Are fresh fruits and vegetables better than frozen?

It is a common misconception that fresh vegetables are the best for you. The truth is…fruits and vegetables in any way are nutritional powerhouses. They provide hundreds of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They have been widely found to help prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease and can help strengthen your body’s immune system to help you fight off the common cold.

Frozen vegetables and fruits are nothing more than their fresh counterparts that have been cooked or steamed for a short time before being frozen. In addition, fruits and vegetables that have been picked, blanched, and then frozen in their peak times retain much of their nutritional value. Fresh vegetables and fruits many times are picked at their peak times and then have to undergo a shipping process in which they are exposed to heat and light; During this time they ripen and lose some of their nutritional power. Another benefit of frozen fruits and vegetables is that they are edible for several months! I have patients that frequently will tell me that they purchase fresh produce…only to “forget” about it or not have time to eat it and the produce goes bad. Frozen can allow flexibility in meal planning and ease of preparation. They are sometimes even more affordable than the fresh versions.

I suggest using frozen fruits and vegetables in a variety of ways. Frozen fruit can be combined with yogurt and juice for a healthy fruit smoothie. Take frozen vegetables and combine with boneless skinless chicken breasts and make a colorful stir fry. Use frozen spinach in casseroles and frozen butternut squash makes an excellent soup and frozen peas can be added to any casserole.

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