Stocking up a bit more than usual on essentials is part of the new normal these days, and that might include a few mini-towers of canned goods or frozen food options.
Fruits and vegetables that are commercially frozen are just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts, and sometimes even more so, according to Terry Wahls, M.D., clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa. That’s because produce starts to lose vitamins and minerals gradually after harvest, so the longer it takes to travel from field to fork, the less nutrient-dense it becomes, she tells Runner’s World. But freezing pauses this process, so you can get an abundance of the good stuff.
Wahls’ preference is recently harvested, local, seasonal, organic produce, but she acknowledges that’s not always easy to find—especially when you’re not shopping as often.
“Frozen foods are a good, affordable way to eat more quality foods like vegetables,” she says. “What I’ve seen is that people are very successful at making radical changes when faced with radical circumstances. Obviously, that’s what’s happening right now, so it’s an opportunity to change your diet to be healthier—and frozen foods can make that easier.”
Plus, as long as freezer temperatures are 0-degrees Fahrenheit or below, it brings bacterial growth to a complete stop, versus fridge temps, which only slow down that growth, according to Janilyn Hutchings, certified food safety professional and food scientist at