July 3rd, 2017
Are there differences in nutritional value between fresh, frozen, and canned produce?
No matter what form they are found in, fruits and vegetables are always a healthy addition to your diet. However, there are some things to consider. Fruits and vegetables provide us with many things we need, like fiber, carbohydrates, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals. Some treatments, like processing or cooking, can alter these. For example, frozen vegetables are usually blanched before freezing, which can reduce the vitamin content slightly. The same goes for canned vegetables. However, this doesn’t mean that fresh produce always has more vitamins; depending on storage time, growing conditions, and age, fresh produce might have less.
But no matter how we buy fruits and vegetables, there are steps we can take to preserve what vitamins and minerals remain in our food. For example, heat and water can leach out or alter vitamins and minerals, so we can eat raw or lightly cooked food. Steaming is a great cooking method for preserving vitamin content. And if we do choose frozen or canned vegetables, we can choose low sodium varieties with minimal additives. Whether it’s fresh, frozen, or canned, fruits and vegetables are always a good idea!