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Fresh vs Frozen

Frozen but still fresh? Yes, that is the case when it comes to fruits and vegetables.  When going to shop for produce most go directly to the fresh produce section for their fruits and vegetables.  Some may even go to the freezer section for their produce. No matter which section you go into there is a good chance that those produce items will have the same nutrients whether they are fresh or frozen.

Most believe that uncooked, fresh produce, is typically the most nutritious. This may be true for some foods but it does vary. Keep in mind the nutritional quality in fresh versus frozen varieties depends on the type of veggie. Brassica veggies like cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, are typically better fresh than frozen because they retain more phytochemicals and antioxidants.

Fortunately for those who rely on convenient bags from the freezer aisle, there are studies that suggest frozen veggies have just as many nutrients, if not more, as their fresh counterparts. Fresh fruits and veggies produce enzymes that cause loss of color, flavor, and nutrients just after harvest. This reaction can be stopped by deactivating the enzyme, which freezing can do, leaving the frozen veggies with more nutrients.  Foods that are best frozen are those with high amounts of fat soluble nutrients, like vitamin A, carotenoids, and vitamin E, because they’re more stable during food processing and storage, like blanching and freezing.

However, be careful with prepping these veggies. Studies suggest thawing frozen veggies before cooking can actually speed up vitamin C losses in frozen peas, spinach, okra, and green beans.

The goal is to not only eat more veggies but to get the most nutrients from them whether they are fresh or frozen.



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