Fresh vs Frozen Food

July 16, 2020

Fresh vsFrozen Food

With the advent of freezers, we're able to keep our food lasting longer than ever before. But is there a difference between fresh and frozen produce in terms of nutrition? Which should you be eating? 

You instinct may be to shout out "Of course fresh food is better. It's fresh." And you may be right. But it's highly dependent on the circumstances. In many instances, the food you take off the shelf in a grocery store has been harvasted under ripe to avoid damage during travel time. This means that it hasn't yet reached its peak nutrition. Furthermore, the minute it was picked, its nutritional content began to deteriorate. The food is then loaded on a truck, boat or plane, travels for days and waits on a shelf for you to choose it. After, which it may sit in your fridge for a few more days before being eaten. Over this period of potentially weeks, the food may lose up to 50% of its nutritional value.


Frozen foods on the other hand are picked when they're ripe and frozen immediately. And while the quick freeze process does affect some vitamin content, it essentially freezes, or locks most of the nutrients in place. Next to the fresh produce that has been sitting around for weeks, there's no doubt that frozen foods can contain more nutrition, particularly during the month that local produce is not in season and travelling far distances. 

In a series of studies, after 3 days of storage, frozen broccoli had higher levels of Vitamin C and Beta-Carotene. Frozen blueberries were much higher in polyphenols and anthocyanins, and frozen sprouts scored higher in all nutrient measurements. 

Of course if you pick a fresh vegetable from your garden or get it from your local farmer's market, and eat it that date nothing could be quite compared to both the nutrition and the taste. But unless you're able to shop every few days, frozen produce could be a great nutritionally comparable alternative.