Yes absolutely! Canned, frozen and fresh vegetables all count towards your recommended servings outlined in Canada’s Food Guide. Frozen, canned and dried vegetables and fruit are harvested and packed at the height of the season when nutrients are at their peak. You will still get the benefits from the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Products that contain little or no added sugar, fat or salt are a healthy and sometimes more affordable alternative to fresh vegetables and fruit. So whatever way you can get your fruits and veggies in is great!
When choosing fruit, avoid getting added sugar by making sure it is “canned in it’s own juice” not in syrup and for frozen fruit, make sure it is “unsweetened”.
When choosing canned/frozen vegetables compare the sodium content on the nutrition facts label. There is usually some salt added as a preservative but go for as little as possible as we already get too much sodium in our diets.
The best ways to cook vegetables are to:
· steam, boil or microwave them until tender-crisp
· use a small amount of water and cook them for the shortest amount of time to reach the desired tenderness
Whatever cooking method you choose, avoid over-cooking as this can destroy nutrients.
And keep in mind, each ½ cup of fresh, frozen or canned vegetables or fruit counts as a serving.
For some more information about all the good things in vegetables and fruit and how you can increase your intake, check out this Vegetables and Fruit Brochure by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.