How would you like to eat a fruit that is loaded with preservatives? How about one that has travelled for thousands of miles to reach you yet looks like it was just plucked off the tree?
This isn’t a testament to the age-defying qualities that a fruit may have, rather the concoction of chemicals and preservatives that the fruit may have been treated with to keep it ‘fresh’.
According to Indian nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar in his short film called Indian Wisdom and the Art of Eating Right; this is one basic reason why it makes more sense to eat local produce than something that is grown on the other side of the planet.
Eating like a European sitting in Asia is something that just doesn’t add up when it comes to fitness and health. European or American diets were designed by their forefathers based on what was locally produced i.e. what would suit them given the weather conditions in these continents. Also note, the basic genetic make-up is different in people from different continents. So, if something is popular in North America, it needn’t necessary be right for you sitting in Asia where the weather is predominantly tropical. So, what nutritionist Rujuta advises is that since you have grown up eating specific grains, you can continue doing that but try to eat the local vegetables and fruits. Grains do not lose their nutrient value as fast as fruits and vegetables and that is one reason that grains can be stored.
Food that grows in the soil that you are living on has all the nutrients that you need to keep yourself healthy – to fight environmental conditions, illnesses and improve your immune system. A plant grows by fighting all sorts of environmental challenges that can keep it down – pollution, humidity, and heat. It develops the nutrients that work the best for fighting the environmental factors as well as pollution - that is exactly what we need! So, if you eat that you can help yourself prevent the frequent illnesses such as flu, colds and coughs - less visits to the doctor!
Local seasonal fruits are best eaten when in season. Mangoes for example, are in season now in Asia and the carotene in mangoes helps prevent damage to skin caused by the strong rays of the sun. The heat can lead you to have a poor appetite and the sweet taste of the mango can help improve it and last but not least, and fibre helps prevent constipation. Similarly, a durian eaten during peak season which is in June/July has similar benefits.
Nature is very kind in providing mankind with fruits and vegetables during specific seasons that will help you overcome difficulties but we seem to be busy looking at produce from other regions. Yes, they may be delicious but so far away from their native land, they contain less nutritional value owing to food miles. The longer the distance food travels, the greater is the oxidation which results in loss of nutrients. Ultimately, we are eating toxic food, nutrient-less food. This ultimately results in ageing owing to the affects of free radicals. Eating fresh food helps neutralise this.
Go Green, Go Local!
We all are aware of the carbon footprint factor when it comes to importing foods from different parts of the world. Not only are we burning so much fuel, there is the additional demand for packaging which results in unnecessary waste. Thus we are also adding to the already overloaded garbage pile and burdening the earth!
So eat local. It’ll help you stay healthy and happy, and also keep Mother Nature healthy too!