Stop being a food snob. If your favorite berries are out of season, or the prices are just too darn high, no need to fret. Just throw on your favorite parka, and say hello to the frozen food section.
Frozen fruits and vegetables provide the same nutrients and health benefits as their fresh counterparts, according to the Food and Drug Administration. That’s right, frozen fruits and vegetables are simply fresh ones that have been flash-frozen at their peak ripeness. And remember, the produce at your supermarket may have been picked weeks ago and then taken a cross country road-trip to arrive on your grocer’s shelf. The longer your produce sits around, the more the nutrients leach away.
Not only are frozen fruits and veggies just as nutritious as fresh, but they won’t spoil as quickly. By buying frozen, you’ll never be without a healthy option on hand. When making an omelet or pasta, you can easily throw in some broccoli and peppers for a delicious fiber boost. Next time you’re hankering for a smoothie—voila, just reach into your freezer for berries. Frozen produce is precut and prewashed, so the prep work is done for you. By making healthy food more readily available, you’ll be more likely to actually eat it.
When shopping for frozen fruit, watch out for added syrup and sugar, and steer clear of vegetables that include sauce. The only ingredients that should be in your frozen fruits and veggies are the fruits and veggies. So next time you are in the store, head for the freezer section. Frozen fruit and veggies are good for your bank account—and your health.
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a nationally known registered dietitian based in New York and the creator of a proprietary high-fiber nutrition program for weight loss, wellness and for treating various medical conditions. Tanya authored the bestselling weight loss book The F-Factor Diet, and she is the first dietitian with a national line of high-fiber foods, which are sold under the F-Factor name. Become a fan of Tanya on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn, and visit her website Ffactor.com.