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Fresh vs. Frozen? Choosing your Fruits and Vegetables

Written by
Published in October 2006

Fruits and vegetables are the nutritional powerhouses of your diet. They are brimming with vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals that may protect against cancer, heart disease, stroke and other health problems. As grocery stores and markets are flooded with the best of the fall harvest, it's important to remember, the more fruits and vegetables you eat, the more you turn on their power! But what if there are slim pickings in the produce aisle? Should you head to the freezer case to pick up bags of frozen fruits and vegetables? You betcha!

Frozen Finds

In 1998, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed that frozen fruits and vegetables provide the same essential nutrients and health benefits as fresh. It's no wonder. Frozen fruits and vegetables are nothing more than fresh fruits and vegetables that have been blanched (cooked for a short time in boiling water or steamed) and frozen within hours of being picked. Further, frozen fruits and vegetables are processed at their peak in terms of freshness and nutrition.What's not to like?


"Fruits & Veggies - More Matters"

The idea is to focus on getting MORE fruits and vegetables in your diet. Fresh, frozen, diced, sliced, steamed, raw, whatever. You just want more. In fact, starting in March of 2007, the CDC and the Produce for Better Health Foundation are launching a national campaign with the slogan, "Fruits & Veggies -- More Matters."

The new message replaces the old "Five a Day" campaign, which dates back to the early 1990s. Why? Because five servings of fruits and vegetables is just not enough. Adults need anywhere from seven to 13 cups of produce daily to reap all the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. So, more really does matter.


Bottom line








Any fruits and vegetables are better than no fruits and vegetables. For peak flavor and good value, fresh produce in season is always a good choice. But frozen or canned fruits and vegetables, without added salt or sugar, are just as good for you as fresh. Here some easy ways to sneak more fresh and frozen fruits and veggies into your diet.

  • Buy many kinds of fruits and vegetables when you shop. Buy frozen and dried, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Experiment with new types of fruits and veggies
  • Keep a fruit bowl, raisins or other dried fruit on the kitchen counter and in the office
  • Keep a bowl of cut-up vegetables on the top shelf of the refrigerator for snacking
  • Add fruit to breakfast by having fruit on cereal
  • Choose fruit for dessert and use frozen fruits for smoothies
  • Add fruits and vegetables to lunch by adding them in soup, salads, or cut-up raw
  • Add extra varieties of frozen vegetables when you prepare soups, sauces, and casseroles









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