There seems to be an ongoing debate about what kind of produce is the best. It’s fresh, right? That’s the obvious answer isn’t it? Yes, absolutely. Fresh produce is the way to go. If you want to go even further, FRESH and ORGANIC produce is the best option.
Now comes the questions..
1. What if I live in a cold climate? Isn’t the produce picked ripe and loses nutrients?
2. I heard frozen is better because it’s harvested then immediately frozen keeping in all the good vitamins, is that true?
3. I throw away a lot of produce and it's expensive, is fresh really worth it?
Produce in colder climates does get shipped and may be harvested quite ripe so it makes the trip from the harvest to the grocery store. A big one is bananas. Bananas are typically stored for a long period of time before even hitting the shelves. Does this really decrease the value of the fresh produce? Maybe to some degree, but it really affects the taste.
Is frozen is better because it's frozen the instant it's harvested? The answer could be yes, but the bigger thought to consider is the process to achieve a warm plate full of broccoli from a frozen bag. You heat it. Heat can de-nature and lose nutrients. Fruits and veggies are at their BEST, when they have just been harvested and are eaten raw. PERIOD.
I buy all this produce then end up throwing it away because it goes bad. That can be expensive. Is fresh produce the best? YES. Does that warrant me throwing away rotten cucumbers every week? That is an answer you must figure out. My advice is to plan your produce intake and eat as much fresh as possible. IF this simply can’t happen, figure out the produce you know you will eat then buy the rest frozen.
Canned? I don’t think that conversation even needs to happen. It's at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to health and nutrient density (Learn more about nutrient density HERE).
Fair (at best)- Canned
Thank you for investing in your health.
Joseph Champa, RD, CSCS