The Nutritional Value of Fresh Vs. Frozen Blueberries

Blueberries grow wild in the forests of the United States and Canada but are also available in fresh and frozen versions in most supermarkets and health food markets. Frozen blueberries nutrition is similar to that of its fresh counterparts.

Blueberries are full of antioxidants. (Image: Westend61/Westend61/GettyImages)

This fruit is rich in antioxidants, which help protect your body from cellular damage that can lead to disease. Fresh blueberries are in season during spring and summer months, but you can enjoy this berry year-round when you choose a frozen variety. Use an online calorie counter to compare the nutrition information between fresh and frozen blueberries to help determine which ones have a place in your healthy eating plan. Keep in mind that if you eat frozen blueberries within three months of freezing, you may get an extra antioxidant boost.

Benefits of Eating Frozen Blueberries

Blueberries, whether fresh or frozen, are a low-calorie and nutrient-dense source of dietary fiber. The average diet does not include adequate amounts of fiber; adding a daily serving of blueberries can help you increase your intake. Fiber benefits your digestive health and may also help prevent certain chronic health conditions, such as cancer.

A 1-cup serving of fresh blueberries contains 3.6 grams of fiber, while the same serving of frozen blueberries has 6.2 grams of fiber. Fresh blueberries contain 1.10 gram of protein per 1-cup serving, while frozen blueberries have no protein.

Spare the Sugar

Fresh blueberries contain naturally occurring sugars that have an important place in your healthy eating plan. Certain brands of frozen blueberries are sweetened with added sugar, which increases their calorie counts and decreases their nutritional values.

One cup of fresh blueberries contains 14.7 grams of natural sugars, while the same amount of frozen, sweetened blueberries contains 45.4 grams of sugar, most of it in the form of added sugar.

According to the USDA, a cup of fresh or unsweetened frozen blueberries contains about 80 calories, but the sweetened version contains 196 calories because of the added sugar.

Get Your Vitamins and Minerals

Both fresh and frozen blueberries are a nutritious way to get certain vitamins in your daily diet. One cup of fresh blueberries supplies you with 14.4 milligrams of the 75 to 90 milligrams of vitamin C you need on a daily basis, according to the National Academies of Sciences.

You also get 80 IU of vitamin A and 28.6 micrograms of vitamin K in fresh berries. Additionally, fresh blueberries contain trace amounts of B vitamins. One cup of frozen blueberries contains 2.4 milligrams of vitamin C and 83 IU of vitamin A.

Fresh blueberries also contain higher concentrations of minerals than frozen blueberries. A 1-cup serving of fresh blueberries contains 0.41 milligrams of iron, 114 milligrams of potassium and 0.24 milligrams of zinc.

One cup of frozen blueberries has 0.28 milligrams of iron, 84 milligrams of potassium and 0.11 milligrams of zinc. However, sweetened frozen blueberries contain 0.90 milligrams of iron and 138 milligrams of potassium, which is more than the amounts in fresh blueberries.

Add Some Antioxidants

Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any fruit. Antioxidants fight inflammation by combating free radicals, compounds that occur with aging and that are found in pollution, processed foods, pesticides and plastics. Free radicals cause damage to your cells that make you look older and cause disease.

A study published in October 2015 by the International Journal of Molecular Science reported that the antioxidant value of blueberries actually increases with freezing and stays high for three months. Longer storage results in a decrease in antioxidant content.

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