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Hey Doc! Are Frozen Fruits and Vegetables Healthy?

Nisha Patel MD touches on the common misconception that frozen fruits and vegetables are less healthy than their fresh counterparts.

There is a common misconception that frozen fruits and vegetables are less healthy than their fresh counterparts.

In fact, a study by the University of California at Davis (Bouzari, et al), evaluated the nutrient content of eight commonly purchased frozen fruits & veggies which included blueberries, strawberries, carrots, corn, broccoli, green beans, green peas and spinach.

This study found that the nutritional value was generally equal to their fresh counterparts.



The key is to pick the more healthful brands of frozen fruits and vegetables.

You want to avoid the variety with added sugar, salt, oil, butter, sauces etc.

 

Where it comes to frozen fruits or vegetables, you want to avoid the variety with added sugar, salt, oil, butter, sauces etc. Click To Tweet

 

Basically, it should only have the vegetables listed and nothing else.

You should be able to feel individual pieces, not large solid blocks of foods which could signal the contents were previously thawed and were then refrozen.

Often times, freezing facilities are generally close to where vegetables and fruits are grown allowing for faster freezing to lock in nutrients.


If you are limited on the amount of fresh produce you can buy, try buying what’s in season or doesn’t freeze well (i.e high water content: celery, cucumbers, lettuce, radishes, melon). You can supplement with frozen varieties for what is not in season.

Obviously some of the frozen vegetables may not give you the same texture as their fresh counterparts (i.e you won’t get the crunch in frozen bell pepper) but still a great option to include in your favorite meals.

Frozen fruits and vegetables are incredibly convenient and cost friendly. Eating frozen vegetables and fruits is way better than not eating them at all!



Source: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jf5058793v

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