Filling your shopping cart and plate with truly FRESH and nourishing fruit and veggies at this time of year can be both expensive and a challenging task. Do you ever consider just how long the lettuce and peppers from around the globe have been on the way before reaching you? And what that does to the nutritional quality of the products?
Earlier it was believed that frozen vegetables and fruits were not as nutritious as their fresh counterparts. They were suspected to have less of the vital micronutrients, i.e. vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytochemicals, as fresh. It was believed that the veggies and fruits lost a substantial amount of the micronutrients in the freezing process – leaving them as the less healthy option.
Let’s bust that myth!
Research shows that you are safe when it comes to frozen vegetable and fruit in terms of getting your vital nutrients. The techniques used for freezing vegetables and fruits are quite advanced and very efficient in preserving nutrients. On top of this, the produce is most often frozen quickly after the harvest and keeps the nutrients well.
“Off-season,” frozen vegetables will give you a high concentration of nutrients.
If you compare frozen vegetables to ‘fresh’ imported ones, the fresh versions often come out as the preferred. Here is an example:
The time from farm to table can be long and in that time there will be a loss of volatile vitamins such as vitamin C and B vitamins, and also vital enzymes and other phytochemicals.
Studies have shown that spinach kept in the fridge retains only around 50 percent of its folate (vitamin B9) after eight days. After the eight days, the deterioration of nutrients continues further day after day. So that attractive appearing bag of spinach shipped from somewhere across the globe picked weeks and weeks before it hits your plate, may not give you all the nutrients you are hoping for.
Other vitamins such as A-, D-, E-, and K vitamins are relatively stable such as most minerals. However these vitamins are degraded under certain types of heat preparation such as frying, grilling and baking.
So next time you are tempted to ditch your healthy greens or fruits because they are too pricey, then go and check out what frozen options you have. There might be something nice for you there to improve your health.
1. Eat them raw after thawing. Yes, that is absolutely fine and delicious. Read here for delicious and easy recipes for frozen veggies and greens.
2. Thaw by leaving the frozen vegetables and fruits out and add them directly to your food to minimize the loss of water-soluble vitamins. Don’t thaw them in water or boil them since the vitamins will then only diffuse into the water, which you probably just discard – and they will do no good to you.
3. Finally, steam rather than boil your produce to minimize the loss of water-soluble vitamins.
Do you have other tips on how to avoid the unhealthy impulse shopping? Let us know via our social media Facebook, Instagram and Twitter - and don't forget to hashtag #MyHealthyDXB and tag @MyHealthyDXB
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Your body rely on you to get vital nutrients from the food you eat. Your body takes care of millions of biological processes every day. Each process depends on certain components and building blocks - which you can only get from fresh, nutritious food, prepared in the right way.
Processed and industrialised prepared food does not give your body what it needs. It is not real food - it cannot give your body fuel to the millions of vital processes to function optimally. Poor quality food does not feed your body well - it only fills your stomach!