Eating local foods isn't just some hipster trend. Up until the 20th century, it was a way of life. Almost the only way of life. The bulk of your diet consisted of foods that were grown locally, and in season. Expedited shipping via land, air, sea and rail was more limited than today, so even if you could ship pineapple or mangos from the tropics, they might not be good by the time you’re ready to add them to your post-workout smoothie.
While there's no doubt that there's a lot to love about having access to more foods from the around the world, there's also a lot to be said for enjoying the fruits and veg of your local harvest. In addition to reducing pollution, shopping for and eating more locally grown foods can actually help you slim down.
Don't believe it? Read on and see for yourself.
Eating Local Food Gets You Moving
When most people buy local foods, they go to a farmers market. They can't place their order online and have food ready to pick up at a store or have it delivered: they have to get out and go there. Since many farmers markets are located in the hearts of towns or cities, this means you're afforded a chance to walk there, not only stocking up on healthy whole goods, and soaking up some energy increasing and mood elevating vitamin D, but also just getting more daily exercise. Any activity is activity that will help you live a healthier, fitter, life.
Probiotics help promote gut health, and your gut controls so many things within your body: including your metabolism. Because so many foods bought in supermarkets have been chemically treated and aren’t going straight from the earth to our mouths, many of us aren't getting any of the probiotics in the soil that in the past have contributed to the ideal health of our gut and metabolism.
However, when you buy local food, you're eating food that's got more of that good dirt on it. And if you want to make sure the dirt is good, just ask the farmer. They can inform you what, if any, chemicals have been used on your food.
More Whole Food
Anyone who's ever gone into a grocery store with every intention of buying only (or mostly) whole foods and walked out with their body weight in pre-made waffles can tell you that supermarkets can be bastions of temptation. When you get food from a local supplier -- from a farmer's market or even straight from the farm -- you're less likely to have your willpower waylaid by pudding cups or candy bars. Your far more likely to stock up on -- and eat -- those whole foods that are part and parcel of a healthy body and mind.
We’re not saying you need to eat exclusively seasonal local food, but that during the summer when opportunities to buy local abound, you should make it a part of your healthy lifestyle. We’re also not saying that eating local is the only thing you need to do to help you lose unwanted weight, but when this tact is adopted in combination with proper diet and exercise, it can give you a serious advantage in the battle of the bulge. Just try it for the summer. We promise: the benefits can be evident in a shrinking waistline, and a happier, healthier body.Need help finding ways to incorporate more whole foods into your diet? Check out our nutrition guides and get ready to fall in love with really clean, really good, and really real food.