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This month's in-season fruit and veg: How it's great for your health
04 May 2020 @ 21:52

AS YOU'LL almost certainly realise if you've been in Spain for more than 12 months, it's nearly impossible to find your favourite fruit and veg all year round – they appear by the boxload in supermarkets and on market stalls, then suddenly vanish for months on end. This is largely because Spain grows practically all its own greengrocery – very little is imported – so anything you find on sale, especially if it's in huge amounts, is freshly-harvested nationally or even locally, and very much in season.

Once you've got over the disappointment of not finding strawberries in November or oranges in August, you'll find your shopping basket adapting according to the harvest – and experts assure that the nutritional benefits of eating in-season fruit and vegetables are worth it.

Also, it's good for the planet and the local economy. When produce travels less distance to get to the shops or markets, less fuel is consumed and emissions are reduced, and farmers do not have to compete with other producers half a world away who can undercut them on price and still make a profit.

Plus, the quicker the produce gets to the shelves, the less time it has to lose quality or vitamin content.

“It's always better to choose in-season fruit and vegetables, since these are allowed to grow to their natural size within a natural length of time, and retain all their properties,” says one of Spain's leading consumer organisations, the OCU, which has produced a calendar of the various crops you can find in season at any given time of the year.

The Spanish Nutrition Federation (FEN), along with the ministry of agriculture, has drawn up a list of the beneficial elements found in produce in season to help you figure out how you're improving and maintaining your health and wellbeing by digging into what you find on sale from month to month.

And this month, May, is when some of our favourites start to ripen and fill the shelves – here's an overview of what you'll be seeing about now, or will be soon, when you go shopping.

 

Apricots

Spain is one of the main producers, and the best time for harvesting and consuming is between May and September. Compared with other fruit, apricots have a much lower energy content due to being largely water-based with limited carbohydrates, but they are rich in betacarotene, a powerful anti-oxidant, which transforms into vitamin A when the body needs it.

 

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Apricots are also high in potassium, which helps enhance muscle strength, metabolism, the nervous system, and prevents electrolyte loss – the essential elements lost through sweating – and water retention, as well as being necessary to reduce the risk of stroke, heart and kidney disorders, high blood pressure, anxiety and stress.

Additionally, apricots are high in vitamin C, which boosts the immune system, and in flavonoids, which are said to help guard against cancer, cardiovascular disorders and asthma.

Read full article at thinkSPAIN.com

 



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