During the current pandemic, some people have decided to stock up on frozen or canned goods for the first time to limit exposure at the grocery store. Although fresh produce is healthier than canned or frozen vegetables, there are some steps you can take if buying food that lasts longer is a priority for you.
Produce is at its nutritional peak when it is fresh. In fact, fruits and vegetables start to lose their nutrition as soon as they are picked. This is because the tree or ground is the primary source of nutrition and energy for produce. The longer food stays on the shelves, the more of its nutritional value it will lose. Once it’s cut off from the life source, produce begins using its own nutrients to keep its cells alive.
Freezing fresh produce in large quantities at a time is a relatively new process. Even just a few decades ago, picking, transporting, and freezing vegetables took a long time. Today, the entire process can be performed in as little as a few hours. Freezing produce quickly helps preserve some of the nutritional value.
Mare vegetables, however, are blanched before being frozen. This process includes heating the food to a high temperature for a few minutes. Doing so helps shut down enzymes that would otherwise degrade color and texture while the frozen produce is being stored. Unfortunately, blanching lowers nutrient content.
Produce loses even more nutritional value during the canning process. When food is canned, it is heated up to very high temperatures. Canned food also normally contains significant amounts of salt. Canned fruits may include excessive amounts of sugar.
Although the sterilizing process causes food to lose nutritional value, it also stabilizes canned produce, which increases its shelf life to years instead of days.
Canned and frozen produce have their place. If you need convenient produce, these types of vegetables are great, and certainly better than no vegetables at all. Over the last few months, when experts have advised us to limit shopping trips, many people have turned to frozen and canned fruits and vegetables. The best thing you can do is to supplement these types of produce with fresh fruits and vegetables. A diverse diet is always crucial to your health.