Frozen or fresh vegetables, whats better?

I probably say the words “fruit” and “vegetable” about thirty times a day! They are nutritional powerhouses and are so important for your overall health…regardless if you consume them fresh, frozen, or canned. 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 fruits and vegetables 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. Because of this transport process,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. I am a huge fan of frozen veggies because of my busy work schedule. It is nice to have them on hand when I am exhausted at the end of the day. I can whip up a vegetable and quinoa stir fry in less than 20 minutes! Frozen produce is sometimes even more affordable than the fresh version.

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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