The Nutritional Differences Between Fresh and Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

Vegetables and fruits are, or at least should be, staples in every strength athlete’s diet. This isn’t an article intended to persuade you to eat more produce; if you want that you can visit any generic major media outlet or my grandma’s house.

This article is intended to highlight the differences between frozen vs. fresh vegetables and their nutrition. Frozen tends to get a bad wrap when it comes to nutrient composition, and is often seen as the option that comes with decreased nutrient density over time, but is that necessarily true?

In a recent YouTube video shared by Jeff Nippard, he dives into the science behind fresh vs. frozen fruits and vegetables and their nutrition. Check it out below.

What was possibly most interesting about Nippard’s video were how many factors can influence a fruit and vegetable’s nutrient density. For example, fresh produce alone has a ton of factors that can influence nutrient density from growth to consumption. Some of these factors include things like,

  • Time of Season
  • Transportation Time
  • Handling Procedures
  • Forecast During Growth
  • Growing Process

Then, on top of that, there are even more variables that can be factored in to influence nutrients. For example, this 2017 study that Nippard brought to attention in his video highlighted three different types of produce on how their stored and the nutrition analysis that came along with each.

The three types of produce in question were fresh, fresh-frozen (fresh, then frozen for five days), and frozen. Researchers found that there was variance between the amounts of vitamins and minerals in both frozen and fresh, some had higher compositions, while others had lower. So, not only does preparation of produce influence nutrient density, but vitamins and minerals will naturally vary in each setting, too. Then, outside of those two, fresh-frozen produce showed a consistently lower nutrient density.

Nippard suggested to not stress the data’s suggestions too heavily, as the differences described in the research were pretty minimal. And at the end of the day, what’s most important is consuming nutritious whole foods.