The Benefits of Eating Seasonal Whole Foods

by | Anti-inflammatory, Foundations of Health | 0 comments

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our affiliate disclosure for more information.

kathryn matthews | The Nourished EpicureanJune is a beautiful time of year…

What are three things that you can do to improve your health RIGHT NOW?

If you guessed any of the following…you are right!

  • Eat whole (unprocessed) foods.
  • Buy fresh, seasonal, locally grown and/or organic food.
  • Cook meals at home.

Tis the season to enjoy the delicious bounty on offer at your local farmers’ market or farm stand / market. Or, if you don’t have easy access to a farmers’ market, you can spend more time shopping the outer perimeter of the grocery store, where whole foods, such as unprocessed produce and meats, are located.

Eating whole foods is also the easiest—and most pleasurable way—to jumpstart weight loss, a top-of-mind health goal for virtually every client with whom I have ever worked.

What many people fail to realize is that weight gain is often symptom of an underlying imbalance in the body. Being overweight or obese is indicative of chronic inflammation and metabolic dysfunction (1, 2). The root cause of chronic, low-grade inflammation can be attributed to any one—or a combination of—the following: hormonal imbalances; medications (e.g., oral or inhaled corticosteroids, NSAIDs, like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, statins and anti-depressants, among others); chronic stress; hidden infections; unresolved trauma; high exposure to toxins; sleep deficiency; nutrient deficiencies, and/or other factors.


The Benefits of Eating Whole Foods

Eating whole foods, choosing to buy seasonal, local and/or organic produce and cooking your own meals are the most overlooked and undervalued ways to improve overall health, whether…

  • You want to avoid, manage or recover from heart disease.
  • You want to prevent or manage diabetes.
  • You have an autoimmune disease, allergies or asthma.
  • You are COVID vaccine-injured, which frequently manifests as cardiovascular, neurological and/or autoimmune issues (3, 4, 5, 6, 7).
  • You are navigating recovery from cancer, a neurological disorder or a respiratory condition.
  • You are experiencing a hormonal imbalance(s); for example, thyroid disease, adrenal exhaustion, estrogen dominance, PCOS and/or in hormonal transition (e.g., post-partum, perimenopause and menopause for women; low testosterone or andropause for men).
  • You want to improve your mental health (e.g., decrease anxiety, depression or better manage ADHD).

In an age of one-click convenience and instant gratification, it is easy to forget that food is medicine. Eating whole foods mindfully—on a regular basis—can dramatically shift your health (for the better) and mitigate uncomfortable physical symptoms. By choosing to eat whole foods, you:

  • Consume unprocessed foods that are rich in nutrients.
  • Naturally reduce added sugar and refined sugar intake.
  • Help lower inflammation, which is at the root of many chronic diseases and conditions, including overweight/obesity, acne, arthritis and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Eat more fiber, which helps stabilize blood sugar.
  • Reduce your triglycerides, a type of “bad” cholesterol that increases risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension and obesity.
  • Protect your heart health. Heart disease is the #1 killer of men and women.
  • Save money! Paying for medications to manage diabetes, obesity and other chronic health conditions is costly in the long run.
  • Promote better gut health. Your gut is home to your 80% of your immune system.
  • Can tame intense cravings for sugar once your palate adjusts to eating whole foods on a regular basis.


The Price of Food

Perhaps, the thought of eating whole foods is triggering because you’re thinking, “I can’t afford to eat whole foods!”

From gasoline to eggs, Americans have felt the pinch of inflation the last few years. This is true. And, yes, overall, food prices have increased. But, if we’re talking about affordability, let’s break this down a little bit more…

According to the US Department of Agriculture’s food price outlook (8):

  • In 2023, food prices grew 5.8 percent, higher than most other consumption categories, including housing and transportation.
  • That said, in 2023, food at home (meals prepared at home) prices rose 5.0 percent compared to a 7% increase in eating food away-from-home (e.g., restaurants, takeaway, delivery).

Compared to 2023, food prices in 2024 are forecasted to increase at a lower rate by 1.3%. However…

Food-at-home prices are expected to decrease to 0.4% while food-away-from home (e.g., restaurants, takeout, delivery) prices are forecast to increase 4.7%.

So, yes, eating more home-cooked meals will save you money on overall food costs.

In 2024, prices for the following food categories are expected to increase by the following percentages (9):

    • Sugar and sweets: 5.8% increase

    • Fats and oils: 4.7% increase

    • Eggs: up to 4.7% increase

    • Cereal and bakery products: 1.3% increase

Interestingly, while beef and veal prices are forecast to increase up to 2.7%, fish and seafood prices are expected to drop by 1.7%.

Like New York state’s cigarette tax (the highest in the nation at $6.85 for a pack of 20 cigarettes), the positive upside of higher processed food prices is that it may provide impetus to making more thoughtful, whole food-based choices (10)

Besides, eating whole foods, especially if seasonal, local and/or organic:

  • Tastes better
  • Provides more nutrients than foods shipped from across the country or imported from other countries
  • Is more satisfying and nourishing for your body
  • Is an easy way to support your local farmer and community


How You Can Start Eating More Whole Foods

Some easy ways to incorporate more whole food-based choices:

1.  Learn what foods are local and seasonal in your area:  use this state-by-state guide.

2.   Choose local, seasonal foods that you like and enjoy.

For example, I live in New York state, and I count myself fortunate to be able to enjoy the seasonal produce that is available at my favorite farm market right now, including: arugula, zucchini, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, radishes, mixed baby lettuces, green onions, asparagus and beets.

3.   Eat whole foods raw, out-of-hand, or blended.

For example, a fresh arugula or spinach salad with a mustard-shallot vinaigrette; slice fresh green onions (scallions) into thin rounds and sprinkle over poached fish or chicken drizzled with sesame or olive oil; or a bowl of organic and local sliced strawberries sprinkled with 1-2 teaspoons of raw cacao nibs.

4.   Steam, roast or braise fresh produce, especially helpful if you experience digestive issues.This time of year, my favorite easy-to-make recipes include the following.  Click on the food photos below for quick and easy-to-make whole food recipes.

5.   Eat in a relaxed state. No multi-tasking. Avoid eating in front of your laptop or iPad. Chew and enjoy!

6.   Do this summer cleanse. Reset your body while enjoying over 50 anti-inflammatory, whole food-based recipes in easy-to-digest forms—raw, blended or minimally cooked.

7. Try the following easy-to-make recipes that highlight seasonal flavors and require minimal cooking. .


Roasted Beets with Fresh Mint Pesto

Simple Green Salad

Roasted Asparagus

Steamed Red Potatoes

Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles)

Strawberry Delight




1   Ellulu MS, Patimah I, Khaza’ai H, Rahmat A, Abed Y. Obesity and inflammation: the linking mechanism and the complications. Arch Med Sci. 2017 Jun;13(4):851-863.

2   Lee YS, Olefsky J. Chronic tissue inflammation and metabolic disease. Genes Dev. 2021 Mar 1;35(5-6):307-328.

3   Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH. Courageous Discourse. Vaccine mRNA Found in Human Myocardium. Oct. 1, 2023.

4   Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH. Courageous Discourse. Cardiac Death and Arrest After COVID-19 Vaccination. Jan. 20, 2023.

5   Peter A. McCulough, MD, MPH. Courageous Discourse. Deep Venous Thrombosis of the Arm. Oct. 31, 2022.

6   Seneff S, Nigh G, Kyriakopoulos AM, McCullough PA. Innate immune suppression by SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccinations: The role of G-quadruplexes, exosomes, and MicroRNAs. Food Chem Toxicol. 2022 Jun; 164: 113008.

7   Guo M, Liu X, Chen X, Li Q. Insights into new-onset autoimmune diseases after COVID-19 vaccination. Autoimmun Rev. 2023 Jul; 22(7): 103340.

8, 9   Sweitzer, Megan. USDA Economic Research Service. 2024 USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum. USDA Food Price Outlook. Feb. 15, 2024.

10  Erb, Kelly Phillips. “New York State Cigarette Tax Just Went Up To $5.35 A Pack—The Highest in the Nation.” Forbes. Sept. 5, 2023.

Hi, I’m Kathryn Matthews. As a Board Certified Functional Health Coach, I help clients reclaim their energy, vitality and well-being. I want you to feel empowered about taking charge of YOUR health! To learn more, see About Kathryn.

Subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates!