Fresh vs Frozen: Research Found that Frozen Fruits Have Higher Nutritional Values!
When you are shopping for fruits or veggies, you might not go to the frozen food aisle. In fact, you might think frozen fruits and vegetables will lose nutritional values during the freezing process. Fresh is best – right? However, more and more studies found that frozen fruits and vegetables are actually superior to fresh produce in terms of nutritional values. Here are the reasons why.
Harvesting, Processing and Transportation
Fresh produce is usually picked before its prime and left to ripen during transportation. It also means that there is less time for the full development of vitamins, minerals and natural antioxidants. In general, fruits and vegetables may spend anywhere from 3 days to several weeks in transit before arriving at a distribution center while some produce, like apples and pears, can be stored for up to 12 months under controlled conditions. Once they reach the supermarket, fruits and vegetables may spend another 1 to 3 days on display. They are then stored in your home for up to 7 days before being consumed. In other words, the so-called “fresh produce” is not as fresh as you think.
Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
On the other hand, frozen fruits and vegetables are picked at peak ripeness when nutrients and flavors are at their max. Once harvested, the vegetables will be washed, blanched, cut, frozen and packaged within a few hours. This keeps frozen foods as fresh as they were the day they were harvested.
In recent years, more and more studies showed that frozen vegetables offer higher nutritional benefits because freezing helps retain their nutrient content. For example, frozen peas and spinach have higher levels of vitamin C than produce that has been stored at home for several days. In addition, processes undertaken to freeze fresh produce might increase fiber content in certain vegetables as well.
So now you understand the fact that fresh produce is not always “fresh”. Of course, freshly picked fruits and vegetables straight from the farm or your own garden are the best. But if you are shopping in a local supermarket, frozen foods are just equal to or even more nutritious than fresh produce.