Fruits and vegetables are one of the main sources to obtain your nutrients and live a healthy lifestyle. These yummy foods should be worked into every meal throughout your day. Our society offers them in numerous ways including fresh, frozen, and canned. Below we’ve broken down the differences between each:
Fresh produce is given the reputation that it is the healthiest because it is “fresh,” therefore also the most expensive.
However, a lot of the fresh fruits and vegetables lose their nutritional value just days after being harvested. In about a week, they will lose about 50% of their nutritional value even if properly refrigerated. The longer they wait to be put in the store, then waiting to be sold, and then waiting to be eaten decreases their value. They still have quite a bit of vitamins and minerals, but not as much as they would if they came straight from the ground.
Frozen produce is seen as a last minute resort that is cheap and quick. It is believed it does not have nearly as much nutritional value as fresh produce.
However, frozen fruits and vegetables have almost just as many nutrients as fresh produce if not more because they go through minimal processing. The one process they do go through is called blanching, which helps retain the color but takes away some vitamins, but they are frozen at their nutritional peak which helps retain the nutrients.
Canned produce is seen as the least expensive and quickest way to obtain your fruits and vegetables. They are easy to store and last a long time, so they are a great bang for your buck!
Now, they are cheap and easy to store but they do not have nearly as much nutritional value as the fresh or frozen produce. They lose about a half of the vitamins through their heating process and instead sodium and sugar is added. On top of that, the longer you store them, the more vitamins they lose.
Remember to always get your fruits and vegetables in, no matter how they are processed! Fresh and frozen produce is a great way to do this, and if you were to buy canned just look at the label for the sodium and sugar content.