: Canned fruits & veggies are nutritious and more affordable than fresh?
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
All forms of produce provide needed nutrients, and buying canned fruits and veggies can be more convenient and affordable.
WHAT WE KNOW
Fresh fruits and vegetables are great value for the price, but they can soon become very costly if you throw them away due to spoilage before you can eat them. Unfortunately, some consumers think that consuming them fresh is the only way to get the optimal nutritional benefits from fruits and vegetables. As a result, a tug-of-war has been created between nutritional value and budget. But you can have both! The key is to have a mix of canned, frozen, dried, and fresh produce always available because all forms of fruits and vegetables matter.
HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?
A recent brochure was developed by Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) outlining why all forms of fruits and vegetables are important and how they all contribute important nutrients to the diet. Canned fruits and vegetables are harvested during peak season and some nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin E, and carotenoids are actually higher in canned fruits and vegetables than fresh produce. This is true, in part, because the mild heat treatment in canned products allows for greater bioavailability of these nutrients and also because varieties cultivated for canning are sometimes more nutritious than fresh, like tomatoes. Cooking does not destroy fiber or minerals either.
A recent study also found that canned fruit (pears and peaches) and vegetables (green beans, corn, mushrooms, peas, pumpkin, spinach and tomatoes) are much more cost effective compared to fresh, dried, or frozen varieties, especially when factoring in preparation time.* So not only are canned fruits and vegetables good for you, they’re accessible regardless of season, there’s no need for refrigeration, and preparation time is minimal. Canned fruits and veggies are an important component of every pantry to help meet the recommendation to make half your plate fruits and vegetables!
Enjoy your favorite fruits and vegetables year round! Canned fruits and vegetables are both versatile and delicious; there are endless ways to enjoy them! Try mixing fresh fruits and vegetables with canned, frozen or dried varieties. For example, add canned garbanzo beans to a fresh greens salad or canned peaches to a smoothie. Stock up on low-sodium (or no salt added) canned vegetables and canned fruit in light syrup or with no sugar added. (Or simply drain and rinse canned fruits and veggies and almost ½ the added sodium or sugar is removed.) You, your family, and your wallet will not be disappointed.
* Kapica, Cathy and Wendy Weiss. “Canned Fruits and Vegetables, Beans and Fish Provide Nutrients at a Lower Cost Compared to Fresh, Frozen or Dried.” Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences
2.4 (2012): n. page. Web. 5 Sept. 2012.