If you’re like many of us, you’ve probably stood in the freezer aisle and wondered if the frozen fruits and vegetables you were about to buy were as healthy as their fresh counterparts. After all, frozen produce can be expensive, and who wants to spend extra money on food without reaping the health benefits? Well, now we can all rest a little easier—according to an article in the New York Times, fresh and frozen produce actually have similar nutrient amounts. When researchers examined eight foods—corn, carrots, broccoli, spinach, peas, green beans, strawberries, and blueberries—they didn’t find consistent differences in overall nutrient content between the fresh and frozen types. Sometimes, the fresh produce had more of certain nutrients; other times the frozen produce did. For example, corn, green beans, and blueberries had more vitamin C when frozen, whereas green peas had more vitamin B2 when fresh. Fiber and minerals like iron were also found to withstand the freezing process. But, in general, it couldn’t be said that fresh or frozen produce was more nutritious.
With that in mind, nutrient content will vary in both fresh and frozen produce depending on the storage conditions. Here are a few tips for getting the most nutrition from all fruits and veggies:
Eat fresh produce ASAP to prevent nutrient deterioration over time.
Similarly, frozen produce can also deteriorate if stored in a home freezer that’s opened and shut often. Store these items in the back of the freezer, or in another freezer for long-term storage.
For the highest quality frozen produce, look for packages labeled IQF—individually quick frozen.
Source: New York Times