Vegetables are healthy and contain many important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fiber. However, vegetables can quickly lose these nutrients. In this article, we will answer the reader’s question, “Are frozen vegetables as healthy as fresh vegetables? We will also discuss how to preserve and cook vegetables to maximize their nutrients.
Immediately after harvesting, the quality of vegetables begins to deteriorate. Not only does the taste and structure deteriorate, but the nutrients in the vegetables are also quickly lost. Vegetables will also last a little longer if they are wrapped in a perforated plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator. […]. Fresh cut vegetables should be eaten as soon as possible after you buy them, or they will quickly lose their nutrients.
Frozen Vegetables Just as Healthy as Fresh Vegetables
Frozen vegetables can be preserved. These vegetables are blanched and frozen immediately after harvesting, thus preserving many of their nutrients. After cooking, frozen vegetables contain about the same amount of vitamin C and minerals as fresh vegetables, which is equivalent to 40% of their original content. Therefore, frozen vegetables are just as healthy as fresh vegetables. However, care should be taken with creamy vegetables because of the extra fat that is added to them. Frozen vegetables do not taste much different and contain few additives. Vegetables frozen at home may contain less vitamins and minerals than commercially frozen vegetables due to the relatively long freezing time.
Canned and bottled vegetables are not as healthy as frozen or fresh vegetables
Canned and bottled vegetables have lost more nutrients than frozen vegetables. Only 15% of the original content of vitamins and minerals are left. Incidentally, very little vitamin C is left in dried vegetables. On the other hand, canned and bottled vegetables need to be cooked in a shorter time than fresh vegetables, so in the end there is no difference in the amount of nutrients retained between fresh and canned or glass vegetables. The disadvantage of canned and bottled vegetables is the added salt and sugar. Therefore, canned vegetables are much less healthy than frozen or fresh vegetables. My advice to you is to buy fresh or frozen vegetables.
As mentioned earlier, the maximum storage time for raw vegetables is 2 to 5 days. Pre-cut vegetables should be eaten within the same day. The best storage method depends on the type of vegetable. Also, the storage period for different types of vegetables varies. Leafy vegetables can be stored for one to two days, while green beans can be stored for three to five days. Eggplants, cucumbers, peppers, and winter carrots can be stored for longer, 5-7 days. Chicory and cauliflower can be stored for 7 to 10 days. Cucumbers and tomatoes can be stored for 1 to 2 weeks. For packaged vegetables, check the use-by date on the package. It is also important not to store tomatoes, ripe apples, and kiwis together with cabbage, cucumbers, broccoli, eggplant, and mushrooms. This will cause them to spoil faster.
In addition to preserving vegetables, the way they are prepared can also affect the amount of nutrients they retain. Pre-cut (frozen or refrigerated) vegetables are somewhat less healthy. They contain less vitamin C than uncut vegetables because it is lost in the peeling and cutting process. In the case of green vegetables, the cutting process also releases substances that break down vitamin C. If the vegetables are sealed, the loss of vitamin C can be reduced to some extent.
Steaming is better.
Boiling loses 20-50% of the vitamin. Do not cook or steam vegetables more than necessary with little water. Steaming preserves more nutrients and keeps the flavor better. Also, do not leave vegetables in water for a long time and eat them immediately after cooking.