Frozen fruits and vegetables or fresh?
First up, I would like to set a disclaimer that regardless of weather your fruit and veg are frozen or fresh-it is a win that you are incorporating them into your daily intake!
However, if you are aiming for specificity within nutritional value and absorption, there are points that lead us to believe that frozen fruit and veg may be more beneficial…this is based off the process of the fruit and veg from farm to plate. PLUS, did you know that most fruits and vegetables are picked BEFORE they are ripe so that they can ripen during transportation?! This means that they are given less time to reach their full nutritional potential! During this same transportation, in some cases taking weeks to reach your local supermarket, then a further few days until you purchase it from the storefront, fruit and veg will further decrease in nutritional content due to time taken in said transport and waiting to be purchased in store. If you can consume your fruits and vegetables within the first day – 3 days of purchase, you will be able to salvage a generous amount of nutrients. After this time period however, it is a continuous loss of nutrients within the foods. You can generally visually see when fruits and vegetables are losing these nutrients as they will loose their shape, and fresh colour.
All this being said, frozen fruit and veg you would then assume may have a similar transportation time etc until they are packed and frozen…that would sound right? Nope! So, the fruits and vegetables that are packaged and frozen are picked at peak ripeness and snap frozen within a few hours (generally) from being picked! This means that these frozen foods can maintain their nutritional value for a slightly longer period than that of fresh fruits and vegetables! However, it doesn’t mean that you can get away with leaving them in the freezer for a largely extended period of time, a optimal time in the freezer to consume whilst nutrients are still at a high is within 1-3 weeks of being store in the freezer.
However, when meal prepping it may obviously be hard to have frozen vegetables with your fresh meat etc…when it comes to preparing meals for the week, I would recommend keeping your foods the same (either frozen or fresh, not half / half) as this could cause contamination in the foods.
Regardless of the state of the fruit or vegetable, as long as you do your best to consume as much of them as possible in line with your intake and at a consistent rate, this is most ideal! Its nutritional content won’t be completely diminished irrespective of its frozen or fresh state!
Our GMD meals all have a ‘best before’ date that you will see on the packages. I encourage you to ensure you consume your meals before this date as this is when their nutritional content will be most optimal. The foods are still fresh and highly nutrient dense!
- Bec B