Frozen foods have always been considered less healthy than their fresh counterparts. But the recommendations are slowly changing as more and more studies are revealing that there is no significant nutritional difference between fresh and frozen foods and some frozen foods are, in fact, healthier than their fresh counterparts. Let’s dig a little deeper and look at reasons why it might be a better idea to buy frozen instead of fresh produce and why you have reason enough to give the farmer’s market a miss and reach out for the frozen food aisle at the supermarket.
1. They’re Fully Ripe When Plucked
The nutritional value of produce depends on when it was harvested and the moment a fruit or a veggie is picked, it starts losing nutrients. How much nutrition you get out of it actually depends on when it was plucked, whether it was ripe when plucked, and how long has it traveled to get to you. In case of frozen produce, the fruits are veggies are plucked when they’re fully ripened and frozen immediately. The freezing process actually locks the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and many other nutrients. On the other hand, in case of fresh produce, which has traveled miles inside a truck to get to you, it would have been harvested way before it was ripened and at its nutritional best and it would have then been artificially ripened during its transportation.
2. They’re More Nutritious Than Fresh Produce
Studies suggest that frozen produce is just as nutrient-rich, if not more, than fresh produce. When comparing produce that has been inside a fridge for three days, and their frozen equivalents, studies have found that frozen samples had more beneficial nutrients both in case of fruits like blueberries and veggies like broccoli. Frozen produce, in fact showed a higher level of antioxidants like polyphenols, anthocyanins, lutein and beta-carotene. This led to the conclusion that freezing produce did not destroy any nutrients, and in fact frozen produce delivered more nutrients than their fresh counterparts. In one of the reports, it was found that the Vitamin C content in broccoli went down by 50 % within a week, while in the freezer the same vegetable took an entire year to lose 10% of Vitamin C.
3. They Contain No Additives
Since freezing the produce preserves it, it obviates the need for additives and preservatives. And most of the frozen produce is available as it is, and devoid of any added sugar or salt.
4. They Make For Great Shortcuts
One of the best things about buying frozen fruits and veggies, is that there is no washing, peeling or chopping required. Frozen food being prep-free, saves a lot of time, and allows you to prepare healthy food at home, rather than opting to eat out when pressed for time.
5. They’re Convenient
Research suggests that people who buy frozen fruits and vegetables eat more fruits and vegetables than those who buy fresh produce and are actually able to reach the daily recommendation of fruits and vegetables that ought to be consumed to stay healthy. All they need to do is keep their freezers stocked with the frozen produce and use the prewashed, pre-cut veggies and fruits, which is a great convenience than if they were to buy fresh produce and spend time prepping it before consuming it.
6. They’re More Affordable
Frozen food happens to be cheaper than fresh produce, making it accessible to more people. It also means that when you buy frozen food, you’re not just getting more nutrient-rich food, you’re getting it at affordable prices. This is yet another good reason to opt for frozen produce than its fresh version.
7. They Give You Flexibility
If you buy fresh produce, you will need to make trips to the market often to ensure a constant supply of fruits and veggies in your kitchen. But if you buy frozen fruits and veggies instead, your supply of fruits and veggies will last longer and these can also be used for much longer than their fresh counterparts. Which means that you don’t need to go to the store and replenish your supplies very often.