Accessibility View Close toolbar
  • Blog >
  • Vegetables: Raw, Canned, Cooked or Frozen — What’s the Difference?
RSS Feed

Vegetables: Raw, Canned, Cooked or Frozen — What’s the Difference?

Vegetables: Raw, Canned, Cooked or Frozen — What’s the Difference?

There can be a major difference in the nutrition of the vegetables you eat, depending on what form you eat them in. The vegetables supplying the most nutrients are generally the ones that are the freshest and least processed. Now what does that mean?

The nutrients in any vegetable begin to deteriorate as soon as it’s harvested, including those all-important cancer-fighting antioxidants. The sooner a vegetable is eaten after it’s picked, the more nutrients it has. Having a home garden is ideal, as you can simply walk out your door, pick what you need and plop it straight into the cooking pot or salad bowl. Of course, not everyone has the space or time for a garden, so what’s the next best thing?

If you have a nearby farmers’ market, the veggies from there are usually grown locally and are generally fresher than what you can get at the supermarket. Barring that, the next best choice is, surprisingly, frozen vegetables.

What most people don’t know is that frozen food can often be more nutritious for you than fresh, especially if the fresh variety has been transported over a long distance. If you’re living in New York and are eating fresh peas grown in California, those peas have endured a number of days in a truck before arriving at your market.

Also, any sugars in the vegetable begin to convert to starch from the moment it’s picked, which is why freshly picked corn straight from the farm is so much sweeter than the kind that’s been sitting in the supermarket for a few days. However, frozen peas and many other vegetables are generally flash frozen on the spot where they are harvested, preserving those nutrients.

Cooked vegetables are generally not as nutritious as raw, though if you do cook them be sure to do it only long enough make them tender. The longer they cook, the greater the nutrient loss. There are, however, some exceptions. Tomatoes, for example, provide greater amounts of lycopene when they are cooked than when eaten raw. Cooking breaks down the plant’s cell walls, releasing greater amounts of nutrients. Zucchini, carrots and broccoli are best eaten cooked for this reason.

Canned vegetables are generally lowest in nutrients, as so many vitamins are lost in processing under high heat. The water-soluble vitamins B and C and polyphenols are easily lost when canned or boiled. Researchers at the University of California found that between 85 and 95 percent of the vitamin C in canned peas and carrots were lost in processing. The vegetables containing fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D E and K can be steamed or boiled, however, without losing a great amount of nutrients.

Raw vegetables are generally best, but if you find eating raw veggies unappealing to the point where you avoid them, it’s fine to eat them lightly cooked. Better to get some healthy nutrients than none at all!


We look forward to hearing from you

No form settings found. Please configure it.

Featured Services

Click to Find Out More

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Good Health Naturally, PLLC


8:00 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-6:00 pm


9:00 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-5:00 pm


8:00 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-6:00 pm


9:00 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-5:00 pm


8:00 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-5:00 pm


By Special Appointment Only




Find us on the map


Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "I can’t thank Dr. Blessley and Good Health Naturally enough for always getting me in for an appointment right away when I need them! The only place to go for excellent chiropractic and vitamin needs. Thanks Dr. Blessley for always helping me with my achy back and headaches!"
  • "I’ve been seeing Dr. Blessley for about 3 years now. One thing I love about him, he is on time, always!!! He goes up and above just being my chiropractor. He cares about my health and brings to my attention information I should read or look into. I appreciate him and think very highly of him. Please go see him you will feel amazing!!"
  • "Both my husband and I have been going to Dr. Blessley for years, and have nothing but the best of experiences. He really knows how to get you back to your old self, and also offers a holistic approach to our whole body. He is the best and we will be back!"

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

  • Chiropractic and Breech Babies During Pregnancy

    If you are experiencing back pain during your pregnancy or have a breech pregnancy, chiropractic can help. ...

    Read More
  • Natural Remedies for Sciatic Pain

    Do you experience sciatica pain? Both chiropractic care and at-home remedies can help alleviate that pain in a natural way. ...

    Read More
  • Chiropractic Care For Pets

    You know how chiropractic can help you, but what about your pets? ...

    Read More
  • Should I Use Heat or Ice for Pain?

    When you're feeling pain, sometimes it's difficult to determine if heat or ice will treat that pain best. This article will help you learn which is best for different types of injuries and pain. ...

    Read More
  • Should I Use Ice or Heat for Pain?

    Did you hurt your knee during an intense game of pick-up basketball this weekend? Or do you deal with chronic pain? Learn whether you should apply heat or ice for particular kinds of pain. ...

    Read More
  • Relationship with Self

    The relationship you have with yourself and the journey to self-understanding is an important part of your overall wellness. ...

    Read More
  • Indoor Activities and Exercises

    Are you preparing for the winter months or looking for exercises to do when you can't make it to the gym? Follow these exercises to maintain a healthy fitness routine. ...

    Read More
  • Holiday Stress - Take a Deep Breath

    Most of us pay little attention, if any, to the daily functioning of our many physiological systems. Our hearts beat, our digestive systems digest, and our various hormones, such as those deriving from the thyroid gland, adrenal gland, and pancreas, do what they do. It's all good... until it's not. ...

    Read More
  • Proper Overindulgence Over the Holidays

    Proper Overindulgence Over The Holidays The term "overindulgence" is probably best assessed as a red flag, especially with respect to consistent overconsumption of high-calorie comfort food and desserts during the holiday season. An overall healthier perspective could be described as "indulgence" regarding ...

    Read More
  • The 5 Senses

    The 5 Senses The five senses, that is, the sense of sight, touch, hearing, taste, and smell, provide us with necessary information regarding the world around us.1 These precious capabilities enable us to navigate our environment with seemingly instantaneous feedback with reference to our actions and ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles