March 23, 2017

Fruits and vegetables: fresh, frozen or canned?

It is known that men from Western countries, North America in particular, are more likely to have prostate cancer than men from elsewhere in the world, for example, East Asia (China and Japan).

It is also known that Asian men living in North America are, after a generation, as likely to have prostate cancer as men born in North America.

The diet question

The reason for this may lie in the Western diet, as it contains fewer fruits, vegetables, and fish, but more meat, dairy, sugar, fats, and processed food. In fact, eating habits is one of the most common risk factors when it comes to prostate cancer and cancer in general.

Fruits and vegetables are important for a healthy lifestyle. A diet that includes colourful fruits and vegetables has a profound effect on chronic diseases such as prostate cancer, heart conditions, and diabetes.

Advantages and disadvantages

Each form of fruits and vegetables, such as fresh, frozen, and canned, has its advantages and disadvantages. Take a look at this overview:

Fresh fruits and vegetables

+ on the plus side

  • Good nutrient intake (for seasonal products)
  • Better taste and texture
  • A wide variety available

- the negative sides

  • May be pricey out of season
  • Fruits and vegetables that are imported may lose many nutrients due to the delay between harvesting and arrival at the store
  • Fresh food is delicate and perishable within a short timeframe

Frozen fruits and vegetables

+ on the plus side

  • As they are frozen shortly after harvesting, they preserve most of their nutritional value
  • No preservatives, added sugar or salt
  • Can be stored for a long time without losing nutritional value
  • As compared to freezing, deep freezing does not alter the food’s taste as much
  • A variety of intriguing frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Can be consumed at any time irrespective of the season
  • Less likely to go to waste than the fresh ones
  • Economical
  • Practical and easy to consume

- the negative sides

  • Before freezing, the vegetables are washed, which decreases the levels of water-soluble vitamins, such as B and C, as well as antioxidants
  • The texture gets slightly altered

Canned fruits and vegetables

+ on the plus side

  • The longest shelf life as compared to fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables (up to about a year)
  • Fibre intake equal to fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Canning techniques exist that promote the growth of certain antioxidants, such as lycopene in tomatoes and beta-carotene in carrots
  • Nutrient losses may be greater with canning, but the losses due to storage are smaller than for fresh or frozen varieties
  • Ready to consume
  • Can be consumed throughout the year irrespective of the season
  • Less likely to go to waste than fresh products
  • Economical

- the negative sides

  • 30 to 50% of certain vitamins lost due to washing and heat treatment
  • The minerals that are resistant to heat can get dissolved in the preservative
  • Sodium content is higher in canned vegetables because the salt is used as a preservative
  • The taste and texture are changed (made similar to cooked vegetables)

To put the long story short, fruits and vegetables have many benefits for people with prostate cancer in their frozen and canned forms. That is why you should incorporate them into your diet if suffering from the disease.

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