You Should Embrace the Frozen Foods Aisle, According to New Research
You may not want to shy away from the frozen aisle next time you go shopping for fruits and vegetables. Despite common belief, new research indicates that frozen fruits and vegetables may actually be more nutritious than other fruit and vegetable options in the grocery stores such as sauces, juices and, in some cases, fresh produce. Here’s why:
Fresh produce is often harvested before it’s ripe, which gives the fruit and veggies less time to reach their full potential of vitamin and mineral content. After being harvested they are boxed and then shipped all over the country and placed on a supermarket shelves for several weeks. Frozen produce, on the other hand, is harvested at peak ripeness, blanched and flash frozen immediately, which often preserves more of their vitamins and minerals.
Multiple studies have also found that frozen fruit products have higher levels of nutrients than other products on grocery store shelves. One study published in this past December’s Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences found that when compared to cranberry juice, cranberry sauce and dried cranberries, frozen cranberries had the highest level of flavenoids and polyphenolic compounds, which function as powerful antioxidants that protect against heart disease, urinary tract infections and stomach ulcers.
Should frozen fruits and veggies replace fresh?
No way! Fresh produce is still the preferred option for fruit and vegetable consumption, especially if bought locally from a farmers market which tends to be fresher, but frozen produce shouldn’t be shunned.
Frozen produce is often less expensive and lasts much longer in your freezer and refrigerator making it easier to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your family’s meals. Choosing frozen fruits and vegetables can also ensure your family is consistently eating a diet high in variety because most items are available year round. Additionally there are endless possibilities to cooking with frozen fruits and vegetables that are fun, fresh and healthy. See below for a few excellent options!
Ilana Muhlstein completed her bachelor of science degree in dietetics from the University of Maryland and currently works as the Dietetic Intern at City of Hope hospital in Duarte, California. Muhlstein has also worked as a nutrition consultant, contributing writer for LiveStrong.com, and researcher for acclaimed cook books and published journals. She is also a private yoga instructor in Los Angeles where she lives with her husband, Noah.