Frozen vegetables: are they healthy?

Frozen vegetables: a quick and easy alternative to fresh veggies.

If you’ve been down the frozen food aisle lately, you’ll notice that frozen vegetables come in various mixes ready to steam, throw in a soup or stir fry them.

I always encourage getting your vegetables fresh and if possible from local farmers, however if that’s not always possible, keep in mind frozen vegetables are the next best thing. My mantra is:

“Always make the best choice possible from what’s available”.

It’s better getting your veggies in frozen form than not having them at all.

Facts about frozen vegetables:

  • Despite their claims, frozen vegetables are not necessarily as nutritious as fresh.
  • In terms of calories and fiber content, they are virtually equal, however, in vitamins C and A, for example, they do differ.
  • Even frozen vegetables are a great way to add fiber and valuable phytochemicals to your diet.
  • Frozen vegetables are picked at the height of their flavor and nutritional value, blanched in hot water or steamed to kill harmful bacteria and then flash frozen at -40˚C in an effort to preserve their nutritional value.
  • Some nutrient loss occurs in this process. Water-soluble vitamins, like vitamin C, are particularly vulnerable during blanching and freezing.

The degree of nutrient loss varies greatly from brand to brand, for example:

  • one-half cup (125 ml) of Green Giant Valley Selections Cut Broccoli provides only 17.5 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C while the same sized serving Green Organic Broccoli Florets provides 50 percent. (One-half cup of fresh broccoli that’s been boiled and drained provides over 70 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement.)
  • on the plus side, beta-carotene (converted to vitamin A in the body) fares better in frozen vegetables than in fresh because this carotenoid is sensitive to light. As they’re always packaged, frozen vegetables have less exposure to light resulting in less destruction of beta-carotene.

Read the Ingredients:

While frozen vegetables are low in sodium, some seasoned vegetable blends, will have added salt. Please do your due diligence and read the ingredients list and purchase frozen vegetables with nothing added to it.

Also, avoid frozen vegetables in cheese or other types of sauces, as they can add damaged fats (trans-fats and vegetable oils) as well as a heap of sodium, from refined salt to your plate.

Buying just frozen vegetables, will allow you to prepare them the way you like it and have control over the quality of fats, salt and spices you’ll use to season them. That’s learning to eat clean and to be in charge of what goes in your mouth.

Do that, as food can be your medicine or it can be your poison. Your choice!

Personally if I buy frozen vegetables (usually peas, or mixed vegetables for soup)-I add them to soups or to lentil pasta, or I use them to make pureed, cream soups, as I don’t particularly care for their texture, once they’ve been frozen.

In conclusion, frozen vegetables can be part of a clean whole foods healing diet.

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