Are Frozen Vegetables Still Good For You?

The idea of freezing food like vegetables has been around for a long time, but we did not start seeing them in the supermarket until around the 1940s when Clarence Birdseye invented the quick freezing method, according to the Library of Congress. Frozen foods are still popular because they can taste just as good as fresh food, as long as they are frozen at peak quality, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). One benefit of frozen foods is that they are generally cheaper than fresh foods, with some costing as much as 50% less (via Forbes).

Another advantage of frozen vegetables and other foods is the fact that they can last for months. Best of all, most foods can withstand the freezing process. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends keeping your freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit for proper storage, and vegetables kept at this temperature will remain safe (via FSIS). Keeping foods at 0 degrees also renders any microbes and bacteria inactive. While some parasites can survive at 0 degrees, cooking will destroy them. All of this is good to know, but are frozen vegetables better for you than fresh ones?

Frozen vegetables are still good for you

You may have heard that frozen vegetables don't retain beneficial vitamins and nutrients, but this is not necessarily true. Sometimes, fresh vegetables are not the best choice because they lose some of their nutrients during the time it takes for them to make it to your table, according to the Cleveland Clinic. When vegetables are frozen within hours of being picked, they retain most of their nutrients, meaning frozen vegetables are still a healthy choice. USA Today also notes that there are some foods that you should only buy frozen due to factors, such as availability. These include artichoke hearts, blueberries, broccoli, edamame, lima beans, mangoes, raspberries, and spinach.

Next time you're shopping for vegetables, don't forget to take a stroll through the frozen aisle and grab up a few bags of your favorites. You never know when they'll come in handy for a recipe.