No one can deny that frozen vegetables are quite convenient: they are ready in a few minutes, they are tasty and they are always colorful! But, are they really healthy? Is there anything bad about choosing frozen vegetables over fresh ones?
It used to be believed that during the freezing process the nutrients in frozen vegetables experienced a breakdown faster than the fresh. There is a natural process of aging in food: as soon as you pick a vegetable off its plant or pull it out of the ground, it starts to decompose. Unless you put the product in the freezer or you eat it right away, nutrient loss is bound to occur. So, the fact is that blanching and flash freezing vegetables at their peak ripeness is actually healthier than eating vegetables that have been sitting for long at the supermarket.
It is important to state, however, that some frozen vegetables have been pre-seasoned and they might contain harmful additives and a lot of sodium, so choose unseasoned frozen vegetables.
To preserve nutrients and kill bacteria and enzymes that break down food, frozen vegetables are picked, placed for a moment in hot water and frozen instantly and finally packaged. So if they are kept at the correct temperature, when you eat them they are almost as healthy as when they were harvested, of course, whenever possible buy season vegetables locally –it’s good for you, for the local economy and the environment.
The benefits are many:
- Frozen vegetables preserve the nutrients of fresh vegetables
- They are low in fat and sodium
- They help maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- They boost the immune system
- They are a good source of vitamins
- They are a source of fiber
The only thing you have to bear in mind if you choose frozen vegetables is to choose the ones that have not been seasoned or if you are not sure they have been stored properly. It is quite rare, but sometimes frozen vegetables can be exposed to listeria that can grow in a frozen setting and is quite dangerous.
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