A diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables is essential to our health and wellbeing. Fruit and veggies provide fibre for heart and gut health, plus an array of different vitamins, minerals, antioxidants & phytochemicals to keep our bodies and brains firing on all cylinders. But what about canned fruits and veg? Are they just as ‘good for us’ as fresh? Considering there are a few factors that determine an individuals’ access to nutritious fresh food, especially fruits and vegetables (such as location, budget, time, etc.), the question needs to be asked…
Frozen Fruit & Vegetables
Frozen fruit and vegetables are truly one of the best things to pop in your supermarket trolley. They are absolutely just as good as fresh fruit and vegetables and can actually be more nutritious in some cases. How? Well, as soon fruits and vegetables are picked, their nutritional value starts to diminish. Fresh fruit and veg you find at your local supermarket may be up to a week old, whereas frozen fruits and vegetables are actually snap-frozen shortly after being picked. This preservation process locks in all of the nutrients that can be lost through heat, travel and transport. This often makes frozen fruits and veggies just that tiny bit more nutritious than fresh.
Another huge bonus is that frozen fruit and vegetables are very cheap. For example, at the time of writing this fresh green beans were $7/kg, while frozen green beans were just $3/kg. Buying frozen also gives you the opportunity to buy vegetables and fruit that are not in season for a reasonable price. Mango and raspberries in winter? Yes please!
Canned Fruits & Vegetables
Just like frozen vegetables, canned vegetables are very easy to use and very affordable. Be careful to look out for any added sugar and salt, as these ingredients are often included to help preserve the product. There is a solution though! Simply drain the canned vegetables (or legumes) and rinse under cold running water. Easy!
Canned fruit is another great way of buying fruit cheaply and all year round. Hello mango again! Try to stay away from the sickly sweet ‘in syrup’ varieties and buy your canned fruits ‘in juice’ instead, as these options will contain far less added sugar.
At the end of the day, go with what you have access to, what you prefer, or what’s within budget. More fruits and vegetables in your day is always going to be a positive. Enjoy the possibili-peas 😉 that come from using fresh, frozen and/or canned fruits and vegetables! Each is great in cooking and if fresh produce is on sale at the supermarket, consider freezing it in bulk or preserving it in a jar yourself for a freezer and fridge full of colourful goodness.
For more nutrition advice and tips to build healthy habits for you and your family, visit us at 12WBT.com.