There has been a long time debate on whether fresh vs frozen foods are more nutritious, and the answer just might surprise you!
Nothing compares to the taste of eating fresh fruits and vegetables. However, in some cases, fresh foods are just not accessible, and in others, you may simply enjoy the convenience of having pre-packaged meals for when you’re short on time. Luckily, the food industry has come a long way in terms of delivering frozen foods that are healthy and don’t contain unnecessary amounts of sodium or preservatives. Research has even suggested that buying frozen produce can even be slightly healthier than fresh fruits and vegetables! While this may come as a shock at first, let’s take a look at why this is.
Fresh vs Frozen Food
Our instincts may tell us that fresh produce is always the better choice, but this is not always the case. The nutritional value of produce is dependent on many circumstances. The fresh produce that we buy from the grocery store is usually harvested before it has had the necessary time to reach its peak ripeness and nutritional value. This is done purposefully to ensure that the fruits and vegetables are able to be transported thousands of miles, for days or even weeks without going bad. While this sounds good in theory, when you harvest a fruit or vegetable before it’s fully ripe, its nutritional content immediately begins to break down. By the time your produce ends up on your plate, its nutritional value has been slightly compromised.
Frozen foods on the other hand are picked when they are fully ripe, and they are then frozen almost immediately to prevent nutrient loss. This is known as a quick freeze process. While it is true that this freezing process causes some nutrients to deteriorate, the majority of the nutrients are essentially locked in. When you compare frozen foods to fresh foods that have been transported by truck, plane, or boat and have been sitting on shelves for long periods of time, the frozen option may be healthier.
One study comparing frozen vs fresh produce found that frozen broccoli had higher levels of beta-carotene and vitamin C. Similarly, frozen blueberries had higher levels of polyphenols and anthocyanins. Brussels sprouts also had higher levels of all nutrients.
Despite all of these comparisons, there is no doubt that eating fruits and vegetables daily is beneficial to your body regardless of whether they’re frozen or fresh. The nutrient level of your food depends on many factors and the difference is only a slight one. However, if you do have the opportunity to shop at local farmer’s markets, grow your own food in a garden, and eat with the seasons, it is optimal for nutrition!
Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home!
Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.
For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
- Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
- Plant-Based Health Resources
- Plant-Based Food & Recipes
- Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
- The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
- Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
- High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
- Plant-Based Meal Prep
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