Frozen vegetables are often considered an affordable and convenient alternative to fresh vegetables.
They’re usually not only cheaper and easier to prepare but also have a longer shelf life and can be purchased year-round.
However, you may be unsure whether frozen vegetables can be a healthy addition to a well-rounded diet.
This article reviews whether frozen vegetables are healthy.
Because vegetables are usually frozen immediately after harvesting, they generally retain many of their nutrients.
In fact, one study showed that blanching and freezing vegetables for up to 2 months did not significantly alter their phytochemical content
However, studies show that freezing may affect the nutritional value of certain vegetables and specific nutrients differently.
For example, one study found that frozen broccoli was higher in riboflavin, compared with fresh broccoli, whereas frozen peas were lower in this vitamin
Additionally, while frozen peas, carrots, and spinach were lower in beta carotene, no significant difference was observed between frozen and fresh green beans and spinach
Another study noted that frozen, uncooked kale contained a higher amount of antioxidants than fresh kale, suggesting that freezing may even increase the antioxidant content of certain vegetables
On the other hand, blanching may also lead to significant decreases in heat-sensitive nutrients, including vitamin C and thiamine.
According to one review, the vitamin C content of certain vegetables could decrease by 10–80% during the blanching and freezing process, with an average nutrient loss of around 50%
Keep in mind that other cooking methods, such as boiling, stir-frying, and microwaving, can likewise lead to nutrient losses, even in fresh or canned vegetables
Frozen vegetables generally retain many of their nutrients. However, freezing may also increase or decrease the nutritional value of certain vegetables.