You may believe that fresh fruit and vegetables are better for you than the frozen version, but is that really the case? Fresh fruits and vegetables are packed full of vital vitamins and nutrients, but does that change when a food is frozen? Frozen fruit and vegetables are often more affordable and last a lot longer than fresh, so here’s what you need to know about it if you’re considering letting a little frozen fruit and veg into your life.
How Fresh Fruit and Veggies Get to Your Table
Fruits and vegetables of all kinds are often picked by hand with some being harvested by machinery, but what happens after that really depends on whether you’re buying the fresh or frozen version.
Fresh fruits and veg are picked before they ripen in order to allow them to ripen as they are being transported. The problem with this process is that less time on the vine (or on the plant or in the ground) doesn’t give them enough time to fully develop all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that they can. The fresh fruits and veg that are transported in the United States take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to reach the distribution center that brings them to you. The fresh produce in transit is often treated with chemicals to help prevent spoiling. Once you buy them at the supermarket they could have been on display for a few days and then you take them home and keep them for up to a week. When you think about that process, it doesn’t really sound very fresh.
How Frozen Fruits and Veggies Get to Your Freezer
If a fruit or veg is picked in order to be frozen then it will not be picked until it is at its peak ripeness. This also happens to coincide with when they are most nutritious. After they are harvested they are washed, blanched, frozen and then packaged in just a few short hours, though fruits tend to skip the blanching step. Fruits are often treated with something called ascorbic acid, which is a form a Vitamin C, that helps to prevent them from spoiling.
During the process of freezing, most of the nutrients are preserved in fruits and vegetables. If you plan on keeping things frozen for more than year, you should be warned that they will start to loose nutrients at that point. Veggies that are blanched also lose some nutrients through this process, where they are boiled for a short time. Blanching kills bacteria and helps to improve texture and color, but it also can diminish some of the water soluble nutrients such as Vitamin C and Vitamin B that are in the produce.
If you are considering adding more frozen fruits and veggies to your diet, then you’re not going to lose any nutrients during the switch. In fact, you may just be gaining a few. Isn’t that surprising?
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.