Easy healthy eating during pregnancy – frozen produce
By Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD, CLEC, CPT
Eating fruits and veggies is a fantastic thing you can do for your overall health – especially when you are looking for options that are good for healthy eating during pregnancy. In fact, studies show that eating adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables during pregnancy are linked to healthy infant birth weight and fewer behavioral problems during childhood.
However, don’t feel like you have to stick with fresh fruits and veggies. There is often misconception related to fresh versus frozen produce. While few will dispute that eating a bowl of fresh berries or local leafy greens is great, fresh is not always better than frozen.
Aside from the ease associated with frozen produce (less prep required!), here are a few added benefits of frozen:
Ripeness: Before a fruit or vegetable is frozen, it is picked at the peak of its ripeness. Therefore, no matter where you are located, you are able to reap the nutritional benefits of something like a California strawberry – regardless of whether you are in California or Connecticut.
Antioxidants: When considering individual fruits, like blueberries, freezing may result in some pretty awesome nutrition benefits. A study showed that one type of blueberry had a 29% increase in antioxidant activity after 3 weeks of cold storage.
Nutrients: In some cases, frozen fruits and vegetables can contain more nutrients than fresh counterparts, thanks to not having as much exposure to the elements that can break down vitamins and minerals.
Furthermore, one study showed that the vitamin C content of foods like corn, green beans, and blueberries was higher in frozen samples when compared with fresh versions. During pregnancy, vitamin C is one nutrient we love. Studies suggest vitamin C may help promote iron absorption and may help promote collagen formation (which we think is especially important with stretching skin).
Looking for some great things to make with frozen produce? Smoothies, baked desserts, and soups and a few great options!
Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is for educational purposes only, and does not substitute for medical advice. Always consult a medical professional or healthcare provider related to medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment.
Lauren Manaker is the Leto Foods Nutrition Advisor. Lauren is an award-winning registered dietitian nutritionist, certified lactation educator-counselor, and book author. She specializes in women's health and holds a position on the executive committee of the Women's Health DPG of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Lauren earned nutrition degrees from the University of Florida, Rush University, and University of California, San Diego. Follow her at @LaurenLovesNutrition on Instagram.