Is Frozen Fruit truly as Healthy as Fresh Fruit?

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

Some studies were done to compare whether a frozen fruit is as healthy as fresh one shows that, the process of freezing mildly affect the nutritional value of the fruit. The change in a nutritional value of the fruit is insignificant to the health. The study shows that the type of plant contributes to the change in nutrition.

Fruits’ nutrients are hard to degrade even though it is known that vitamins in fresh fruits are easily affected over a period of time. Iron is one of the minerals that cannot be affected by freezing process. The fiber in fruits cannot be degraded even when you cook or freeze them. Feel free to eat as many fruits as possible be they frozen or fresh as they have an insignificant difference in health. The most Important and natural gift to mankind is fruits.

A human’s body is a complex system which depends on adequate supply of nutrients. Most of these nutrients are in fruits. A healthy diet with fruits in good measure keeps most diseases away as well as treating the ones that have already attacked. Fruits are a wonderful natural gift given to humankind to take care of his health. In addition to their colour and flavour, fruits’ nutrients are incomparable with any other nutrient.

The amount of fiber in frozen fruit is not altered and has same as that found in fresh fruits. The skin of the fruit is the main source of fiber. Fiber is useful in digestion and excretory system, ensuring prevention and treatment of gastritis as well as constipation. The minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium among others are the same in both frozen and fresh fruits.

A comparative study on vitamin content in fresh and frozen fruits was done and found some differences. Some fruits like blueberries had high levels of vitamins than fresh ones. Though there maybe that voice at the back of our minds that convinces us that fresh is better than frozen, there are facts beyond any doubt that frozen fruits are truly as healthy as fresh fruits. Enjoy fruits in and out of season.

Some fruits like berries deteriorate in health value if left on the shelf for long. Nutritionists advise one to eat fresh berry fruits or freeze them at the back of the freezer since it is also affected when you so often close an open the freezer door. Deep freezers work well in a storage of frozen berries. If you are buying frozen berries in the market, for good quality ensure that it had been frozen under the process called “individually quick frozen”.

We cannot resist the fact that fresh is great and healthy eaters ensure only fresh fruits are eaten. Before quick freezing technology came, food used to be frozen using the ice-encased process which was associated with tasteless food and fruit which was believed to have no nutritional value.

Frozen fruits will always ensure constant supply in your daily diet. One can stock fruits especially when they are in season and they are also cheap. This has, as a result, made many people embrace frozen fruits.

If you want to maintain body weight, keep away diseases and generally improving your health, always take a bowlful of fruits whether frozen or fresh. Frozen fruits are different from dried ones. Dried fruits have a lot of additives for preservation and sweetening therefore not ideal for healthy eating. Dried fruit lose a lot of nutrients during the process of drying.

Unless indicated otherwise on the container label, frozen fruits are purely fruits with no additives or any form of adulteration. The package should only have one ingredient, the fruit such as blueberries.

Let Us Demystify Some Myths Related to Frozen Fruits

Let Us Demystify Some Myths Related to Frozen Fruits

1. Frozen and Fresh Fruit Nutrition

Its said that frozen fruits are not as nutritious as fresh ones. FDA, an organization dealing with food and drug confirmed that the two are equally nutritious giving the body vital nutrients useful in body’s health.

2. Frozen Is Not Better Than Fresh

Some fruits like blueberries are picked at their peak of freshness age and frozen under the ‘individual quick frozen’ process. Their nutritional value is not tampered with and can stay for long n this state. Picking the fruits early also helps in ensuring they are not damaged during shipping.

3. Frozen Is Precisely Glob of Ice

Individual quick freeze ensures that the fruit is preserved and its original shape maintained. Not all frozen fruits glob together. Blueberries for instance, despite their size they maintain their texture and shape when frozen. They can be stored without losing their quality for a period more than two years.

4. It’s Harder to Use Frozen When Cooking

The use of IQF has made cooking frozen stuff much easier. Fruits like berries are used in many recipes. Frozen fruits bring out the frostiest smoothies. When you freeze berries, the water content is reduced making them ideal for many recipes.

Benefits of Frozen Fruits Versus Fresh Fruits

Benefits of Frozen Fruits Versus Fresh Fruits

  • The difference in nutritional value of frozen and fresh fruit is insignificant to cause any health issue. Therefore to ensure you have plenty of fruits n your diet in and out of season, frozen fruits when in season, their nutritional value will not change.
  • Frozen fruits are in supply throughout the year, during summer and winter. You can eat your favourite fruit as long as you wish to.
  • When fruits are in season there is plenty of supply at lower prices. You can freeze the excess fruits bought or harvested. This prevents any wastage and ensures a constant supply of fruits.
  • Frozen fruits’ smoothie is thick and tasty to enjoy especially on those hot days. They also thicken drinks bringing the effect closer to a milkshake.
  • Vibrant tastes of fresh fruits are when the fruit is picked from the plant. Nothing compares to the taste of freshly picked strawberry.
  • Fresh fruits are in plenty during the peak season and are available in local market stores. Due to the rule of demand and supply, the prices of fresh fruits are lower during peak season.
  • There is a general assumption that fresh fruits are healthy compared to frozen fruits. Due to fruits ripening fast and the possibility of getting spoilt after over-ripening, freezing them becomes a better way of preserving them.
  • Frozen fruits are known to have high levels of vitamins. These vitamins are suitable for fighting cancer cells due to the presence of an antioxidant. Fresh fruits do not match these abilities.
  • Frozen fruits are in addition to vitamin C, rich in polyphenols, bet-carotene, and lutein. Other than treatment of cancer, the antioxidant component help in the functioning of the eyes, skin, bring and of the entire body.
  • For fresh fruits to look appealing and fresh even when they are not, some sellers use mist spray to add colour. This is not natural thus adulterates the value of fresh fruits.
  • With the mist sprays, fruits can last for a month or so without changing the colour and crunch. This is not fair to the consumer since it does not give the true picture of the fruit. When you buy them n put n the fridge, they continue to lose their nutritional value.
  • Frozen fruits are chilled soon after they are harvested; this enables the fruit to retain all its nutrients until they are eaten even if it will be after a year or so. A test was done to measure a number of nutrients in fresh fruits that have been put in the fridge for a few days and for frozen fruits which have been frozen for a number of months. Surprisingly, the fresh fruits had lost their nutritional value yet the frozen fruit had all its nutrients intact.
  • When you are on a weight loss program, buy lots of frozen fruits. You will find something healthy to eat when you feel hungry rather than eating junk due to sugar cravings. In addition to having frozen veggies and plenty add list of frozen fruits n your shopping list. Make weight loss smoothies using your frozen fruits. You will never run out of fruits f you store frozen ones; they are an important component in your diet as you lose body weight. Be keen not to buy any frozen fruits with sugar additives.

Why Fruits Are Important for Your Body

Why Fruits Are Important for Your Body

  • Fruits are rich in vitamin C and minerals. The role of fruits n the human body is to prevent both vitamin C and vitamin A problems due to lack of enough supply. Most chronic diseases are brought by lack of adequate supply of vitamins.
  • Other nutrients are potassium, folic acid, and fiber. Citrus fruits and berries have phytochemicals significant for other health benefits.
  • Frozen fruit’s nutrients are vital for the maintenance of healthy body system. Heart-related diseases are treated and prevented by sufficient intake of potassium resident in fruits. As you grow older, your body requires strong bones; lack of potassium in your body may cause loss of bones at old age. Therefore always eat a lot of fruits.
  • For formation of red blood cells, folic acid is required. Both frozen and fresh fruits have folic acid. Pregnant women need enough folic acid in their system to ensure that spina bifida is kept at bay.
  • Fruit’s fiber s important in one’s diet since it helps in the digestion system.
  • Fruits are recommended to those people with skin problems. To keep your skin glowing and well toned; eat plenty of fruits in your diet. They work better and naturally than commercial skin creams.

Facts About Frozen Fruits

Facts About Frozen Fruits

Frozen Fruits Are Rich in Nutrients

Though there is a general assumption that fresh fruits are better than frozen, most fresh fruits are picked long before they ripen to avoid being spoilt. This would mean that by the time the fruit was picked, it did not mature enough thus not having all nutrients. Ripening process ensures that the fruit is loaded with enough nutrients. Frozen fruits like blueberries and strawberries must be picked when fully matured after which they are packed and stored. Frozen fruits are cheaper compared to fresh ones, therefore a better option with full nutrients.

No Wasting, Just Freeze

Unlike fresh fruits which can go bad after a few days, frozen fruits can last for years in a freezer without its nutrients being compromised. Instead of waiting for fruits to get spoilt due to over-ripening, pack them and freeze for future use. The frozen fruits are cleaned before packing therefore when using you don’t have to wash but can use directly. This saves some minutes of preparation during cooking time.

Frozen for Less Money

Compared to fresh fruits, frozen fruits are cheaper in price. When you need to save those few coins for another item, go for frozen fruits. Remember, though the cost is cheap the nutritional value is present.

Frozen Reduces Preparation Time

Frozen fruits do not require cutting or washing. You can use them directly from the freezer. Busy mums are able to make dishes t hoe within a short time. You can blend them into smoothies, use as your oatmeal breakfast toppings.

Fresh Strawberry Fruit

  • 1 cup
  • 46 calories
  • 9 fibeR
  • 7g natural sugars
  • 84 mg of vitamin C

Frozen Strawberry Fruit

  • 1 cup
  • 52 calories
  • 1 g fiber
  • 7g natural sugar
  • 61 g of vitamin C

Where Do I Buy Frozen Fruits

Most grocery shops and produce centers or sections have both frozen and fresh fruits. When buying frozen ensure that the label indicates no other ingredient except the fruit. This is important to check just in case there are other frozen fruits with additives like sugar.
To save more money, plan to buy bulk because it is cheaper. Bulk buying has significant discounts and can boost your budget. There are a variety of frozen fruits in big shopping/grocery stores. Enjoy frozen fruit’s smoothies all year long from less by buying bulk. It is reported that almost 20-30% of your cash can be saved by buying stuff in bulk.

Frozen fruits produce very frosty smoothies. Invest in a high-end-blender to enable you to blend them properly.

Common Nutritional Frozen Fruits

Common Nutritional Frozen Fruits

Peaches

Peaches have been known for long to do well n frozen for. They are used in making pies and dessert toppings in most recipes. They can as well be eaten alone as a fruit. Add them in your post work-out snack for healthy eating. You can freeze them at home in tightly packed containers or zipper bags. For better freezing, use IQF process. Do not shy away from picking them from the grocery store, they work just as well.

Berries

At the peak of ripening, berries are picked from the farm ensuring that all the nutrients are intact. Berries are common in frozen fruits section in the grocery mall. The fruit is not tampered with, no cutting into pieces like a peach. Different berries are packed whole for freezing. Some are added brown sugar additives to make it ideal as your ice-cream favourite toppings. If you have a lot of berries that you do not know what to do with them, I advise you freeze them. Here is how to go about freezing them for future use; wash them well and on a cookie sheet let them freeze and ensure they are not touching each other. Pack them in freezer bags, remove air and seal properly and store in the freezer. When using them, remove the amount you need and store the remaining back in the freezer.

Grapes

Grapes, especially table grapes in frozen form are gaining popularity because they are eaten throughout the year. Freezing them does not lose their flavour. Children like ‘grape candy’ to first suck then chew the frozen grapes.

Cherries

Cherries are red in colour and heavily loaded with anthocyanins. They are good when stored in frozen form; you will be picking the amount you need for either your snack or topping on your yoghurt.

Freezing Process of Fruits That Ensure Retention of Nutrients

Freezing Process of Fruits That Ensure Retention of Nutrients

After picking the fruits from the tree, the first step is to wash them thoroughly. Next, a chemical known as ascorbic acid is applied on the fruit to prevent further ripening. Finally, the fruit is frozen through a flash freezing process. This process ensures that the fruit is not damaged before storage. Freezing takes place immediately the fruits are picked, to avoid losing nutrients. Freezing the fruit lone without adding sugar ensures that the flavour of the fruit is not compromised.

Conclusion

After knowing the difference between frozen and fresh fruits, you will make an informed decision to either pick fruits from the freezer or produce area, the next time you go to the grocery store. You need to consider why and when you will be taking your fruits; do you need to eat them seasonally, buy for lower prices or eat fresh ones for fullest flavour. Frozen fruits see to have more benefits than fresh fruits.

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.