I associate holidays and other times of the year with delicious in-season produce that I am excited to see on my plate. In the US, I look forward to the spring asparagus, summer cherries, and autumn squash varieties. Eating seasonal produce provides us with the freshest and healthiest foods to protect our bodies during the cold and flu season. Eating seasonal vegetables and fruits is also environmentally friendly as it reduces the miles from farm to table. Lastly, it helps to support local providers like Rosa Grange Farm in my previous blog post.
Eating local produce will ensure that a variety of nutrient-dense, colorful foods ends up on our meal plate. The yellow, orange, red, white and deep green colors of fall and winter can provide the nutrition needed to avoid racking up the sick days. We all know people who swear by tonics or supplements that act as a cure-all remedy. A magic potion would be amazing, but society has yet to invent one (if you find it, please let me know!). While there are many factors at work and many approaches to get through flu season unscathed, eating well and sleeping well, together with exercise and stress reduction will always help.
While we may be familiar with what’s seasonal at home, what about seasonal produce here in Shanghai? Look for these foods at the market or in your online store to help keep your defenses up against cold or flu during the coming months. Add a variety, to ensure you are getting the required vitamins A, C & E, folate (folic acid) and antioxidants.
Fall Fruits: Grapes, Apples, Pomegranates, Dates, Pears, Guava.
Fall Vegetables: Potato, Okra, Taro, Chinese yam, Winter Melon, Indian bean, Snap Peas.
Fall Nuts / Spices: Chestnuts, Almonds, Ginger.
Winter Fruits: Grapefruit, Pumpkins, Passion fruit, Tangerines.
Winter Vegetables: Bok Choy, Yams, Cabbage, Carrots, Mushrooms, Leeks, Beets, Brussels Sprouts, Turnips, Radish, Soybean, Chinese Pumpkin, Butternut Squash.
Winter Nuts/Spices: garlic, chestnuts.
All Varieties: Avocados, Lemons, Oranges, Cabbage, Lettuce (all leafy greens), Bananas, Celery, Cherry Tomatoes, Papayas, Parsnips, Rutabaga, Dragon Fruit, Bitter Melon, Daikon.
Be adventurous, expand your boundaries in the fruit and veg store……and Eat Well Shanghai! 😉