It has always been a bit of a debate as to whether fresh or frozen is better for you. According to the most recent poll I conducted on Twitter, fresh produce was arguably believed to have more nutritional value. But is this correct in theory?
When we think of fresh fruit, a field full of plump tomatoes in a field, and a friendly farmer carefully hand picking them.
Although it is assumed that fresh fruit and vegetables have the most nutritional value, most are often picked before harvest in order for them to be transported to stores. This means that often the vitamins and freshness start to depreciate as it is exposed to pesticides, heat, light and transportation. Fresh produce are normally injected with preservatives to give them more of a shelf life, for example the wax on a lemon. Unfortunately, this cannot always be avoided.
Identifying the cream of the crop
Ensuring you locate the best produce on the market should be priority. Organic fruits and vegetables naturally have more antioxidants and vitamin C, however, they come in pricer than normal. Eventually, I would like to shop completely organic in future, as I do feel it is the best quality produce you can possibly get. You can buy organic produce from stores like WholeFoods Market, your local supermarket. However, if organic is not for you at this point in time, making sure you buy high grade produce is ideal. Supermarkets like Waitrose and Marks & Spencer, even though they may not be organic, I’ve found that they are of a high quality in shape, colour and taste, and have a decent longevity even after the best before dates. I would not advise buying market, 0r value produce, as they are often full of pesticides and I have found insects in some produce! Examining the produce before purchasing is very important; to ensure you are feeding your body with the best of the best.
In addition to this, buying seasonally, has always been a great option. Eating seasonal produce ensures that you get the fruit or veg when it’s at its best, nutritionally and taste wise. How do you know produce is in season? It is normally cheaper in supermarkets, and are usually juicier, crunchier and have extra flavour. Eat Seasonably is a great website to look at season calendars on the best fruits and vegetables of the season; from month to month, allowing you to make the most of your 5-a-day. Another great alternative would to grow your own crops, if ya fancy lol!
Frozen produce is preserved by the process of blanching or steaming ripened produce as soon as it is picked, or a couple of hours later, to kill off bacteria and pesticides. This process often locks in the taste and vitamins, however it has been said that a small number do get lost through the process as the produce is put through high temperatures. Some frozen products also may include higher levels of sugar or sodium, it is always good to check the labelling before purchase. People may ask, why choose frozen over fresh? It produces an element of convenience as your vegetables especially are readily cut, all they need to be eaten, is cooked. Also, it does allow you to eat your favourite fruit and vegetables out of season without compromising your budget or taste buds.
Ice, ice, baby
Frozen fruit and veg, I have found have been particularly beneficial when I have made smoothies. Sometimes my spinach stash expires a tad bit too quickly than I’d like. The frozen option allows me to enjoy the spinach at my own pace and maintaining my intake of iron and Vitamin A. Frozen fruit can almost be seen as freezing, washed and fresh fruit yourself, which will help preserve them, as long as they are consumed in a timely manner. Foods frozen for a long period of time, can lose minerals.
In eating fresh and frozen produce, I do myself prefer fresh fruit because of the taste, but I occasionally use frozen veg where I am out of time to cook, or am peckish for something I’d normally eat but know I won’t eat it at once.
A balance of the two is of great benefit; but essentially, the key is researching and paying attention to the produce that does go into your body.
Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.