EAT SEASONALLY - Plant Based in the Winter

Uncategorized Dec 02, 2019

While humans, like all other animals, have obviously been seasonal eaters since the beginning of time, now we almost have to go out of our way to eat with the seasons! Cucumbers, tomatoes, and asparagus are still widely available at virtually every supermarket, and will likely be all year round. However, like anything else, nutritional needs can change significantly with the seasons. 

As a recent podcast guest, Dr. John Douillard (Alter Your Health #142) pointed out, for all animals besides humans, life depends on season eating. For example, a deer eats mainly twigs and bark in the winter time, which feed the shifting microbial environment in the deer's digestive tract. If the same deer ate the tree bark in the summer, it would likely be fatal! This is due to the fact that the deer would lack proper microbes to aid in digestion of plants eaten out of seasonally.

If eating out of season can literally KILL some animals, one would think it may also be important for human beings to follow the seasons as well to achieve and maintain optimal health.

As we talk about seasonal eating, please of course note that the climate and environment of where you are physically along with your physical health status, goals and personalized needs will lead to some nuances here. That being said, many of these foods can most certainly be broadly focused on to support your health and wellbeing this Winter.
 
Winter generally calls for warmer, cooked, "heavier" foods. It's the season of "fattening up" and storing energy, which is completely healthy and natural. Heavier foods entail more caloric density, and therefore more fat. That isn't to say that we will gain weight or become heavier ourselves when we support our body with balancing nutrition and lifestyle practices. Depending on your health status and goals, winter may actually be a time to eat less salads and raw vegetables and more soups, hearty grains, and starchy veggies.

Remember the importance of WFPB nutrition for optimal health. Eating whole, real foods is important regardless of the season! The natural season of winter does NOT mean pumpkin pie, Christmas cookies, eggnog, or cheese wheels.

So, let's dive into our favorite foods for this winter season...

FRUITS
  • Apples

  • Apricots

  • Bananas

  • Blueberries

  • Citrus (all)

  • Dates

  • Figs

  • Grapes

  • Mangos

  • Papayas

  • Peaches

  • Pears

  • Persimmons

  • Plums

  • Pomegranate 

 

VEGGIES
  • Avocados

  • Beets

  • Broccoli

  • Brussel sprouts

  • Carrots

  • Eggplant

  • Kale

  • Leeks

  • Onions

  • Parsnips

  • Peppers

  • Potatoes

  • Spinach

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Swiss chard

  • Turnips

  • Winter Squash (acorn, butternut, kabocha, pumpkin, spaghetti, etc)

WHOLE GRAINS
  • Amaranth

  • Buckwheat

  • Millet

  • Oats (steel cut)

  • Quinoa

  • Rice

  • Rye

  • Wheat

LEGUMES
  • Adzuki beans

  • Black beans

  • Black eyed peas

  • Fava beans

  • Garbanzo beans

  • Kidney beans

  • Lentils

  • Mung beans

  • Navy beans

NUTS/SEEDS
  • Almonds

  • Brazil nuts

  • Cashews

  • Hemp seeds

  • Pecans

  • Pistachios

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Sesame seeds

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Walnuts

HERBS/SPICES
  • Anise

  • Basil

  • Black pepper

  • Caraway

  • Cardamom

  • Cinnamon

  • Clove

  • Corriander

  • Cumin

  • Dill

  • Fennel

  • Garlic

  • Ginger

  • Mustard

  • Nutmeg

  • Oregano

  • Rosemary

  • Saffron

  • Sage

  • Thyme

  • Turmeric 

For more guidance on understanding the essentials of holistic nutrition and lifestyle medicine, please check out the Medicinal Living Course and the Medicinal Living Mastermind.

Blessings of Health,

Dr. Benjamin

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