One of the things people love about seasonal changes is that fruit and vegetables that come with it and the majority of them tend to be unhappy about the fact that they will not be able to have their favorite veggies for months.
It is a widespread belief that veggies or fruits are available in their best and most nutritious forms during their season. This has led to many people skipping frozen veggies as they do not consider them healthy and assume that they can cause harm instead.
Are frozen vegetables or fruits actually not healthy?
Whenever a person checks out a freezer at a superstore, he/she is bound to find loads of frozen ultra-processed foods, high-sugar desserts and breakfasts, frozen pizza and other unhealthy foods, frozen vegetables and fruits are in fact a great alternative to fresh or seasonal ones.
In addition, recent studies on frozen fruits and vegetables have revealed something really interesting. It has been suggested that frozen fruits and vegetables can be more nutritious in comparison with fresh fruits and vegetables.
The research conducted on the number of nutrients and vitamins present in both the fresh fruits and vegetables as well as frozen vegetable and fruits discovered that there really was not much difference in both.
Eight different fruits and vegetables in both forms including strawberries, carrots, blueberries, peas, corn, spinach, carrot, and broccoli were examined and the final conclusion was that consuming either can bring similar health benefits.
Another research on the same subject studied the B vitamins and folate content in both frozen and fresh vegetables and fruits. The result of the study was that there was no difference in either even if fruits and vegetables were frozen for months.
Secondly, there are additional benefits to buying frozen fruits and vegetables over the fresh ones as they contain more nutrients than the fresh ones.
How is this so?
This is because the fruits and vegetables that are fresh picked are often unripe and have not fully matured to be as nutrient-dense as they can be. Those fruits and vegetables have not spent more than six or seven days.
After going from the farms to the markets, the vegetables and fruits are sold within less than ten days. Hence, fresh fruits and vegetables have not yet ripened as they should be.
On the contrary, the vegetables and fruits that are chosen to be frozen have enough time to ripen and develop all the nutrients they are supposed to have. Therefore, they are full of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients at the time of consumption.
Another bonus of buying frozen fruits and veggies is that a person can eat their preferred or favorite vegetables and fruits all year long. Secondly, the people who struggle to fulfill their daily intake of either can do so by consuming frozen versions of both.
Instead of cutting out fruits and vegetables out from the diet altogether and facing nutritional deficiencies, it is better to buy frozen vegetables and fruits and not spend money on supplements in the future.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind while shopping for frozen fruits and vegetables. Do not just go and buy any frozen version without even giving it a second thought.
It is important to buy organic fruits and vegetables to avoid chemical and pesticide filled form of either.
Know more about pesticide content in canned fruits and vegetables here.
Avoid buying packs of multiple packs together as they often have added sugar, sauces, and types of dressing which can be unhealthy.
Never buy the canned fruits and vegetables because they are often filled with sugary syrups or dressings and most of them lose their nutritional value during the whole procedure of canning. They also have a lot of harmful chemicals such as BPA.
Always go for the naked versions that have no added flavors, syrups, dressings, and other additives that can lead to exposure to harmful chemicals and cause deficiencies, infertility, oxidative stress, and disturb the hormones.
How long can you keep the fruits or veggies frozen?
Although there are more benefits in frozen veggies and fruits, it any food is kept for too long in any form, it starts to lose its nutritional value. Too long does not mean a week but the frozen broccoli or strawberries should be consumed within 90 days.
A pack of frozen fruits and vegetables do not usually last longer than three months anyway. To get more of the healthy advantages of them and to finish them on time, try adding them to different meals for more flavor as well as an extra dose of nutrition.
The most suggested ways to cook frozen veggies or fruits are stir-frying and steaming. Boiling may sound like a healthy option but in accordance with the latest studies, boiling lowers the levels of nutrients and affects the taste as well.
Other ways of enjoying frozen fruits and veggies are by making salads, adding them to cereals, eating them raw with yogurt. Making a smoothie is also a very good idea as there are also many recipes available online.
There is also no harm in consuming only the fresh or seasonal fruits and vegetables if they are preferred as long as they are eaten in the required amount. Some sellers also offer fully ripened fruits and vegetables but they are hard to find.
When eating the fruits or vegetables, do not just cross the line especially in the matter of fruits. Eating too many fruits can lead to weight gain as many of them have a lot of sugar. When eaten in a good version and appropriate quantity, veggies and fruits are always essentially beneficial.