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.

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Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as one of the full time writers and editors at BarBend. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand. As of right now, Jake has published over 1,100 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter. On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and was a writer at the Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office. Jake regularly competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a weightlifting shoe sneaker head. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in Hoboken and New York City.