Fresh vs. Frozen – The Cold, Hard Truth

frozen foods vs fresh
Dr. Steven Pratt, MD, FACS, ABIHM

With Steve’s guidance, we created the original SuperFoodsRx grouping of 25 foods crucial to optimum human health. A diet rich in these SuperFoods forms the central concept of our nutritional recommendations.

There is a lot of misinformation out in the world about the health benefits of frozen foods vs fresh.

Here’s what we know: Generally speaking, fruit and vegetables are frozen immediately upon harvest when their nutrient content is at its peak. So you’re not hurting yourself by buying frozen, it’s sometimes cheaper than fresh, and it can last longer.

In terms of frozen berries specifically, there some new data that’s very interesting and encouraging for those of us who can only get fresh berries for a short period of time. Indications are that frozen berries provide all the benefits of fresh. A European study compared two groups of healthy men (age 60) and found that those eating frozen berries daily had a 32 to 51 percent higher blood level of quercetin – a powerful anticancer, antioxidant flavonoid – than those who ate no berries. The results showed that eating even frozen berries could significantly boost your body’s level of powerful disease-fighting flavonoids.

That said, vegetables fresh from the farm or just picked are more nutritious than their frozen counterparts; however, frozen vegetables are more than an acceptable nutritional alternative, especially if your favorite SuperFood is out-of-season.

The biggest killer of a vegetable’s nutrients come from overcooking. Whether frozen or fresh, when cooking vegetables remember that a quick steam is a much better way to retain the good stuff.

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