Frozen vegetables are some of the healthiest food you (and your kids) can eat, but many people don’t realize that frozen vegetables are just as good for you and sometimes even better. Because of this, they are often written off from the shopping list, but this is a mistake even if you prefer fresh vegetables. There will always be times when frozen vegetables should make their way into your diet. Let’s look at the three primary advantages of them.
Advantage #1 – Frozen Vegetables Are Nutritionally Sound
Freezing acts as a preservative for vegetables so there are no chemical additives required that serve no nutritional benefit or possibly even harm the vegetables. The freezing process inhibits the growth of bacteria and other particles. Canned vegetables on the other hand add salt as a preservative and inhibitor. Sometimes many other useless ingredients are also added. Too much sodium and other stuff in the diet can lead to adverse health effects like high blood pressure.
While it seems to be conventional wisdom that frozen vegetables are better for you than canned vegetables, many people think that they are less optimal for your health than fresh vegetables. While this can be this case sometimes, it is not most of the time. Based on a 1998 report from the FDA, frozen vegetables have the same amount of health benefits and nutrients as fresh vegetables. Additionally, they have also been found to be nutritionally superior to out-of-season imported fresh vegetables according to a 2003 Austrian study.
Freshly picked vegetables from a garden or farm that are picked at their peak ripening period may the best health-wise, but rarely do you find these types of vegetables at the grocery store. Often they are instead picked prior to fully ripening so they won’t be overripe at the store, and in this process they lose some of their nutrients. Frozen vegetables on the other hand can be picked at their optimal ripening time and then quickly frozen to retain their nutrients.
Advantage #2 – The Convenience Factor
Frozen vegetables are simple to prepare, especially when compared to fresh vegetables. With fresh vegetables you have to clean them, peel them and cut them. With frozen ones all you have to do is place them in the cooking container- there is no prior processing needed.
If you have little time for preparing dinner, who wants to take the time to process fresh vegetables? Chances are you will skip them, and if that’s done enough your health won’t be optimal. Frozen vegetables are a great substitute for fresh ones when time is a factor.
Advantage #3 – It Is Easy to Mix Your Flavors
Frozen vegetables are also often available in mixed packages, already chopped and diced in ready-to-eat condition. Or you could buy individual packages and mix them yourself easily. If you are making homemade soup, mixed frozen vegetables are a quick and easy way to add nutrition and taste to your recipe.
Feel like having broccoli mixed with corn and carrots? You can simply buy a bag of that at the store, but imaging having to prepare that with fresh vegetables? You would have to wash and chop the broccoli, husk and scrape the corn off the cob, and peel and dice the carrots. You would be lucky to prepare that dish in less than an hour. With a frozen package you could be eating this mix in five minutes. So if you enjoy the rainbow of flavors of mixed vegetables, frozen is the way to go.
So these are the main advantages of frozen vegetables. Be sure to stock up on your favorites so you always have some handy, as this will help keep your diet nutritionally sound with very little effort.