Fresh v Frozen Vegetables – Nutritional Value

Nutritionist Kristen Beck media comments - Channel 9 A Current Affair - Fresh v Frozen vegetablesLast night I featured on Channel 9’s A Current Affair television program discussing the nutritional benefits and drawbacks of fresh v frozen vegetables.

As a nation, we should all be eating more fruits and vegetables.  According to the most recent National Nutrition Survey, a whopping 93% of Australians do not reach their recommended intakes for vegetables  (5 x 75 gram servings per day) as stipulated by the Australian Dietary Guidelines and only around half of us (50.2%) ate the recommended 2 x 150gram servings of fruit.

In terms of the nutritional value of fresh vs frozen vegetables, fresh picked (and eaten) is best.  But as we increasingly rely on fruits and vegeables coming from suppliers that may take several days to get them onto their shelves (and then we store them for several more days at home before we eat them) the nutritional value in terms of water soluble B group vitamins and vitamin C can diminish significantly as the storage days drag on.  Frozen fruits and vegetables will therefore contain more B group and C vitamins than fresh produce that has been left to sit for several days or weeks.

This does not, however, mean that tired, used to be fresh vegetables aren’t worth consuming.  What we need to remember is that, in addition to B and C vitamins, fruits and vegetables also supply us with an amazing array of nutrients, one of the most important of these being fibre, and the fibre content of both fresh and frozen varieties of fruits and vegetables is basically the same.   This is also the case for many vital dietary minerals and antioxidants.

And while frozen fruits and vegetables may contain more vitamins than fresh, the freezing process damages the plant cell walls – making them mushy and losing that delicious crunch that only fresh varieties can offer.

Moral of the story – just eat more fruits and vegetables.

To view the A Current Affair Story  in full please use the following link

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