Frozen fruits and vegetables help Americans achieve nutrition goals
Are you looking for healthy, affordable and convenient options to help increase your fruit and vegetable intake? If you're like most Americans, the answer is most likely, “YES!” Squeezing in the recommended 5-9 servings was a challenge, but now the goal is 10 servings a day! New research presented at the Experimental Biology 2017 meeting shows that people who eat frozen fruits and vegetables are much closer to reaching their fruit and veggie goals!
In reviewing data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2011-2014, the study found that consumers of frozen fruits and vegetables not only ate more total fruits and vegetables than consumers of fresh, canned or dried produce only, but they also had significantly higher intakes of key nutrients like potassium, dietary fiber and calcium (AKA nutrients of concern because low intakes are associated with health concerns like obesity and heart disease). And as if that weren’t enough, adult consumers of frozen fruits and vegetables also had significantly lower BMI than non-consumers!
Frozen fruits and vegetables are brimming with other benefits too. They’re prewashed and packed within hours of harvest, helping to preserve nutrients, and they’re available in easy to open, re-sealable packaging helping us save time and reduce waste! Interestingly, the study also revealed that those with low income consumed less frozen produce despite their overall lower cost, revealing a blind spot in consumer awareness for these frozen gems.
Filling your day with produce is easy - here are some suggestions for a fast frozen fix:
Breakfast: Warm frozen blueberries as a topping for oatmeal or toast with peanut butter
Snack: Combine frozen berries with low-fat yogurt for a quick pick me up
Lunch: Stir fry frozen veggies and top with a scrambled egg and steamed frozen edamame
Snack: Combine frozen mangoes and 100% orange juice to blend up a delicious smoothie
Dinner: Sauté frozen mixed vegetables and frozen onion with garlic, herbs and olive oil and serve with brown rice pasta
Drink: Add frozen fruit in place of ice to cool down your iced tea or sparkling water
And a good ol everyday favorite – frozen bananas! Once the bananas are speckled, peel and place in a freezer bag and freeze for a future banana bread or smoothie. Try a Blueberry Ginger Smoothie or Banana Chia Seed Bread.
Published September 1, 2017