It’s wonderful that you are trying to eat better and make good healthy choices! If you want to get the most nutrients out of your food, you might be wondering which is better: fresh or frozen?
First, most frozen food meals are filled with preservatives and are often high in fat and salt. Like that pizza that is oh, so easy.
It’s best to avoid frozen meals if at all possible, but if frozen meals are a must, be sure you search for the healthiest options, like this list found at WebMD based on nutrient and calorie balances.
There are great options in the freezer aisle, however. Frozen fruits and veggies are picked when completely ripe, blanched to purify them (submerged for a few seconds in boiling water) and then frozen.
Vegetables and fruits have the most nutrients right when they are picked and ripe, and this blanching and freezing process preserves those nutrients. The further from the point of ripeness fruits or veggies are picked, the fewer nutrients they have. Fresh vegetables are usually picked before they are totally ripe so they can be shipped and have a shelf life at the store and your home. These veggies are fresh but not at their peak since they were picked days prior. So, which process is better for nutrient rich veggies?
Interestingly, studies have shown that frozen vegetables and fruits contain virtually the same level of nutrients and vitamins as fresh vegetables. Sometimes, because of the difference in when they are picked, the frozen vegetables and fruits are even healthier.
If you choose frozen veggies, cook them by steaming, baking or sautéing. Do not boil them, as this causes a loss of nutrients.