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Fresh or Frozen? Anti-Inflammatory Fruits and Veggies

Frozen Fruit

It’s probably your first instinct to go straight to the fresh food section to grab your anti-inflammatory fruits and veggies. After all, it’s been drilled into our heads that fresher is better, right? There’s story after story about all the additives and preservatives in frozen foods, so why would we want to buy frozen or even–gasp!–canned. However, most frozen fruits and veggies don’t fall into the category of having these nasty little added preservatives that trigger the Spoonie inflammatory response.

Isn’t Fresh Better?

Are we sure fresh food isn’t better? Here’s the deal with fresh fruits and veggies, especially if you’re buying them from commercial sellers. Fresh fruit is often picked prior to the fruit being fully ripe. This means that it has to ripen on the way to the store. So it might not be fully ripe by the time you buy it, and it really never gets to that nice ripeness it would have had should it have ripened on the tree, vine, etc.

Now, when the company goes with freezing their fruits and veggies, they can wait a bit to pick it. This means the fruit or vegetable gets a chance to ripen longer. This longer wait time also means the possibility that we can get more flavor and more nutrients in each fruit or veggie that is packed in the bag before it is flash frozen. According to Healthline, some fruits like raspberries and peaches have more vitamins and antioxidants than their non-frozen counterparts. Peas and spinach have more vitamin C when frozen.

The Benefits Don’t Last Forever

The news isn’t all good for the frozen fruit and vegetable market. Some of these benefits begin to deteriorate after a period of time. The vitamins can begin to leech out of the food after a period of time (about a year). So, these foods don’t retain their nutrients forever.

However, in the end all this debate about frozen vs. fresh isn’t really doing anyone any good. The key is to eat the food that doesn’t trigger an inflammatory response. You need to find your anti-inflammatory fruits and veggies and eat them–fresh or frozen. It’s about checking the labels. Make sure nothing has been added like unnecessary sugars or preservatives. Outside of that, enjoy the fact that the freezing process allows you to enjoy your favorite anti-inflammatory fruits and veggies at their peak flavors out of season.

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