How healthy is frozen spinach? | Morning

Fresher than fresh! With this slogan, the manufacturer Iglo is trying to get frozen spinach on our plates. Because, as Iglo says in a commercial, frozen spinach contains more vitamins than fresh spinach. how is that possible?

By “fresh” spinach, Iglo does not mean spinach that has been just harvested. According to Iglo, it’s about spinach that we find “in the vegetable department.” According to Nevo-online, a website with nutrient tables for the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), fresh spinach contains, on average, only 1 milligram of vitamin C per 100 grams, while frozen spinach contains, on average, only 1 milligram of vitamin C per 100 grams. Contains 15 times more Vitamin C. Many. Regarding lesser known vitamins, such as B1, folic acid or lycopene, the comparison is negative for frozen lumps, but Iglo emphasizes vitamin C in its promotional communications.

Harvested spinach is washed, blanched, and frozen within hours. Briefly rapid bleaching produces harmless enzymes that will break down vitamins. The longer you wait, the more will be lost. Other processes play a role as well, explains Dutch professor of food processing technology Ernst Waltering. Vitamin C is lost due to lack of light, exposure to oxygen, and high temperature. This is why the packaging often reads: “Packed in a protective atmosphere.” That is, packed in a cold room with an air mixture without oxygen. If you buy spinach from a greengrocer, you don’t have to rely on its high vitamin C content.

According to a table on the Iglo website, barely 10 percent of the vitamin C in spinach remains at room temperature after three days. After a week it was all gone. On the other hand, frozen spinach is said to retain 77 percent of its vitamin C for months. The Graph It appears from a 1997 study by Unilever. But a Greek study From 2003 it was less than 25 percent, and again Other studies You go somewhere in between.

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Differences in harvesting, blanching and freezing methods make it difficult to make very firm statements. But the fact remains that green ice cubes in the supermarket contain more vitamin C than the packaged leaves in the vegetable section. The same goes for other frozen vegetables. For example, frozen green beans contain five times as much vitamin C as fresh beans.

Spinach slurry

Does this also apply to thawed spinach on our plates? new. Nutritionist Iris Groenenberg of the Dutch Nutrition Center notes that after preparation “fresh” spinach suddenly contains seven times more vitamins per 100 grams – simply because the leaves lose their moisture. From that moment on, the difference with frozen spinach becomes negligible. At least, assuming the spinach hasn’t rotted in the fridge for days.

It also depends on how the spinach is prepared. Long cooking destroys cells and vitamins pour into the cooking water. People who put leaves on a cutting board after cooking to cut them hard with a knife should know that vitamin C is then oxidized on contact with air, and thus is lost. It is best to prepare briefly and leave the leaves alone. This applies to all vegetables. By placing them in the pan only when the water is already boiling and keeping the lid on the pan, all kinds of nutrients are better preserved.

Speaking of other vegetables, Groenenberg would like to mention that spinach isn’t such a bombshell of vitamin C anyway. If you just want vitamin C, eat red peppers (eighteen times as much vitamin C as spinach), or broccoli (five times the amount). “Personally, I don’t think this is important at all. Vitamin C contributes to health, for example it strengthens our immune system, but it is already added to all kinds of food products as the antioxidant E300. We do not easily suffer from a vitamin C deficiency.” Welling himself is involved in studies For manufacturers to process vegetables so that they contain more vitamin C. It’s just a matter of an image. “Vitamin C is a good selling point, and there is work to be made of vitamin C in vegetables.”

Enough vegetables and fruits with little or no vitamin C and still be healthy. It is clear that people who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables live longer and in better health. But why exactly is it difficult to investigate. Maybe it’s about fiber, or minerals, and maybe other ingredients. Or simply because we don’t snack on an unhealthy apple when we eat an apple. We don’t know.” In short, eat most spinach, frozen or from a bag: very healthy, but not so much because of the vitamin C.

Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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