Typically, most people simply assume that fresh fruits and vegetables are the healthiest options – packed with the most nutrients, vitamins, and phytochemicals. However, when you begin to take into account all of the different considerations addressed through storage, a different picture emerges.
The amount of nutrient-loss within fresh produce is significantly higher than you might expect and research has found that many cooking and storage methods could take as much as half of the good nutrients out of our fruit and vegetables.
Frozen food may be healthier
A study conducted by the University of Georgia suggests that frozen produce actually showed higher amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and folate when compared to their fresh and properly-stored counterparts.
This study agrees with evidence from previous studies, which have shown that both canned and frozen versions of produce could contain higher levels of beneficial vitamins. The reason behind the differences, is that canned and frozen fruit and vegetables go through a process that causes many of the key nutrients involved to be locked in for longer.
Freezing foods seals in the nutrients
Most often, canned or frozen fresh produce are packed as soon as they are processed. On the other hand, many of those nutrients are typically lost when fresh produce is simply allowed to sit numerous days after being harvested. This means that frozen or tinned foods are given less time to spoil that fresh produce, which can take days to be shipped, stored and sold. When vegetables are blanched before freezing, the enzymatic breakdown of nutrients is prevented – meaning that produce stays healthier for longer.