Harvard Men's Health Watch

Fresh or frozen produce? The health benefit is all in the mix

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Relying on a mix of fresh and frozen can help you get your five-to-nine daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

Fresh produce is best because it offers the greatest quantity and variety of nutrients. But how fresh is your produce?

The carbohydrate, protein, fiber, and mineral content do not differ much between fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. But vitamins and beneficial plant-derived chemicals (phytonutrients) may be lost when produce sits on the supermarket shelf or in your refrigerator before being eaten. That means unless you buy fruits and vegetables harvested locally—and recently—the ones you eat may contain fewer vitamins and phytonutrients than you think.

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