In these times fed by coronavirus, many of us turn to tins in our store cupboards and the fruits and vegetables in our freezers to feed us during this period of ‘lockdown’.
But is it just as good for us as the fresh stuff we usually get so easily from our local supermarket?
Well, yes it is.
Of course, you may think that fresh fruits and vegetables are always frozen or canned, but that’s not always the case.
Fresh versus frozen
AXA PPP healthcare. “data-reactid =” 37 “>” Is fresh always the best? That is currently a question for many people with potentially limited availability and access to food, “explains Georgina Camfield, Associate Nutritionist and Physiologist. AXA PPP healthcare.
In the field of nutrition, Camfield says fresh is not always superior to the frozen counterparts.
“It really depends on how fresh the products actually are. Many fruits and vegetables are shipped from all over the world, which means that it can take several days from when the food was harvested to arrive on the shelves. And that’s before it even arrives at your home! she explains.
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Frozen fruits and vegetables are certainly a valid option at this point, as the products are frozen quickly after harvesting, keeping the nutrients in place.
“One study even showed that the antioxidant content in frozen fruits and vegetables may be higher than in fresh produce!” she adds. “However, this differs per fruit / vegetable.”
www.lunchbox.com& nbsp; agrees that studies have shown that in most cases there is no nutritional difference between these and fresh fruits and vegetables. “data-reactid =” 63 “> Nutrition expert, Jenny Tschiesche, from www.lunchbox.com agrees that studies have shown that in most cases there is no difference in nutritional value between these and fresh fruits and vegetables.
“In frozen corn, green beans and blueberries, the vitamin C content is even higher than in fresh, while frozen broccoli contains more riboflavin (vitamin B2) than fresh,” she explains.
Camfield says that when it comes to fiber, freezing has no effect either, because frozen vegetables are just as good at getting fiber in your diet.
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What about canned fruits and vegetables?
Canned fruits and vegetables is something different.
“Certain vitamins can be lost during the preservation process,” explains Camfield. “Water-soluble vitamins such as vitamins C and B vitamins are sensitive to heat and air, so they can be found in reduced amounts in canned fruits and vegetables.”
But that doesn’t mean they’re not an equally nutritious option at the moment.
“Tinning can actually increase the nutritional value of some fruits and vegetables. For example, tomatoes and sweet corn release more antioxidants when heated and preserved, ”explains Tschiesche.
One thing to watch out for, especially with canned fruits or vegetables, is whether they come in a sauce or syrup, as they can contain added sugar and salt. Instead, Camfield suggests looking for fruits and vegetables in water or natural juices.
How we cook our food can also have a positive and negative influence on the nutritional value.
“What we should not forget is that cooking can increase the bioavailability of certain nutrients,” explains Tschiesche.
“Don’t forget to maximize nutrient intake by cooking carrots, tomatoes and mushrooms, all of which release more nutrients when cooked.”
Camfield says that if you know how to cook your vegetables, you can reap the most nutrients and benefits.
“Cooking vegetables for too long can cause some vitamins to escape, so make sure to use as little water as possible or ideally – steam cooking,” she advises.
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And we can also increase our nutrient intake by combining the right foods together.
“For example, it is easier for our body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) if we eat them with fats,” says Tschiesche.
“Other combinations include vitamin C and iron-rich foods, tomatoes and olive oil, vitamin D and calcium-rich foods.”
So there you have it? If you can’t get a supermarket delivery for love or money, don’t think you can’t get an equally good vit hit from the fruits and vegetables you languish in your freezer or cupboard.
Desperate times and all.