Victorian Institute of Sport

Nutrition Tip | Are fresh vegetables always better than frozen varieties?

Saturday, 06 February 2016

It really depends on how fresh the vegetables are. As the days tick over after picking vegetables, the nutrients levels slowly decrease. On the other hand, fresh vegetables that are picked and snap frozen essentially have the nutrients frozen into the produce. It’s also important to keep in mind that vegetables are a great source of dietary fibre. The fibre content doesn't deteriorate easily which means that fresh vegetables that sit in the fridge for a week still have the same amount of fibre value despite lowered nutrient levels. Freezing vegetables doesn’t affect the fibre content.

How you cook your vegetables may be more important than whether they are fresh or frozen. Boiling vegetables in a large amount of water for a long time lets the vitamins leach out into the water. Regardless of whether you are cooking fresh or frozen varieties, use as little water as you can and cook them for a short time. Steaming or microwaving vegetables are much better options than boiling.

The choice between fresh or frozen vegetables may be influenced by your grocery shopping routine. If you’re doing a weekly grocery shop you may like to buy fresh vegetables to start off the week and end the week with frozen vegetables. Alternatively shop two to three times a week for your fresh vegetables so they don’t spend too long sitting in the fridge. 

*       Add kidney beans to burritos

*       Make your own hummus with chickpeas, garlic cloves, olive oil and tahini

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