Did you know that frozen produce, contrary to conventional wisdom, is just as nutritious, and in some cases, may even be better for you than fresh?
Produce that will be frozen for transport can be picked at the “peak” of ripeness thanks to flash-freezing technology that literally locks in their nutritional value, while simultaneously imparting long-term preservation. The phytochemical and nutrient content of produce progressively rises as it ripens. In fact, there is a tremendous boost in phytochemical value in the last week of ripening as reflected in the deepening of its color.
Fresh produce is typically picked days to weeks prior to peak ripeness to allow standard transit times from field to grocery shelves. The second produce is picked its nutritional value begins to diminish. Consuming frozen produce generally means less exposure to pesticides.
In summary, frozen produce provides a convenient, flexible and “just as healthy” alternative to fresh. Just be sure to avoid frozen fruits with added sugar and frozen veggies with added butter or sauces. I always have frozen produce on hand and like to really stock up when it’s on sale. Here are four nutritional gems that you will always find in my freezer:
- Baby peas
- Berries (various varieties)
- Organic spinach
Dr. Ann Kulze is founder and CEO of Just Wellness and has a knack for breaking down the science of healthy eating and living into simple and easily digestible messages. She has been featured on “Dr. Oz,” “Oprah and Friends,” WebMD and U.S. News & World Report. Alabama NewsCenter is publishing advice from Dr. Ann.