Frozen Foods Can Be Fresher Than Fresh…

Posted: October 28, 2013 in NERDSTEAK - Brain Food
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ID-10061999Some times you gotta be fresh…and other times, frozen may be fresher than fresh.  Some studies have shown that frozen fruits and vegetables can contain higher levels of vitamins and antioxidants compared to the fresh varieties from stores or farmers markets.

This is due to the fact that many frozen fruits and vegetables are processed and frozen right at the source, from minutes to hours after being picked or harvested during their peak ripeness.  On the other hand, fresh produce maybe be held for days, weeks, or even months before being sold to consumers, then held at the home for even more time before being used. When these products are held at ambient temperatures or even refrigerated, they slowly and naturally lose some of their healthy properties over time.  When product is frozen, it inhibits the loss of these volatile compounds, and provides more health benefits.  Some fresh produce is also picked before being fully ripened to handle the delay in consumption, which reduces the overall health advantages even more.

Supermarkets and even farmers markets have a list of ways to make their foods look fresh, such as water misting and trimming.  While these practices are normal, the overall health profile of these foods can often time be less than the frozen counterparts. There are even instances that refrigeration will INCREASE degradation of healthy compounds in certain food items, specifically soft fruits.  It is still recommended that foods picked right from the ground are the best, but frozen can be just as good of an option.

And as a side note, if you do want to cook your fruits and vegetables while keeping the most nutritional value in the products, steaming is the optimal way to insure the least about of benefit loss.  This is of course second to eating them raw.

Comments
  1. would never have guessed this! I feel better about eating mostly frozen veggies in the winter, then.

  2. Very good to keep in mind, now that the farmer’s markets are winding down for the year.

  3. Karissa says:

    It’s also important that people know that how you prepare these frozen veggies to get more bang for your nutritional buck. Steaming (more time and dishes) and microwaving (super quick) are the best ways to prepare veggies to prevent nutrient decomposition. Eat your veggies, no excuses 😉

  4. e1aine says:

    Reblogged this on e1aine and commented:
    This is an interesting post. I’m trying to eat much more healthily (with varying degrees of success). Sometimes the less obvious choices are best!

  5. debbeedoodles says:

    Makes sense to me. I prefer veggies frozen as apposed to canned. Thanks for sharing!

  6. balanceDjess says:

    Hey, glad to see this post! It’s so true! We tend to underestimate the healthy powers of frost ;). I prefer ‘fresh’ (depending on the type). But frozen is a lot more practical and often cheaper (so are cans. But not the same. Have them in storage in case of emergencies ; ) ).

    I do hope you have a tip for frozen fruit. The veggies aren’t a problem; with heat (frying, steaming, etc) the end-result is pretty much the same as with ‘fresh’ vegetables.. But how do you get fruit back to their original ‘fruitiness’? Mine get all ‘muchy’ when I let them defrost. Especially berries (and I would like them in my freezer at all times; I use them a lot)..

  7. This is helpful info! Thanks!

  8. Couscous says:

    Reblogged this on Savoir Vivre -> 活学活用 and commented:
    That is true. I stock frozen peas and beans which can be kept longer and cooked anytime.

  9. Great post about a topic that is often overlooked 🙂

  10. Beth says:

    A lot of times, they’re cheaper, too.

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