Fresh is always better than frozen, right? Not always. Sometimes frozen fruits and vegetables actually have higher levels of vitamins and antioxidants. And here is why.
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Many vegetables that are meant to be sold fresh are picked when still under-ripe which means they didn’t have enough time to develop their full nutritive value. So even though they may start looking more ripe in a few weeks they still won’t have the same full spectrum of vitamins as if they had been picked when fully ripe.
In addition to that, during the journey from the farm to the shop fruits and vegetables are exposed to a lot of light and high temperatures. This degrades some vitamins, especially vitamin C and B vitamin thiamine. And by the time these fruits and vegetables will get from the shop to your kitchen table they will lose even more of their nutrients.
Plus many fruits and vegetables are spayed to give them a ‘just picked’ look convincing customers that they are healthier just because they look better, when in reality they have been lying in the storage for weeks.
Frozen fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables that are going to be sold frozen are usually picked when fully ripe. At which time they are most nutrient-packed.
And even though they are blanched in hot water and steamed before being frozen, the flash freeze minimizes the time for initial nutrient loss and locks in most of the vitamins and antioxidants . Only a small percentage of some water-soluble vitamins (like C and B) break down.
To sum up, when you are thinking about your next five-a-day portion of fruits or vegetables, remember that frozen ones count as well. In fact it is a very convenient and relatively inexpensive way to get more vitamins. Especially during “off-season”.