A lot of us don’t heed the health advice out there about eating enough fruits and vegetables. This happens for a variety of reasons. In our society, where we increasingly value the dollar and are seeking convenience, it is possible that canned produce is the answer to our collective nutrition. Or at least, one answer, according to a new study.
Researchers from Michigan State University underscored the critical role that canned fruits and vegetables play in helping Americans increase their levels of daily fruits and vegetables.
In analyzing over 40 studies and nutrition data, they compared canned fruits and vegetables to fresh and frozen ones based on nutrition and cost. The results were interesting and, in support of canned foods, here are some key takeaways:
PLUS: The fruit and vegetable message is losing traction.
— Canned foods are less likely to lead to food borne illnesses. The study concluded that produce prepared this way is safer, as the canning process helps create a barrier to bacteria.
— Nutritionally, canned foods are on par with fresh and frozen. Canning tomatoes actually have higher levels of B-vitamins, vitamin E and carotenoids. Plus, fiber becomes more soluble and therefore more useful in the human body through the canning process.
— Canned foods are convenient and easy to prepare. They are easily accessible to all, which makes canned foods key in boosting our collective nutrition.
— You can stock up on canned foods and have them on hand anytime. This is important, as about 25% of fresh produce is wasted each year because it goes bad. Also, about 24 million Americans live in areas with limited accessibility to nutritious foods.
— Canned food is cheaper. You save up to half the cost of frozen foods and 20% the cost of fresh foods. Fresh green beans are about 500% more costly than canned.
Quite simply, we shouldn’t overlook the value of canned fruit and vegetables. It is important to read the labels and ensure there is no added salt and sugar, so you are getting peak nutrition value.