If you’re only hitting up the
fresh aisles at the supermarket, you might be missing out. Blueberries in your
overnight oats, daily desk-based buffets of carrot crudité´s… Way to nail those
servings of fruit and veggies. But where you buy and store the good stuff might
be nearly as important as eating it at all.
Frozen vs. fresh
Frozen actually beat out fresh in terms of nutritional content for
vitamin C, beta-carotene and folate in eight types of produce, one study found.
And this isn’t the first piece of research to support the benefits of choosing
frozen. Experts at the University of Chester in the UK compared levels of
vitamin C in a range of frozen items with levels in fresh produce stored in the
fridge for three days at 3.8 degrees. With the exception of cauliflower, levels
were similar in fresh and frozen produce. But once the fresh food had been
stored for a few days, vitamin C content fell below that of the frozen, with
blueberries showing the biggest drop.
Read more: Official list: the most potent anti-ageing foods at the supermarket
So why does frozen fare better?
It’s like buying a car: the moment a shiny new model leaves the
lot, it loses value. The same goes for freshly picked fruit and veggies.
Despite boasting high levels of nutrients, many start to degrade as soon as
they’re harvested. By the time they’re in your kitchen, the good-for-you
profile has dropped. Frozen produce, on the other hand, is packaged at peak
quality, helping it stay that exact way longer.
Read more: 9 high-protein vegetables that will fill you up fast
The big-picture perspective: eating more fruit and vegetables in
any form will positively impact your health. So think about striking a mix of
fresh and frozen in your weekly diet. If you’re throwing together a salad with
veggies and crisp green leaves, go fresh. But if you’re cooking up soups,
stir-fries and post-workout shakes with ingredients like corn, peppers and
berries, frozen is a fantastic option.
Read more: 9 zinc-rich foods that belong in your diet
Best of the bunch
Use this handy cheat sheet for what to grab where at the market.
Fresh: cherries, nectarines, strawberries, mealies, broccoli, green beans.
Frozen: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, spinach, peas, cauliflower.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com
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