Are frozen veges as good as fresh?

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

The Tribune (NZ) - - 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

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