a wonderful experience to take seeds (they all have very distinctive shapes, sizes and colors) and put them into organic soil rich in nutrients, add some water, sunshine and a bit of patience and time; and, voila, a whole variety of produce to pick daily and eat immediately! I am so excited to have my own “food oasis” in my garden.

Need help starting your own garden? Check out expert advice @ www.1smallgarden.com.

So… here’s to challenging your food choices and making your body feel more nourished. Try making these simple adjustments in your eating habits and you are sure to realize a difference in your health!

By Dr. Sandi Amoils

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