Q: I’ve been hearing about “eating seasonally”. What does this mean?
A: In most cultures of the world it’s traditional to eat certain types of foods at different times of the year. Certainly in Asia it’s common to consume lighter foods like salads and fruits in the spring and summer and heavier, cooked foods in the fall and winter. In general, it’s healthier to eat foods that have a cooling effect in warm weather months and foods that have a warming effect in cool weather months. For example, right now during wintertime it’s more appropriate to consume cooked foods and soups and to minimize raw foods. Beverages like hot ginger tea warm the body and also improve digestion. Our bodies also benefit from foods that naturally grow in our climate during the changing seasons. For example, during the winter months stone fruits like cherries, peaches and apricots don’t grow in our area but pears and apples do. Beneficial vegetables during the winter months are root vegetables like yams, beets and parsnips which have a generally warming effect on the body.