Vegetables are one of the best known sources of vitamins, nutrients and fibers. This makes them an essential part of a healthy diet.
While fresh vegetables are known to contain the highest degree of nutrients, canned vegetables are also quite popular.
Pros of Canned Vegetables
Longevity – This is one of the biggest advantages of canned vegetables. These vegetables contain various preservatives. This helps in increasing their shelf life. Due to this, you can store them for a longer period of time. Canned vegetables can usually last for a few weeks, which is a huge advantage.
Affordable – Fresh vegetables can be a little expensive in some places. However, this is not the case with canned vegetables. Canned vegetables do not have to be transported as fast as fresh vegetables. This makes them an ideal source of vitamins and nutrients for people who cannot afford high priced fresh vegetables. The fact that they can be used for a longer period of time makes canned vegetables a worthy buy.
Cons of Canned Vegetables
Unsuitable for Diets – While preservatives may increase the shelf life of canned vegetables, they are not advisable for everyone. Most canned vegetables have a high content of sodium. This makes canned vegetables inappropriate for people who are on a non-salt or low salt diet. This applies especially to people suffering from diabetes or low and high blood pressure. Canned vegetables can also include other preservatives which are not suitable for some people.
Lower Nutrient Content – Another disadvantage of canned vegetables is that they tend to have lower nutritional values than fresh or frozen vegetables. Most canned vegetables are cooked before packing. Cooking and processing canned vegetables results in a lot of nutritional loss.
This also results in canned vegetables losing a lot of their flavor. This is why the color of canned vegetables is different from that of fresh and frozen vegetables. Canned vegetables also lose their nutrient values, as transition from the field to the shelf is quite long. Canned vegetables have to first be transported to the warehouse where they are cut, shelled, sorted or prepared, and then packed. Some canned vegetables need to be cooked first and then canned.
When vegetables are in-season, buy them fresh and ripe. Off season, frozen vegetables will give you a higher concentration of nutrients. Eat them soon after purchase, after many months, nutrients in canned or frozen vegetables do inevitably degrade. Finally, steam rather than boil your produce to minimize the loss of water-soluble nutrients.