Are Frozen Vegetables as Healthy as Fresh Ones?

Illustration of frozen peas

We’re brought up to believe that fresh vegetables are always best. But what if frozen vegetables are just as healthy, if not better, for our diets?

Frozen food may carry a bad name and that’s often because they’re seen as artificial. But frozen food may be unnecessarily written off when it’s time to shop for your favourite veg.

American inventor Clarence Birdseye, or more commonly known as Captain Birdseye, saw the value in preserving our fresh goods, creating the quick-freezing method back in 1924. With modern technology, this process has been improved tenfold since Birdseye’s day. By packing vegetables early in the process, preserving them at their peak, frozen vegetables may actually retain more nutrients than when they’re fresh.

So, could frozen vegetables be the answer to both saving you money and getting in those 5-a-day, or is fresh still best? Read on to find out.

What’s Better – Fresh or Frozen?

Green Peas

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Whilst frozen peas may contain less vitamin C than fresh peas, did you know that green peas can lose over half their vitamin C in the first 24 to 48 hours after picking? By freezing peas early in the process, their vital nutrients are better preserved. Not only that, but frozen peas actually contain far more calcium than when they’re fresh, coming in at a whopping 37mg. Fresh peas, on the other hand, contain 19mg per 100g.

Although fresh peas may sound like the healthier option, it is clear that frozen peas offer just the same, if not more, nutritional benefits. Easily accessible and sold at a fair price, this family favourite is just as good frozen.

Potatoes

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An amazing source of fibre and a firm favourite for many, the hearty potato is a great way to put some fibre into your diet. With a wide variety of potatoes available, this veg is such a simple way to pack those vital nutrients in your diet, such as potassium and magnesium.

This veg may be a staple, but have you ever stopped to think about how you consume it? Although chips and roast potatoes are readily available in supermarkets, these frozen goods are far more processed than fresh King Edwards or Maris Pipers. Frozen potatoes unnecessarily increase the amount of salt in your diet, taking away from all the good nutrients that this vegetable has to offer.

Long lasting and grown fresh here in the UK, we recommend you buy fresh potatoes. Both delicious and reasonably priced, this veg is literally as cheap as chips!

Broccoli

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Boasting a wide variety of vitamins, including calcium, iron and zinc to name a few, broccoli is a great vegetable to make up your 5-a-day. This leafy green sure packs a nutritional punch, but is it better fresh or frozen?

Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, helps the body convert food into fuel, which is used to give us energy. Whilst fresh broccoli still boasts abundant vitamins, frozen broccoli actually contains more vitamin B2. So, if you’re looking to up your energy intake, head for the frozen aisle next time you’re after this leafy green.

Edamame beans

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Next on the list is the edamame bean. Packed full of protein, this East-Asian bean is rising in the veg popularity contest. Chucked in a stir fry or simply as a delicious snack, edamame beans will make a great addition to your 5-a-day. These immature soybeans are an amazing source of protein and are packed full of vitamin C, a necessary vitamin for growth and healthy development. But are they better fresh or frozen?

Widely available in the frozen aisle of UK supermarkets, edamame beans are a great addition to any freezer. This bean is significantly cheaper when frozen, and is perfect for when you need to add a little extra protein to your diet.

Carrots

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Whether it’s for your Sunday roast or in a warming winter soup, the carrot is both a versatile and nutritious vegetable. Member of the Apiaceae family, this popular root veg is an excellent source of various vitamins, including beta-carotene and vitamin K, which is great for eye health and a strong immune system.

When stored at room temperature, carrots can lose 27% of their vitamin C content. But what if we told you that losing 27% is considered to be a much better result than many other vegetables?

Freezing your veg is a great way to preserve these nutrients when they’re at their peak. So, whether you prefer your carrots fresh or frozen, this veg will provide you with the vitamins you need.

Red Cabbage

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Part of the Braccia family, alongside brussels sprouts and kale, red cabbage provides a plethora of nutritional benefits. Grown in the UK and versatile in its uses, red cabbage is rich in antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C and E and is a great source of fibre.

So, should you buy it fresh or frozen?

Whether it’s in a coleslaw or salad, eating red cabbage raw is a simple yet highly nutritious way to consume this purple veg. So next time you’re in the supermarket, grab this fresh veg off the shelf ready for your summer barbeque!

Wondering which vegetables are better to eat raw vs cooked? Check out our latest blog here.

Spinach

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An incredible source of iron, spinach is a great vegetable to have in your repertoire. But have you ever gone to add spinach to your salad to find it’s gone soggy before you could get through it? Well, you’ll be pleased to know that frozen spinach retains similar amounts of vitamins as fresh spinach does. Buying frozen spinach will reduce your food waste and will last you far longer than fresh spinach will. It’s often the cheaper option out of the two, too!

Looking to incorporate more spinach into your diet? See the 8 health benefits of spinach juice.

So, are frozen veg as healthy as fresh veg?

So, what’s the answer? Are frozen vegetables as healthy as fresh ones?

Contrary to popular belief, it seems as though frozen veg may reign supreme. By locking in all those valuable nutrients at the peak, frozen vegetables offer the same, if not better, levels of nutrition. Frozen veg also boasts economic value and helps to reduce unnecessary food waste.

However, one thing we know for sure is that vegetables are an excellent source of all those vital vitamins and nutrients we need, so whether you prefer fresh or frozen, getting your 5-a-day is what’s important.

Get your 5-a-day with V8 Juice

Looking for an easy way to increase your veg intake? Get your 5-a-day the easy way with V8 Original Vegetable Juice! Packed full of a delicious blend of 8 vegetable juices, it couldn’t be easier to hit that target with just one 150ml glass a day.