It can be tempting to see a bag of frozen vegetables or fruit and walk right past it, thinking the fresh produce has better nutritional value. But in fact, frozen foods have undeniable advantages, including convenience! Having a few staples on hand in your freezer can make meal prep easier, but beyond that there are many nutritional benefits to buying some frozen foods. In this article, we talk with a nutritionist about which foods are best to buy frozen to get the most health benefits and make shopping easier. Read on to find out what she recommends to stock your freezer with nutritious meals!
Frozen vegetables and fruits: are they really healthy and nutritious?
Frozen fruits and vegetables can be just as, or even more, nutritious than fresh produce. This is because freezing preserves the vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables until they are ready to be eaten. The freeze-drying process also retains nutrients that normally degrade over time. Additionally, frozen fruits and vegetables can be a great way to ensure you’re getting all the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs while preventing spoilage, reducing the amount of food waste created.
Studies have also shown that frozen fruits and vegetables tend to have higher antioxidant concentrations than fresh produce due to the ripening processes that occur when fresh produce is stored for long periods of time. Ultimately, frozen fruits and vegetables can be an incredibly healthy choice because they provide an easy way to get a variety of essential nutrients into a meal or snack without sacrificing taste or quality.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of frozen foods to choose from:
Fish is another great way to incorporate healthy protein into your diet while avoiding expensive trips to the fishmonger. Wild-caught fish are higher in omega-3 fatty acids than farm-raised fish, but both types of fish provide essential amino acids needed for muscle growth and repair. Cod, salmon, haddock and tilapia are all popular options that can be purchased frozen with minimal effort.
Lean proteins like chicken breasts are often sold pre-packaged in cubes, which makes them particularly convenient for meal planning – just thaw the amount you need each day and add it to your salad or your sandwich. For those looking for something a little more robust, there are also ready-made marinated meats in the frozen aisle, which make ideal accompaniments to grilled vegetables or potatoes when time is of the essence.
Legumes such as edamame beans provide plenty of fiber as well as other essential vitamins and minerals if eaten in moderation. These lightly salted green soybeans are sold shelled or not, which makes it easy to prepare them when needed without wasting time shelling them yourself beforehand!
If you’re looking for an easy and nutritious way to add plant-based protein to your diet, consider stocking up on frozen legumes! There are a wide variety of options available in most supermarkets, including black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc. Frozen legumes are just as healthy and nutritious as canned varieties – in fact, many people claim they are more convenient and have a longer shelf life. They can give you the same nutrients and flavors when cooked in soups or stews or used as a side dish, such as bean salad. Frozen vegetables are becoming more and more popular these days, why not try legumes?
Red and juicy fruits:
One of the best ways to ensure that you are consuming fruit with maximum nutrition is to buy frozen fruit from your local supermarket. Packed with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, these compact little packets of flavor can be made into healthy smoothies or added to your favorite summer salads. Strawberries, raspberries and cherries are some of the best options available; they retain their nutritional value while having a rich, juicy taste that adds a bold touch to a variety of dishes.
Plus, unlike more perishable produce like blueberries and blackberries, these red gems have an extended shelf life when frozen. So grab a tropical blend for your next smoothie bowl or choose a single berry for your snack; whichever you choose, it will be bursting with fresh-picked flavor and essential nutrients.
Peas and corn:
Frozen corn and peas are a convenient option for those who want to enjoy nutritious vegetables. Unlike canned goods, frozen corn and peas hold their colors and flavors longer, adding a healthy element to any meal without taking a lot of time to prepare. The nutrient content remains intact in frozen produce, giving it the same health benefits as fresh produce. Nutrients such as vitamin C, A, iron and calcium are always present in these options, making them an attractive choice for busy families.