How Do Frozen Vegetables Compare to Fresh When It Comes to Nutrients?

How Do Frozen Vegetables Compare to Fresh When It Comes to Nutrients?
Source: Flixtey
Source: Flixtey

Conventional wisdom says fresh vegetables are more nutritious. On the other hand, frozen vegetables are more convenient for the habitually busy individual who doesn't have time to roam the farmer's market every weekend. A bag or two of frozen vegetables in the freezer is also good to have in case you need a makeshift icepack. But as they begin to develop yet another layer of freezer burn in the back of your fridge, you might wonder whether they are worth eating anymore, in terms of nutrition. You might even be wondering the same about freshly purchased bags of frozen vegetables and how they stack against their farm-fresh counterparts, but it really depends on which vegetables you're grabbing in the frozen food aisle.

Read more: How to Eat Healthy When You're Broke AF


According to Livestrong, "Vegetables are more likely to retain their nutritional value if they're frozen immediately after being harvested." While the minerals, carbohydrates and fiber remain unaltered during the freezing process, ACE Fitness notes that water-soluble vitamins can be lost during the processing that precedes the freezing, mainly the blanching of the vegetables. Vitamin C, for example, is very sensitive to heat and light, and is susceptible to oxidation. 


With that said, even fresh vegetables are susceptible to losing nutrients: "Between pest-controlling sprays, transportation, handling and plain ol' time, fresh produce at the store might have lost roughly half its original amount of nutrients," Greatist's Marcy Franklin notes. This is mostly due to enzymes like trypsin and chymotrypsin, which fresh vegetables produce after harvest that causes loss in flavor and nutrition. Frozen vegetables, on the other hand, can "deactivate" the enzymes and preserve the nutrients.


Source: Kaz/Pixabay

Franklin suggests purchasing vegetables high in water-soluble vitamins like B and C fresh. Examples include cabbage and fruits. Conversely, vegetables high in fat-soluble vitamins, like A and E, as well as carotenoids, are more durable during processing and can be purchased frozen with no significant loss in nutrients. Examples of these stable vegetables include broccoli, carrots and leafy greens like spinach.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Andrew Leung

Andrew was an editorial fellow at Mic. He is based in New York and can be reached at aleungnyc@gmail.com

MORE FROM

Here are 3 times Donald Trump promised to fight for LGBTQ rights

“Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.”

UK bans all new diesel and gasoline cars starting in 2040

Britain is pushing for a move to cleaner, more efficient vehicles.

Thousands evacuated in French Riviera as wildfires break out along the coast

Fires are threatening the popular vacation destination.

Warrant suggests Justine Damond may have slapped police cruiser before she was fatally shot

The officers involved in the shooting remain on paid administrative leave.

House passes new sanctions against Russia by an enormous margin

The bill also places limits on Trump’s power to ease or end penalties against Russia.

Here are 3 times Donald Trump promised to fight for LGBTQ rights

“Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.”

UK bans all new diesel and gasoline cars starting in 2040

Britain is pushing for a move to cleaner, more efficient vehicles.

Thousands evacuated in French Riviera as wildfires break out along the coast

Fires are threatening the popular vacation destination.

Warrant suggests Justine Damond may have slapped police cruiser before she was fatally shot

The officers involved in the shooting remain on paid administrative leave.

House passes new sanctions against Russia by an enormous margin

The bill also places limits on Trump’s power to ease or end penalties against Russia.