Yes, but that's not the only reason they're better than fresh.
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Frozen vegetables are a freezer staple. They cost much less than their counterparts in the produce aisle, and they allow people access to veggies they may not find locally — especially in food deserts where there's little access to fresh produce.

But despite that, people have doubts about the healthfulness of frozen vegetables. Does freezing a vegetable make it less healthy than the fresh varities? Read on to find out.

Are Frozen Vegetables Healthy?

Frozen vegetables are healthy and contain just as many nutrients as fresh. In fact, they can often contain more nutrients because they're frozen in their prime.

Vitamin and mineral depletion occurs as vegetables begin to age, says Tayler Silfverduk, Celiac RD. Freezing vegetables significantly delays that aging process, and frozen veggies are actually fresher and more nutritious than those you'd find fresh. This rule goes for fruit, too.

"Most of the time, they are picked when they are freshest and then frozen right away, ensuring that their nutritional profile remains intact longer than fresh vegetables, which may have to travel weeks before they reach your grocery store," says Heather Hanks, nutritionist at USA Rx.

Frozen vegetables
Credit: Issaurinko/Getty Images

How Does Freezing Vegetables Affect Their Nutrition?

Freezing vegetables has no negative impact on their nutrients right away. Flash freezing produce locks the nutrients in, especially if they're flash-blanched first.

A vegetable's nutritional profile will decline after a year in the freezer, Hanks says: "Some nutrients may break down, especially those sensitive to temperatures, such as water-soluble vitamins and antioxidants."

Of course, letting any produce sit for an extended period of time will make its nutritional value go downhill, so fresh doesn't have the advantage over frozen here.

How to Buy the Healthiest Frozen Vegetables

Fortunately, buying the healthiest frozen vegetables is easy as, well, buying frozen vegetables. When you're shopping, pay attention to the ingredients. Plain frozen vegetables do not contain any additives, but watch out for added ingredients like sugar and salt if the vegetables are labelled as seasoned or flavored or if they come with a sauce. The fewer ingredients on the label, the better.

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