Should You Eat More Frozen Produce?

By on February 7, 2018

By Allegra Gallian–

We know that the recommendation is to buy fresh produce whenever possible, but the keywords here are “whenever possible”. Sometimes we’re simply not able to get fresh fruits and vegetables. They may be out of season or the grocery store may be out of stock when you’re shopping. Whatever the reason, there is another alternative. Frozen produce.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we’re supposed to eat 3-5 servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings of fruit each day, but it can be a challenge to include that many servings into your daily eating. Here are five reasons to consider including more frozen fruits and vegetables to your diet.

1. Nutrition

A study, published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, found that frozen produce and fresh produce have very similar nutritional values.

“There is a misconception out there that if you freeze [produce], you are losing the nutrients, the vitamins, and the minerals,” Ron Pegg, who designed the study, said in The Kitchn. “And that fresh is much better than the frozen. That is not the case at all.”

You’ll still receive important vitamins and health benefits, no matter how your produce is stored.

2. Versatility

It can be challenging to get the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day, especially if you’re only buying fresh. This might also be limiting how you use these foods. Frozen fruits and vegetables can be thawed and cooked, but they can also be used in other ways. For example, frozen berries, fruit pieces, leafy greens, and even frozen cauliflower rice can be added to smoothies for a delicious breakfast or snack.

3. Accessability

Another benefit to buying frozen produce is that is lasts much longer. Fresh produce must be consumed within a few days of purchase or it goes bad. We’re all guilty of having to throw away those apples we left too long or the lettuce that wilted. By buying frozen, you can stretch your groceries and save some money. Frozen produce proves to be a better option than canned because can fruits and veggies are often packed with preservatives to keep them edible for long periods of time.

4. Simplicity

According to AARP, a study from the Frozen Food Foundation found that people who purchase frozen produce eat more fruits and vegetables than those who do not. When you’re trying to include more of these food groups into your diet, you want to keep it simple. Keeping your freezer stocked with frozen goods makes it easy to meal plan. Many of the frozen vegetables, in particular, come in steamable bags, so all you have to do is pop the whole thing in the microwave.

5. Cost Efficiency 

AARP also noted that when it comes to cost, frozen produce is most often more affordable than fresh. Even if your budget is tight, you can still enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables from the frozen foods section.

 

Allegra Gallian is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in lifestyle, health, wellness and fitness. She lives in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. When she’s not writing, Allegra enjoys reading, cooking and spending time with friends and family.

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Should You Eat More Frozen Produce?