Vegetables and fruits are an important source of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and fiber that is a necessary part of a balanced diet and should be a staple food in every home. There have been lots of questions about which type of fruits and vegetables are best when purchased. That is, how they are purchased; fresh, canned or frozen.
Under some conditions any vegetable or fruit that you can get your children and the rest of your family to eat is beneficial. They all provide nutrients that are important for a healthy diet. The decision is really a consumer’s choice but there are some differences between how you obtain these foods for your family.
Of course fresh fruits and vegetables are the best or first choice to pick. When you purchase fresh fruits and vegetables they need to be eaten as soon as possible to prevent spoilage. Spinach and green beans for example lose up to seventy-five percent of their vitamin C content within seven days after they are harvested.
Frozen fruits and vegetables are packaged at their peak of freshness. If they are stored properly and their temperature is controlled in the freezer they are quite nutritious but only for a short period of time. The longer they are frozen the faster they lose some of their nutritional values.
Canned fruits and vegetables are packed also at their peak of freshness. These products have a longer shelf-life since they are stored in cans. Once the cans are sealed they are free from contact with oxygen. Oxygen can to reduce their nutritional potency so the canning process locks in the vital nutrients and vitamins. When purchasing canned vegetables it is better to choose those that are sodium free or contain low sodium content.
Depending upon the manufacturer and how canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are process they can lose some of their nutritional value. Overall, all three ways of purchasing produce foods are pretty similar at the time they are consumed. Some canned vegetables may be higher in nutrients than some fresh or frozen vegetables depending upon how each type is prepared and cooked. Different cooking techniques or processes can alter all three either locking in the benefits or cooking them away.
Fresh, canned or frozen – fruits and vegetables are important for a healthy diet!
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