In one of our past blogs, we learned how eating enough fruits and vegetables can boost your happiness. We also highlighted that how you prepare them makes a big difference on the nutritional content. But why exactly is eating fresh or “raw” fruits and vegetables usually better than frozen, dried, or canned?
What’s Wrong with Alternatives to Fresh Fruits and Vegetables?
Frozen: Frozen vegetables typically retain their nutrition content. However, studies show that some nutrients begin to break down when you store frozen produce for more than a year, due to oxidation. Frozen products can also lose some nutrients during the heating or blanching process.
Dried: Dried fruits can be highly nutritious, but it all depends on how they are prepared. Some dried fruit contains added sugar and a high calorie content, so it’s important to read the ingredients and nutrition information found on the package. Other dried fruits contain preservatives called sulfites. A sulfite allergy can cause stomach cramps, skin rashes, and asthma attacks after ingesting them.
Canned: Because canned produce is picked and canned at its peak, some products, like tomatoes, corn, and carrots contain higher amounts of some antioxidant phytochemicals than when eaten fresh. However, the heating process destroys some of the vitamins in the produce.
Although The American Dietetic Association states that canned fruits and vegetables are good substitutes for fresh produce and sometimes may be healthier, fresh produce is nutritionally better when it’s used within a few days of picking.