Canned fruits and vegetables have a reputation for not being as packed with nutrients as their fresh counterparts. However, as an article in the New York Times points out, by the time that produce actually reaches you, both canned and fresh are on pretty equal footing.
In fact, canned fruits and vegetables sometimes retain more of their nutrients than fresh produce. While freshly picked fruits and vegetables start with more vitamins, by the time they're shipped, packed and end up in your shopping basket, they've lost some of their lustre:
Canned produce can lose some of its nutritional value as well, particularly water-soluble nutrients like vitamins B and C. But over all, the nutrients in canned fruits and vegetables tend to be relatively stable because they are protected from the deteriorating effects of oxygen, a fact emphasised in an extensive report on the subject published in The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture by researchers at the University of California, Davis.
“Fresh fruits and vegetables usually lose nutrients more rapidly than canned or frozen products,” the researchers wrote. “Losses of nutrients during fresh storage may be more substantial than consumers realize” and may not be reflected on nutrition labels.
Of course, both fresh produce and canned produce are still healthy, and either option is better than nothing.
Really? The Claim: Fresh Produce Has More Nutrients Than Canned [New York Times]