freezing

Freezing makes little impact on nutritional content of fresh produce

Friday, May 18, 2012 by: Raw Michelle
Tags: fresh produce, freezing, nutrition

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(NaturalNews) A recent study examined the nutritional disparity between foods that were fresh, frozen, dried or canned. This study is particularly important when examining the cost value of a food product. Canned vegetables are generally much cheaper, and are therefore a more common choice for lower income households. Fresh vegetables have the highest price and the shortest shelf life. It is well known that economic divides reflect on dietary options, and can manifest distinct patterns of disease.

Terrestrial living; surrounded by kryptonite

There exists a natural bias towards fresh produce, as practical understanding recognizes that organic tissue decomposes, and the longer it sits on the shelf, the fewer nutrients it will retain by the time it is eaten. The thing that destroys nutrients is exposure to air and energy. Energy may come in the form of light or heat, but both similarly degrade the cellular structure of the vegetables. Heat famously destroys nutrients as well as the enzymes needed for the digestion of the remaining nutrients. Vitamin C and carotenoids are particularly vulnerable to heat damage.

While light is necessary for the plants to flourish in the first place, without the constant replacement of weakened cells (i.e., after the plant has been harvested, the cells stop being replaced, as the plant's processes slowly die off), the tissue begin to fall apart. The process operates in the same manner as human cell turn over, leading to signs of aging. Oxidization is the main threat that limits the shelf life of fresh produce, as well as the lifespan of the human body. Even those fresh fruits and vegetables, with their abundant store of anti-oxidants, quickly fall victim to the constant exposure. Decomposition limits its lifespan, lowering market availability, and raising its price.

Finding cheaper nutrient sources for people on a tight budget

The study examined pinto beans, tomatoes, corn, spinach, green beans, mushrooms, peaches, pears and pumpkin. Some of these foods are not generally available in a dried or frozen form, and so were spared comparison. In addition to vitamins A and C, researchers measured folic acid, protein, fiber and potassium. These nutrients were studied because, despite their high availability in foods, their deficiencies are frequently cited as a contributing factor in illness at any age.

Convenience that doesn't leave a mark

Researchers found that the price is far more greatly affected by the canning, freezing or drying than is the nutritional content. This is good news for raw food juicers, who can be assured that a weeks' worth of juicing in one afternoon isn't taking a big bite into their vitamin stores in exchange for a little convenience.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.foodproductdesign.com

http://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=ajcn.2010.93.100&org=11

http://scholar.googleusercontent.com

About the author:
Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general.

Click here to see more by Michelle

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