Freezing vegetables preserves vitamins and minerals and makes the vegetables convenient to store, cook and eat all year around. Fruit and vegetable juice is also an example of a healthy processed food -usually. In fact, some orange juice is fortified with calcium to make it even more nutritious. Oatmeal, not breaded frozen fish fillets, canned salmon, frozen berries and 100-percent whole-grain bread are also examples of processed foods that are good for you.
When it comes to fresh vs. frozen, fresh, locally grown vegetables are best. However, frozen is a great alternative when fresh isn’t an option.
Fresh, store-bought vegetables do not always have a higher nutritional value than frozen vegetables. They are often picked before they’re ripe, so they can ripen during shipment and while at the store. On the other hand, frozen vegetables are frozen when they are at their peak of nutritional content and ripeness. However, your own homegrown vegetables do not have to be picked before they’re ripe because they don’t need to be shipped long distances.
Fresh produce is known for having the highest nutritional values with the largest quantities of minerals and vitamins. They are also known for tasting better. If possible, it is recommended to buy fresh produce, but if this is not an option, one can turn to either canned or frozen foods.
Frozen foods are also similar in nutritional value to fresh produce. They can sometimes be advantageous because fresh fruits and vegetables can lose their nutritional value during shipping, packaging etc.; whereas, a frozen item’s nutrients are locked in with the product inside. It is generally advised that if you cannot access fresh foods to purchase frozen instead of canned. When fruits and vegetables are frozen, most of the nutrients remain. However, nutritional value of these products is known to decrease due to the canning process, therefore making the frozen products the healthier option.
So fresh versus frozen? The answer seems to be frozen if food is coming from a distance and perhaps also if we do not eat it rapidly after buying.
The nutrients of fresh vegetables begin to deteriorate from the instant they are harvested. Results from a research reveals that fresh vegetables such as green beans lose 45 percent of their nutrients; broccoli and cauliflower, 25 percent; carrots, 10 percent; and peas up to 15 percent after 16 days of storage. With fresh vegetables, you never know how long it has been since they were picked and the amount of nutrients that were lost en route to the market unless you are buying from a local farmer. With vegetables that are frozen in their prime, you can savor most of the nutrients that were present at the time of freezing.
Fresh food is naturally better for you, but if the food has been picked before it is ripe, it has less time to develop completely full of vitamins and minerals. Most commercialized fresh and frozen foods are subjected to this type of process. Some frozen foods have been picked at their peak, thus allowing it to be nutrient packed. Most food loses its nutrients when handled and processed for retail.