Are fresh fruits and vegetables healthier than frozen ones?

Fruits and vegetables are some of the healthiest foods you can eat. They are full of vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients, all of which contribute to our health.
Fresh foods may not always be available, and frozen foods are a convenient alternative. However, the question arises: does their nutritional value differ?
In this article, we will focus on the 4 most important factors that depend on the quantity and quality of nutrients in fruit and vegetables (before their preparation): harvesting, processing, transport and storage.


Most fresh fruits and vegetables are harvested unripe. The time spent in transport is used for artificial ripening in order to offer the products ripe on the market.

Picking foods before their natural ripening shortens the time it takes for them to develop a multitude of nutrients.
Fruits and vegetables can spend from 3 days to several weeks in transit before reaching the shelves. Some foods, such as apples and pears, can be stored for up to 12 months under controlled conditions before being released for sale.

On the other hand, fruits and vegetables that will be frozen are usually harvested at the peak of ripeness, when they are most nutritious, and are frozen and packed within a few hours.

In order to prevent spoilage of fresh foods during long transport, it is necessary to treat them with preservatives and transport them under controlled conditions - which affects the quality and quantity of the nutrients they contain.
Preservatives are not usually added to vegetables that are frozen, but they are often blanched.

Blanching is the sudden and short cooking of food in boiling water, usually for a few minutes, with the aim of killing harmful microorganisms and preventing loss of taste, color and texture.

During the blanching process, certain water-soluble nutrients, such as B-vitamins and vitamin C, are lost.
However, this does not apply to frozen fruit. Fruits are usually not blanched, as this negatively affects their texture. Instead, the fruit can be treated with ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C) to prevent spoilage.
In general, the freezing process itself helps to retain the nutrient content of fruits and vegetables.

Our storage of food, after purchase, also plays an important role in maintaining nutrients.

Research shows that keeping fresh fruits and vegetables chilled or at room temperature contributes to the loss of certain nutrients, compared to consuming them immediately after picking.

Also, if we store frozen products for a long time, their nutrients start to break down.

Therefore, do not "haul" food around the fridge, freezer and pantry, but consume it as soon as possible after shopping because it is healthier then.


Freshly picked fruits and vegetables directly from the garden would be the best, but if you do not treat them with preservatives, do not store them for a long time and prepare them gently, because this way the maximum amount of nutrients is maintained.

However, when you shop at the supermarket, frozen and fresh produce are nutritionally similar.

It makes no sense to cite individual studies and percentages because the amount and quality of nutrients in foods varies greatly depending on their initial form, processing method, measurement method, how we act and how much we consume.

Therefore, the message I'd like you to remember and apply every day is that it's best to choose a mix of fresh and frozen produce to ensure you're getting the broadest spectrum of nutrients.

At the end of the story, frozen whole foods are a convenient and cost-effective alternative to fresh options, and the most important thing is that your diet is rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Because it doesn't matter if this or that apple has 10% more vitamin C, it's important that you eat the apple.

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