'I'm a doctor and you should eat these tinned foods rather than fresh alternatives'

One health and nutrition expert claimed that in some cases tinned foods actually contain more nutrients than  fresh kinds
One health and nutrition expert claimed that in some cases tinned foods actually contain more nutrients than the fresh kind -Credit:(Image: Getty Images)

It's commonly understood that fresh fruit and vegetables are the cornerstone of a healthy, balanced diet. Yet, would you be convinced if someone claimed that their tinned counterparts could offer similar health benefits?

The NHS advises consuming at least five portions daily for optimal well-being. Both forms are brimming with essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need, along with fibre which supports a healthy gut and aids in preventing digestive problems.

The link between a low intake of fruits and veggies and an increased risk of bowel cancer has also gained attention in recent years. For those looking to increase their plant-based food consumption for health reasons, it might seem obvious to opt for fresh produce, reports the Express.

But an expert has now suggested that tinned and frozen varieties might actually hold more nutrients than the fresh versions. NHS surgeon Doctor Karan Raj took to TikTok, where he enjoys a following of over five million, to share insights on four specific fruits and vegetables that retain, or even enhance, their nutritional value when tinned or frozen. These include:


Dr Raj told his followers: "If you eat canned tomatoes they actually have more of the antioxidant lycopene than raw tomatoes as well as more calcium and iron than the fresh ones." He added, "That's not to say fresh is worse than canned, it just has a different nutritional profile."

He pointed out that fresh tomatoes boast "significantly" more vitamin A than their tinned counterparts. Dr Raj elaborated: "If you cook tomatoes either canned or fresh you increase the bioavailability of the antioxidant lycopene even more. That's because the cooking process softens the plant cell walls making nutrients easier to absorb."


Dr Raj suggests that frozen blueberries may actually hold more vitamins and polyphenols (plant micronutrients) compared to fresh ones. "Frozen fruit and vegetables can have even more nutrients than their fresh counterparts like frozen blueberries, they retain more vitamin C and polyphenols than the fresh blueberries because the freezing process slows down nutrient loss," he explained.

"Most frozen fruit like berries are often frozen within 24 hours of being picked and are often fresher nutritionally than the fresh produce that are lying around in the supermarket for days."


Frozen peas, Dr Raj notes, contain higher levels of certain B vitamins and vitamin E than fresh peas.


He also mentioned that spinach "often" contains more of certain types of vitamin E when it's frozen. "Even better you might be able to utilise iron more effectively from the frozen spinach than the fresh one," Dr Raj added.

"In raw spinach much of the iron content is difficult to absorb but frozen spinach is often blanched and packed into cubes before freezing meaning it could contain fewer anti-nutrients like oxalates thus helping you absorb more iron." Nutritional expert Aoife Burns, of Zoe Health, supported this viewpoint stating: "Fruits and vegetables have the highest nutritional value when they're freshly picked. But their nutrients slowly decrease as time passes."

Moreover, she added: "Freezing them soon after harvesting helps slow down this nutrient loss, preserving their nutritional content for longer."