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Frozen Berries – Nutrition, Benefits,

Frozen berries are a perfect filling for baked foods like cobblers, muffins and pies. They are the frozen and stored variants of your favourite berries that do not offer the same nutritional benefits. However, they are a rich source of fibre and antioxidants. In addition, they have a decent nutritional profile that offers various health benefits. Hence, people use them worldwide in foods like yoghurt, smoothies, oatmeal, etc. Moreover, they add taste and nutrition to your meals. Therefore, they are a popular form of berries that many consume.

The biggest myth about frozen berries is that freezing diminishes their nutritional value. However, to our surprise, it has been seen that freezing may increase their antioxidant property. Several experts believe that manufacturers and farmers harvest berries for freezing when they’re most fresh. It is to make them accessible and usable throughout the year. Preserving frozen berries involves freezing them at extremely low temperatures to retain their nutritional value and prolong their shelf life, making them available throughout the year.

Frozen berries come in a combination of berries, which comprise strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cherries. It is no secret that all these berries provide various health benefits.

Nutritional Properties of Frozen Berries

As per USDA, one hundred grams of frozen berries offer the following nutrients:

Energy: 40 kCalProtein: 0.69 gTotal Lipid (Fat): 0.31 gCarbohydrates: 9.72 gFibre: 2.1 gCalcium: 13 mgPotassium: 130 mgVitamin C: 44.1 mgBeta Carotene: 14 µgFolate: 19 µg

The HealthifyMe Note

Like several other fruits, frozen berries also provide ample carbohydrates. Some of it comes from the natural sugar of the fruit. Hence, if you are on a weight-loss diet, ensure that you check for the content on the label and avoid it if it has any added sugar. In addition, frozen berries have a trace amount of fats and proteins. But, they have similar nutritional values as fresh berries and are safe to consume. 

Health Benefits of Frozen Berries

Frozen berries are a mix of berries stored for use anytime. Besides being versatile and easy to use throughout the year, they also offer health benefits. Here are some of the most significant benefits of Frozen berries.

Weight Management

Frozen berries are low in calories and have a rich nutritional profile, making them suitable for a weight loss diet. Frozen berries can be a nutritious and less calorie-dense mid-meal snack than other options. In addition, it can also satisfy your sweet tooth as you can add it to your yoghurts and smoothies or eat it raw to enjoy its delicious taste.

A study demonstrates that substituting an afternoon confectionary snack with mixed berries decreased subsequent energy intake at dinner. Therefore, it can be a healthy way to reduce your calorie intake. 

Improves Gut Health

Adequate fibre intake helps regulate bowel movements and improve overall gut health. Since berries are a rich source of fibre, they are healthy for your gut health. However, the fibre content may differ for different berries, but they are all rich in fibre and provide similar bowel-regulating benefits.

Heart Friendly

Berries are an excellent source of fibre, micronutrients and polyphenols, especially anthocyanins. 

Studies show that these components reduce cardiovascular health risks. They significantly improve LDL oxidation, lipid peroxidation, total plasma antioxidant capacity, dyslipidemia, and glucose metabolism. Since frozen berries contain all these nutrients, they can benefit your heart health.

Prevent Premature Ageing and Wrinkles

Research demonstrates the role of oxidation and oxidative stress in premature ageing. Like berries, frozen berries also contain antioxidants. Antioxidants reduce free radical damage caused by oxidative stress, which can help the skin. Antioxidants also prevent and protect against free radicals that can lead to wrinkles and premature ageing. 

Improve Insulin Response

Recent research shows that consuming common berries like cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries improves postprandial hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia in overweight or obese adults with insulin resistance. Moreover, they also help improve insulin resistance in people with metabolic syndrome. Although the research is limited, preliminary evidence suggests berries can positively impact diabetes prevention and combat its complications. But, you should consume them as a part of a healthy and balanced diet. 

The HealthifyMe Note

Since Frozen berries contain almost similar nutrients as berries, they also offer similar health benefits. However, the nutrient values may differ depending on the berry you consume. But, like berries, frozen berries are also healthy for your heart and skin and can improve insulin resistance.  Furthermore, they are versatile, and you can use them in various recipes. Also, no matter what diet you choose, you can always add frozen berries to it because they’re compatible with vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, Paleo, Whole30, sodium-restricted, and many other eating plans.

Ways to Use Frozen Berries

Frozen berries are versatile. You can use them in various shapes, forms and recipes. Some of the popular ways to use them are:

You can use them as an ingredient in your favourite beverages like shakes, juices, mocktails, healthy drinks, hot and cold beverages, and smoothies.You can also add them as a topping on desserts like tarts, pies, cupcakes, cheesecakes, cakes, pastries, icecreams.Adding them to your healthy breakfast meals can enhance nutrition and taste. So, you can add them to parfaits, soaked oats, waffles, pancakes and bread.

Healthy Recipes Using Frozen Berries

1. Healthy Berry Smoothie

Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 2

Serving size: 600 ml

Ingredients

Pomegranate juice: ½ cup (125 ml)Honey or Agave syrup: 1 tbspFrozen mixed berries (unsweetened): 1 cup (250 ml)Frozen Strawberries (unsweetened): 1 cup (250 ml)

Steps

Add all the ingredients together in a blender.Blend the mixture until it gets creamy in texture.Pour it into two glasses.Add extra berries and honey on top (optional) and serve fresh.

2. Eggless Pancakes with Berries

Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 8

Ingredients

Plain flour: 300 gBaking powder: 1 tspBaking soda: ½ tspMilk: 400 mlLemon juice: 1 tbspOil for fryingMixed Frozen Berries: As preferredWhipped cream: 2 tsp

Steps

Mix plain flour, baking powder, sugar, and baking soda in a mixing bowl.Add milk and lemon juice to the dry ingredients and mix.Add the mixed berries to the batter, whisk together and let the batter rest for 5-10 minutes.Grease the pan with oil, heat it for 2-3 minutes and add a spoonful of batter (depending on the size).Use the spatula and flip it to the other side.Repeat with the rest of the batter.Once cooked, serve it on a plate with berries and whipped cream on top.

3. Frozen Berry Yoghurt

Time: 2 minutes

Servings: 1

Ingredients

Frozen berries: 250 gGreek yoghurt/ Plain yoghurt : 250 gHoney or Agave syrup: 1 tbsp

Steps

Add all the ingredients together in a blender.Blend it for 30 seconds.Once blended, add it to a bowl and serve.

Potential Side Effects and Allergies of Frozen Berries

Allergies

Frozen berries do not lead to any specific allergic reactions. However, if you are consuming very old or infected berries, you might show symptoms of food poisoning. In that case, immediately consult a doctor. 

Some of the allergic reactions include:

HivesHeadachesRashesTrouble breathingTingling sensation in the mouthSneezingPuffy lips

Potential Side Effects

While the health advantages of frozen berries greatly exceed the negatives, they may have some side effects. 

The pigments in berries’ juices can stain teeth quickly. Hence, you should gargle after consuming them. Salicylates, a chemical found in some berries, may harm certain people. People sensitive to this should avoid berries.Since frozen berries are rich in fibre and carbohydrates, people on a low-fibre or carbohydrate-restricted diet should limit consumption. Another adverse effect in recent times has been contracting viruses such as Norovirus and Hepatitis A. Not cleaning frozen berries properly before consumption can result in these conditions. Therefore, health authorities in various countries advise defrosting the berries by boiling them.

Safe Ways to Consume Frozen Berries

People usually only wash fruits and vegetables before eating them. But washing frozen berries do not make them entirely safe for consumption. The berries need to be appropriately defrosted before consumption. The main reason is that many bacteria and viruses can survive low temperatures. The most popular ways to safely consume them are:

Bring them to a boil before you use them for consumptionCook them on high heat for at least 2 minutes 

If the berries are grown organically and frozen, then defrosting is not compulsory. However, it is still better to follow the above steps to avoid contracting diseases such as Hepatitis A and Norovirus. 

Conclusion

Frozen berries are not too different from fresh berries. Although fresh berries are the most nutrient-rich, frozen berries provide similar benefits. The concept of frozen berries came into existence to make berries accessible and usable throughout the year. Freezing them increases their shelf life and does not deplete the nutrients. 

Frozen berries are versatile and can be a part of your breakfasts, desserts, beverages, and even medicines in some cases. While they also have side effects such as viruses and allergies, their advantages outweigh their flaws. But, it is best to consume them in moderation to reap maximum benefits. It is also best to defrost them and clean them clearly before use. They can help manage weight, prevent cancer, reduce blood pressure, help with heart issues, and more if used correctly. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Are frozen berries healthier than fresh?

A. Fresh berries are plucked, cleaned and eaten straight from the crop or purchased fresh from the market. While they taste better and have added health benefits, their shelf life is much less. On the other hand, frozen berries keep the nutrition value intact, and you can store them for almost 12 months. So although they offer similar health benefits, fresh berries are always healthier. 

Q. Why are frozen berries healthy?

A. Freezing the berries to add to their shelf life does not take away too many nutrients. Hence, they offer similar health benefits as fresh berries. Besides their several health benefits like improving heart and skin health and aiding weight management, frozen berries have a long shelf life. So you can use them throughout the year. 

Q. Are frozen berries as good as fresh berries?

A. Frozen berries and fresh berries do not have significant nutritional differences. However, fresh berries are always better. But, frozen berries also offer similar benefits and come with the added advantage of longer shelf life.

Q. Are frozen berries high in sugar?

A. Berries as fruits have natural sugar in them. They taste sweet but do not have high sugar content. Ideally, freezing berries do not include the addition of any sugar. However, it is best to read the label if you buy packaged frozen berries. 

Q. Are frozen berries good for weight loss?

A. Frozen berries do not directly impact your weight. However, they are a rich source of fibre. Fibre regulates your bowel movements and keeps you satiated, thus reducing your calorie intake. Low-calorie intake and proper bowel movements are fundamentals of healthy weight management. Hence, frozen berries can help manage weight. But, they also contain a high amount of carbohydrates. Therefore, people who are on a low carbohydrate diet should avoid berries.

Q. How many calories are in frozen mixed Berries?

A. As per USDA, one hundred grams of frozen berries contain 40 calories, making them a low-calorie food. In addition, frozen berries have a decent nutritional profile, making them a healthy addition to your diet. 

Q. Do frozen berries have more calories?

A. Freezing berries is done to add to their shelf life. In most cases, it does not hamper their nutritional profile. Hence, there is no conclusive evidence that frozen berries have higher calories. However, it is best to check the labels once before buying them because some manufacturers may add other ingredients to enhance the taste.

Q. Do berries burn belly fat? Is it OK to eat frozen berries?

A. Berries contain a reasonable amount of fibre, making them a healthy food to boost metabolism. A healthy metabolism is essential to burn excess calories and fat, resulting in weight loss. In addition, some berries, especially raspberry, have ketones. Ketones can speed up the metabolism and increase fat breakdown, especially in the belly. 

Since frozen berries offer similar nutrients and health benefits, it is safe to consume them. However, you should always follow the safety precautions mentioned in the article before consuming them.

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