Vegetables: Fresh v. Frozen
Obtaining the recommended amount of vegetables every day – at least two and a half cups – is challenging. Preparing vegetables for a workday lunch or dinner can be time consuming. There is also a misnomer that fresh vegetables provide the most nutritional value. However, research has shown this is not the case – frozen vegetables have virtually the same nutritional quality as fresh vegetables. In fact, frozen vegetables might be the secret solution for those who want to maintain a healthy diet with a busy lifestyle.
Frozen vegetables are a great alternative to fresh veggies because they still have the essential vitamins and minerals needed for your body to function properly. Studies that tested the nutritional traits of fresh vegetables in comparison to frozen vegetables found almost no differences. In fact, some of the frozen vegetables had higher nutrient content; this was especially the case with vitamin A.
Frozen vegetables are also cost effective for people who do not have a big budget for groceries or who fear that the fresh veggies will go bad before they are able to use all of them (they usually last for eight months in the freezer). Cooking with frozen vegetables can also save time because the inedible portions are removed before packaging. Preparing frozen vegetables is as simple as steaming, roasting, sautéing or microwaving them.
There is no reason to switch to frozen vegetables if you are happy using fresh vegetables. However, frozen vegetables provide the same amount of nutritional quality as fresh vegetables and can be a convenient and cost effective alternative.
Written by: Leslie Lewis, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern