Should We Avoid Frozen Fruits & Vegetables? Dr Michael Greger

Should We Avoid Frozen Fruits & Vegetables? Dr Michael Greger

October 2, 2019 100 By Ewald Bahringer


Two studies, conducted here in England have
found that some fruits and vegetables contain more beneficial nutrients when frozen as apposed
to fresh. Researchers found that most of the fruits
and veggies they tested scored better on antioxidant-type compounds, including Vitamin C, polyphenols,
anthocyanins, lutein and beta-carotene. We think this is because vegetables and fruit
sold in the frozen cabinets are chilled soon after harvest and so seem to retain higher
levels of vitamins and antioxidants until they are eaten. Two teams carried out 40 tests to measure
nutrient levels in produce which had been sitting in a fridge for three days versus
the frozen equivalent. The first research team found frozen broccoli
had higher levels of Vitamin C, lutein and four times more beta-carotene, whereas the
fresh scored better on polyphenols. Frozen carrots had three times the lutein
and double the beta-carotene, while they were also higher in Vitamin C and polyphenols. Frozen brussel sprouts scored higher on all
nutrient measurements, however fresh spinach did better than frozen in some tests. The second team found levels of Vitamin C
and polyphenols were much higher in frozen blueberries and green beans. Interestingly the frozen blueberries also
had more polyphenols and anthocyanins. The figures in raspberries and peas were around
the same. Eating newly picked produce for example from
your local farmers market is undoubtedly the healthiest option, however these findings
show that frozen can be a good back up option. It’s been said that ‘fresh’ food in
supermarkets have been shown to spend up to a month in the chain of producers, wholesalers
and retailers before we have access to it in store. I must just mention that these two studies
were funded by the British Frozen Food Association so we must bear this mind when considering
the research. Let’s hear now from Dr Michael Greger as
he shares his thoughts on frozen fruits and vegetables…. Frozen can sometimes be healthier than fresh
because frozen fruits and vegetables may be frozen on the day that they’re picked whereas
so called fresh fruit and vegetables in the produce aisle may have been on a ship from
New Zealand for the last 2 weeks exposed to air, exposed to light and losing nutrition
everyday. So look yes, local, organic, freshly picked,
ok that’s ideal. But if you think about frozen vegetables they’re
pre-chopped, pre-washed, pre-peeled, they’ve got rid of all of the inedible bits, it’s
just so convenient and it’s shelf stable it’s not going to turn yellow and start
rotting in your fridge. So any time you need greens you’ve got them
right there and you don’t have to run to the store. If you look in my freezer it is half frozen
berries, the healthiest fruits, and half frozen greens the healthiest vegetables and I just
find ways to add them to any dish.