Nutrition Myth – Fresh fruit is best

Fresh fruit and vegetables are better than frozen.

Take advantage when fruit is in-season, and shop at farmer's markets for the freshest produce possible.

Take advantage when fruit is in-season, and shop at farmer’s markets for the freshest produce possible.

Actually, no. If you look closely through the produce section at your grocery store (especially big chain stores), you’ll see stickers announcing where the fruit came from – Mexico, Florida, even further overseas. While we’ve come a long way in terms of rapid shipping, it still takes time to get to us. When you consider the time spent in shipping and storage, fruit may sit around for up to two weeks before you put it in your shopping cart. During this time, nutrients, especially vitamin C, are lost.

In contrast, frozen fruit is often picked and frozen at the peak of its freshness, locking in the nutrients. Additional benefits with frozen fruit are that they’ll keep longer and retain the nutrient values, and they’re perfect for making protein smoothies without needing ice!

Frozen fruit is great, just make sure it doesn't get freezer burn!

Frozen fruit is great, just make sure it doesn’t get freezer burn!

What about canned options?

If the produce is treated and canned quickly after it’s harvested, the nutrient content can remain high. However, we obviously don’t know how quickly this process happens. Also, through the canning process, the texture of fruit and vegetables may change, which might bother some people.

Watch for canned fruit and vegetables which are high in sugar.

Watch for canned fruit and vegetables which are high in sugar.

If you’re choosing canned options, watch out for brands that use syrup, or label the product as “cocktails” – these inherently have lots of sugar, meaning extra unhealthy calories.

Be sure to take advantage of local farmers markets in the spring and summer. When local farmers bring their produce to these events, the produce is freshly picked – yielding the best nutrient levels. If you’re lucky enough to live in the county, road side stalls are a huge bonus! Personally, we buy fresh fruit when it’s in-season, and usually stick to produce-focused stores. To make sure nothing goes to waste, I buy minimal amounts of fresh fruit, even if that means stopping at the store an extra time during the week. Other than that, we use frozen fruit because it’s an easy option that we can store as long as needed.

About Ashleigh

I'm passionate about health and fitness. I work as a Health Promotion Specialist, a group fitness instructor, and also a coach for physique competitors / weight loss clients. I grew up as a competitive athlete, and have continued with this passion as a Women's Physique competitor. Research and writing is another interest of mine, which I use to share my knowledge with the general public.
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2 Responses to Nutrition Myth – Fresh fruit is best

  1. I agree, fresh fruit is fantastic but very hard to come by in the average grocery warehouse. great info!

    • Thanks! I hate having to throw food out because it’s gone bad in a matter of days, or biting into fruit that looks great and then is mush. The winter makes it even harder… so at least frozen fruit is reliable in these areas!

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