The Benefits of Seasonal Foods – Feast and Forage in September

September British Foods

British food is at its peak in September. The abundance of tail-end Summer crops combine with Autumn’s early harvest. Hedgerows overflow with free food like damsons and elderberries while shops fill up with earthy beetroot and aubergines.

Look out for succulent lamb and game like rabbit and venison. Sea bass, crab and wild trout are a plenty.

Eating seasonally – eating foods that are available and grown locally – means getting the best flavour and nutritional value from fresh food. It’s cheaper and cleaner as fewer chemicals are required for storage and shipping. Ultimately, nothing beats eating home-grown bounty for intense satisfaction!

Because we literally are what we eat our health and vitality is largely dependent on the nutritional content of food. Here are three of my favourite September fruit and vegetables that can be used for therapeutic benefits.


Rich in vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants, blackberries are one of the most beneficial, immune boosting fruits to include in a balanced diet. Anthocyanins are the antioxidants giving berries their dark colour. Their ability to help reduce inflammation and fight nasty free radicals reduces the potential development of cancer, skin damage, heart disease and diabetes. This fibrous berry promotes healthy digestion and can help with weight loss.

Blackberries have a very short shelf life, hence the expensive price tag, so start foraging! Pop washed berries into the freezer to preserve their longevity. Blend fresh or frozen berries with a banana and sprinkle with ground nuts to make a nutritious breakfast smoothie.


British tomatoes are at their peak this month – ripe, fat and juicy! Tomatoes are a rare food as they gain in nutritional value rather than lose their goodness due to their high quota of lycopene. Several studies suggest a diet rich in this tough antioxidant offers a significant reduction in the risk of developing prostate, lung and stomach cancers. However, avoid tomatoes if you suffer joint or muscular problems.

To maximise their nutritional benefits eat raw, vine-ripened tomatoes for greater vitamin C value. Alternatively, cooked and processed tomatoes contain higher concentrations of lycopene, which is more easily absorbed when eaten with a small amount of olive oil. Pick organic, bright red tomatoes for the highest amounts of lycopene. Did you know that organic ketchup delivers three times more lycopene than non-organic brands?


Used in a wide range of recipes from jams and chutneys to delicious desserts, colourful plums are one of the cheaper ‘superfoods’. Plums act as a laxative, improving the performance of the digestive system. Phenols and Vitamin C ensure good antioxidant protection, enhancing immunity against cancers.

They increase iron absorption, minimise deteriorating eyesight and heart related risks. That’s a lot of power for one plum! Eat sweet and juicy plums raw, or cook the tarter ones to draw out their innate spiciness.

British produce is a culinary feast for the aspiring chef in September. Visit my website for seasonal recipes and the September special offer – 10% discount when you book a block of 4 nutritional therapy consultations.

Nutritional Therapist RickmansworthAbout The Author

Sophia Villiers is a Nutritional Therapist practising at the Pain Management Centre, 148 High Street, Rickmansworth, Herts WD3 1BA. She typically sees clients from the surrounding areas of Northwood, Watford and Amersham.

Find out more about Sophia’s work by visiting her GoToSee profile page here


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