Are frozen veges as good as fresh?

Kapi-Mana News - - YOUR HEALTH -

Ques­tion: I’mwon­der­ing if frozen veg­eta­bles are as good for you as fresh veg­eta­bles? I of­ten have them on hand in case I need to bulk out ameal. Thanks, Danielle.

Hi Danielle, nu­tri­tion­ally frozen veg­eta­bles ac­tu­ally have vir­tu­ally the same, if not slightly more nu­tri­tion than fresh veg­eta­bles. When veg­eta­bles are picked, they be­gin to lose nu­tri­ents, so how long they’re left af­ter har­vest­ing im­pacts their nu­tri­tional value (how­ever, not their fi­bre con­tent). This is just one of the rea­sons why it’s fan­tas­tic to buy pro­duce from lo­cal farm­ers’ mar­kets, as op­posed to pur­chas­ing pro­duce from over­seas that has been kept in cold store and trav­elled for thou­sands of miles. Be­cause gen­er­ally frozen veg­eta­bles are frozen shortly af­ter they’re har­vested, they’re al­lowed to fully ripen, which means they con­tain good lev­els of vi­ta­mins, min­er­als and an­tiox­i­dants. The freez­ing process ac­tu­ally in a way ‘‘locks in’’ many of th­ese nu­tri­ents. I pre­fer to buy fresh lo­cal pro­duce – but hav­ing frozen veg­eta­bles on hand can make a great and cost­ef­fec­tive ad­di­tion to many meals. Ques­tion: I have been read­ing about preser­va­tives and ad­di­tives and would like to re­move them from my child’s diet, as I’ve no­ticed a change in his be­hav­iour af­ter con­sum­ing them. What do you think? Thanks, Chrissy.

Con­trary to what many par­ents think, food ad­di­tives can in­flu­ence chil­dren’s be­hav­iour. The re­ac­tions they can ex­pe­ri­ence are re­lated to dose, so the more ad­di­tives chil­dren eat, the more likely they are to be af­fected (think of the re­ac­tion many chil­dren have af­ter a birth­day party ver­sus ev­ery­day food consumption). Ad­di­tives are now used widely in foods such as bread, spreads, crack­ers, yo­ghurt, juice and muesli bars as well as in many take­away foods. Par­ents who say ‘‘we eat healthy food’’ are of­ten sur­prised to find that their chil­dren can be con­sum­ing 20 ad­di­tives or more per day. The first step to ex­plor­ing whether or not they’re some­thing you want your chil­dren to have is to be­gin to understand them.

Chil­dren now more than ever are suf­fer­ing from food in­tol­er­ances. A food in­tol­er­ance is a re­ac­tion to a food, or a food

Ask Dr Libby

Email your ques­tions for Dr Libby to ask.dr­libby@fair­fax­me­ Please note, only a se­lec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered. chem­i­cal – whether nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring (e.g. sal­i­cy­lates, amines, glu­ta­mate, monosodium glu­ta­mate (MSG), or ar­ti­fi­cially added (e.g. preser­va­tives, colours, flavours). Peo­ple who are sen­si­tive to nat­u­ral food chem­i­cals are also very likely to be sen­si­tive to food ad­di­tives such as ar­ti­fi­cial colours, flavours and added preser­va­tives.

The eas­i­est way to avoid ad­di­tives or preser­va­tives is to re­duce your consumption of pro­cessed and bought/pack­aged foods as they tend to be used to in­crease the shelf-life and/or ap­pear­ance of a prod­uct. There are more and more food com­pa­nies bring­ing out op­tions with­out ad­di­tives and preser­va­tives - it’s just a mat­ter of re­search­ing them and read­ing the la­bels.

New Zealand’s favourite well­be­ing ex­pert an­swers read­ers’ ques­tions about their health.


Veg­eta­bles are al­lowed to fully ripen be­fore be­ing frozen, which means they con­tain good lev­els of vi­ta­mins, min­er­als and an­tiox­i­dants.

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