Your seasonal guide to New Zealand fruits and vegetables!

September 24, 2020
by Helen Eat

    Here in New Zealand, we are incredibly lucky to have delicious 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 New Zealand. We’ve put together this HelloFresh Seasonal Produce Guide, so you can see what’s best to eat during Spring!


    Spring Veggies…

    Cabbage

    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. 

    Artichoke

    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. 

    Brussel Sprouts

    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! 

    Peas

    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. 

    Beetroot

    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!)

    Carrots

    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.

    Asparagus

    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. 

    Spinach

    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. 

    Leeks

    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. 

    Tomatoes

    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.

    Lettuce

    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. 

    Mushrooms

    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. 

    Beans

    Up Your Protein: Beans are a great source of protein, making them popular in vegetarian and vegan diets as a meat substitute. 

    Broccoli

    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.

    Cauliflower

    Keep Things Moving: Cauliflower is a cruciferous veggie with a high fiber content, important for keeping you regular and keeping your digestive tract healthy!

    Zucchini

    Moderate Blood Pressure: Fun fact! Zucchinis have more potassium than a banana. Potassium is important because it can help to regulate blood pressure levels.

    Cucumber

    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.

    Spring Fruit…

    Grapefruit

    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. 

    Avocados

    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. 

    Lemons

    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. 

    Strawberries

    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. 

    Oranges

    Lower Cholesterol: Oranges contain an antioxidant called hesperidin, which research suggests may be beneficial in lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure.

    This guide will help you tell whether the produce you’re picking up is grown locally, or whether it might be produced overseas!

    Happy Cooking!

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