Freshly picked fruits and vegetables are most abundant in nutritional benefits when consumed right after harvest at the height of their season.
A study by IFR Extra suggests that produce can lose almost half of its essential nutrients quickly after being harvested during the journey from farm to table. Depending on your grocery store, this period can take about two weeks or longer, cutting down on the nutritional value of your produce.
So, how do we take advantage of the freshest, tastiest fruits and vegetables? By shopping local and – believe it or not – buying frozen. Yes, you read that right . . . buying healthy frozen foods can actually be super nutritious and beneficial!
When you shop from local farms, you cut down the time between farm to table, enjoying your produce at its best.
Why frozen? From a nutritional standpoint, buying healthy frozen foods can be just as healthy (if not healthier!) than many of the fruits and veggies found on most grocery store shelves. Frozen fruits and vegetables are often picked at the peak of their season and flash-frozen to prevent nutritional loss and to preserve their flavor.
Here Are 5 Healthy Frozen Foods That You Actually Should Buy Frozen Instead of Fresh
These are our top picks of healthy frozen foods that you actually should buy frozen.
Popeye was really onto something with his spinach! Spinach is known for being a superfood because it is rich in Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and folic acid. It’s also a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, and Vitamin B2.
These nutrients start to diminish as soon as it is picked. A study done by the University of California showed that spinach stored in room temperature lost 100 percent of its absorbic acid in less than four days! One cup of frozen spinach has more than four times the amount of nutrients (such as fiber, folate, iron, and calcium) than a cup of fresh spinach.
These little blue powerhouses are packed with antioxidants that strengthen the immune system, neutralize free radicals, and have been linked to preventing infections and diseases. New research from South Dakota State University has found that frozen blueberries preserve and activate more disease-fighting antioxidants compared to non-frozen blueberries.
These antioxidants come from compounds called anthocyanins. The process of freezing blueberries allows the ice crystals to break down this compound’s structure, allowing anthocycanins to be more accessible to our bodies.
Did you know that blueberries are also super hydrating? Check out: Eat These Hydrating Foods for Healthy Radiant Skin
Green and mighty, broccoli reigns high on the nutritional scale. It’s high in fiber and Vitamin C and has potassium, B6, and Vitamin A, which all work together to aid in digestion and heart health while boosting our immunity.
Independent studies from Leatherhead Food Research and University of Chester showed that flash-frozen broccoli had higher levels of Vitamin C and lutein and four times more beta-carotene compared to the broccoli fresh off the grocery store shelves. Talk about healthy frozen foods!
These vibrant roots are known for being rich in beta-carotene, which is great for our vision. They also boast rich nutritional value in heart-healthy antioxidants.
According to studies done by Leatherhead Food Research and University of Chester, frozen carrots ranked among the highest in Vitamin C and polyphenols and had three times the lutein and double the amount of beta-carotene.
These lush red beauties are rich in antioxidants and have been linked to aid in insomnia, joint pain, and belly fat!
A study by UC Davis shows that cherries lose about 25 percent of their polyphenols after three months. But don’t wait too long consume them – the number doubles to losing 50 percent of its polyphenols after six months.
Go and Buy These Healthy Frozen Foods!
Frozen foods may get a bad rap, but they can actually be more nutritious than imported fruits and veggies. Don’t let the frozen packaging deceive you, frozen foods may be more beneficial than not.
So, go check out the frozen food aisle and load up your cart with these delicious and nutritious healthy frozen foods!
Are you a total health food nut? Watch This Hilarious Video On the Adventures of Trying to Eat Healthy
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