Frozen, Fresh, or Canned??
Let’s start with the basics:
** Fruits are good for you!
** Vegetables are good for you!
** Fruits and vegetables in any format…are good for you!
There are 4 factors used when considering the nutrient contents of food which is preserved:
1- Time of harvest
3- Growing Conditions
Once a fruit and/or vegetable is harvested, it becomes separated from its source of nutrients, and, the longer a food is separated from the soil, the more nutrients are lost. With that being said, fresh fruits and vegetables lose more and more nutrients the longer they sit around.
Freezing is one of the best methods for preserving as many nutrients in a food source as possible. As part of the freezing process, plant foods are often immersed in boiling water (known as blanching), which can make some nutrients more bioavailable. Some research and data has shown that certain nutrients are actually higher in frozen vegetables, rather than in fresh or canned.
Cooking can often strip a food of its nutrients, especially vitamins and minerals. Microwaving and steaming methods seem to help retain the most nutrients in your food source. So, when heating foods, try to steam, stew, or microwave for nutrient retention.
Other Factors to Consider:
Vitamins: Are prone to oxidation with the presence of light, heat, and oxygen. In this case, canning and freezing your vegetables, as opposed to fresh vegetables stored at home before prepping, can help minimize this process.
Minerals: Are not prone to being destroyed by light, heat, or oxygen and are mostly removed from foods by leaching into the cooking water and mechanical processing. Canned vegetables may have higher levels of minerals, such as calcium, due to the uptake from hard water during processing.
Sugar, Salt, and Preservatives: It is important to consider these, especially in canned foods. Pay attention to sugary solutions in fruits (ex: syrups) and sodium levels in canned vegetables.
Food Waste: Fresh vegetables and fruits are often subject to be wasted, due to the fact that they get tucked behind other objects in the fridge and overlooked at prime ripe time. With frozen and/or canned foods, you can use them at the time you need them and not worry about wasting them.
Environmentally Friendly: Freezing and canning foods both take energy, resources, and fuel; however, most canned items can be recycled, making them more environmentally friendly than frozen foods.
Convenience: Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are often easier to prep and easily accessible, making it more likely for you to stick to a healthier choice when in a hurry.
In the End:
EAT MORE VEGETABLES AND FRUIT!!…whether its frozen, fresh, or canned, eating a bag full of veggies is way more nutritious than eating a bag full of chips.
2017 08 09