Freezing vegetables is a popular way to preserve them while retaining much of their original nutrition. Peas and corn lend themselves especially well to freezing because their high starch content allows for little textural change when thawed and cooked. Frozen peas and corn, prepared without added ingredients, offer many nutrients for very few calories--only 130 in a 1-cup serving.
Protein is a critical nutrient your body uses for muscle growth and repair, immune function and synthesis of enzymes and hormones. Your body breaks down the protein you eat into smaller molecules called amino acids, which it uses to manufacture new proteins. Most plant proteins do not contain all the amino acids your body needs, but by combining plant proteins that complement each other, you provide your body with all the essential amino acids. Legumes like peas combine with whole grains like corn to supply you with a nutritionally complete protein. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrient Data Laboratory, a 1-cup mixture of frozen peas and corn provides 6 grams of protein to your diet.
Your body prefers carbohydrates, rather than fats or proteins, as a fuel source. Both peas and corn are rich sources of starch, a complex carbohydrate your body breaks down into glucose molecules. One cup of mixed frozen peas and corn contains more than 27 grams of carbohydrates. It also provides more than 6 grams of dietary fiber, which helps keep your digestive system healthy and might help ward off heart disease, obesity and certain types of cancer, according to the University of Illinois McKinley Health Center.
While fat is an essential nutrient, too much dietary fat--especially saturated animal fat--might increase your chances of cardiovascular disease. Vegetable sources of dietary fat tend to be high in heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Frozen peas and corn supply very little fat to your diet, only about 0.75 grams per 1-cup serving and mostly in the form of mono- and polyunsaturated fats.
Frozen peas and corn provide several vitamins to your diet. Vitamin C helps your body with iron absorption and promotes wound healing. It is also an antioxidant that helps scavenge cell-damaging free radicals. Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and folate all are B vitamins in peas and corn that function to help metabolize food and keep your cells healthy. Frozen peas also supply you with beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A, which is necessary for healthy eyes and skin.
Essential minerals in frozen peas and corn include phosphorus, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium and manganese. Phosphorus and calcium help keep your bones and teeth healthy, while potassium and magnesium help with energy production and other cellular processes. Zinc is important in your immune function, while copper aids in hemoglobin synthesis.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Food Nutrient Database
- University of Illinois McKinley Health Center: Macronutrients: The Importance of Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat
- MedlinePlus: Vitamins
- Texas Heart Institute: Minerals: What They Do and Where to Get Them
- Texas Heart Institute: Trace Elements: What They Do and Where to Get Them