Your seasonal guide to Australian fruits and vegetables! January 15, 2019
Here in Australia, we are incredibly lucky to have deliciously fresh fruits and vegetables at our fingertips all year round!
Of course, the highest quality and best value produce will always be the stuff that’s in season and sourced locally. As well as the nutritional benefits, there’s also an environmental argument to be made for seasonal and local fruit and veg.
With all of the imported fresh fruit and veg on our shelves all year round, we know it can be hard to know what exactly is in season right here in Australia. We’ve put together this HelloFresh Seasonal Produce Guide, so you can see what’s best to eat during Spring!
Focus, Focus, Focus: Struggling to focus? Try adding red cabbage to your diet! It’s rich in choline, which is a vital nutrient for maintaining the cell membranes responsible for memory, concentration and focus.
Antioxidant Powerhouse: Studies suggest that artichokes may be one of the best sources of antioxidants in the world. Their antioxidants include rutin, silymarin and anthocyanins, all of which may play a part in reducing free radical damage.
Lots of Nutrients, Less Calories: Brussel Sprouts are ranked extremely highly in the list of veggies on the Nutrient Density Index score, or in other words… they provide a lot of nutrients for very few calories!
Good Source of Folic Acid: As an excellent source of folic acid, green peas are a good addition to any expectant mothers diet, as research shows that folate-rich foods may help to prevent neural tube defects in newborns.
As Good As Milk? It may surprise you to see rhubarb in the vegetable list, as we commonly consume it in pies, crumbles and cakes. Another surprising fact is that one cup of cooked rhubarb has as much calcium as a glass of milk! But keep in mind – our body doesn’t absorb plant-based calcium as well as it absorbs calcium from dairy.
Anti Bad Stuff: Fennel bulb has a sweet aniseed-like flavour, which is produced by the aromatic essential oils such as anethole. Anethole has been suggested to have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
Healthy Guts: Beetroot is a versatile veggie that can be roasted, boiled or cold pressed in a juice. Hallmarked by its rich purple-crimson colour (which is a by-product of betacyanin), beets are full of fibre which regulates bowel function, and glutamine; the amino acid that assists the intestinal tract. Bonus Beet Fun Fact: Beetroot can turn your pee pink! (Don’t be alarmed!)
Nutrient Dense: Increasingly popular in home kitchens, Asian greens are packed full of nutrients. Bok choy, wombok and choy sum are some of the most commonly cooked, and between them they offer Vitamin C, Vitamin A, calcium, iron, betacarotene, potassium and dietary fibre.
See Clearly: A one stop shop for eye health, carrots are packed full of Vitamin A which has been shown to fight against macular degeneration.
Brain Booster: Worried that all that reality TV is turning your brain to mush? Asparagus contains folate which, when combined with Vitamin B12, can help our brains fight cognitive decline.
Popeye’s Superfood: While spinach may not give you Popeye’s superhuman strength, it is packed with nutrients. Its rich iron levels support red blood cells to move oxygen around the body and produce energy, and it’s also a good source of magnesium, folate, and vitamins K, A, C and B2.
Get Healthy: Why add leek to your diet? Leeks contain allicin, an anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial compound that neutralises nasty free radicals faster than any other known compound.
Stay Happy: Not only are tomatoes rich in nutrients and antioxidants, but their folic acid content helps to maintain healthy levels of homocysteine in the body. Sound boring? Think again! High levels of homocysteine can affect how you feel by blocking the production of feel-good chemicals, serotonin and dopamine.
Aid Weight Loss: Instead of eating less, why not eat smarter? Lettuce is low in calories and relatively high in fibre, the latter being good for weight control.
Rare Mineral Selenium: Mushrooms contain the mineral selenium, which research suggests may decrease the risk of cancer by acting as an antioxidant and protecting the body against free radicals.
Up Your Protein: Beans are a great source of protein, making them popular in vegetarian and vegan diets as a meat substitute.
Fight Cancer: Along with kale, bok choy, cabbage and collard greens, broccoli contains the naturally occurring compound, sulforaphane which may protect against the enzyme responsible for the progression of cancer cells.
Keep Things Moving: Cauliflower is a cruciferous veggie with a high fiber content, important for keeping you regular and keeping your digestive tract healthy!
Pep Up Your Health: Chillies are a rich source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that is essential for collagen synthesis in the body. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C can boost immunity and protect from scurvy!
Moderate Blood Pressure: Fun fact! Zucchinis have more potassium than a banana. Potassium is important because it can help to regulate blood pressure levels.
Stress Less: We all wish we could stress a little less, don’t we. Well, the “cool as a cucumber” cucumber is here to help. Packed with loads of B vitamins, the cucumber may help keep those stress levels in check.
Immune Boost: Grapefruit is a good source of vitamin A, which research has shown plays an important part in supporting the immune system and eye health.
Healthy Fats: The much-loved avocado is full of healthy monounsaturated fat. Research has shown that monounsaturated fats are key for a healthy heart, as it can lower LDL (aka. lousy) cholesterol while increasing the HDL (aka. healthy) cholesterol.
Potassium Powerhouse: Bananas have exceptionally high levels of the valuable micronutrient, potassium. So high, in fact, that a single banana can give you 23% of your daily potassium needs. Potassium has been shown to benefit muscle function and help decrease blood pressure.
Antioxidant Rich: Passionfruit not only packs a palatable punch, it is also full of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and flavonoids, making it as nutritious as it is tasty!
Rid Common Cold: With high levels of Vitamin C, lemon is commonly combined with honey and ginger and used as a natural remedy for the common cold.
Relieve Arthritis: Want to hear something incredible? Tart cherries have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any fruit. This means they have the potential to help relieve the pain of inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis.
Fight Wrinkles: We all know that blueberries are packed with antioxidants, but have you heard they may prevent wrinkles too? The vitamin C works with collagen to smooth wrinkles and improve your skin.
Edible Hydration: If you eat rockmelon, you’ll know how juicy and refreshing it is! Because of its high water composition and electrolyte count, it’s a great go-to snack in hot weather or after a workout.
Colourful Antioxidants: The rich red colour of strawberries is down to the significant amounts of phytonutrients and flavonoids they contain, both of which have been shown to contain antioxidant properties.
Lower Cholesterol: Oranges contain an antioxidant called hesperidin, which research suggests may be beneficial in lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Fruits & Vegetables in Season
We’re lucky that with such a large country, a lot of produce is in season nearly all year round. Still, there are definite off seasons for some produce, and you’ll always get the best deal in high season. This guide will help you tell whether the produce you’re picking up is grown locally, or whether it might be produced overseas!