Frozen Berries Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Frozen berries

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Frozen berries make the perfect filling for baked goods like pies, muffins, and cobblers. But they aren’t just a friend to home bakers. With plenty of fiber and antioxidants, frozen berries are a nutrient-rich, low-calorie addition to many delicious, healthy foods. They can easily slip into good-for-you recipes for oatmeal, yogurt, parfaits, smoothies, and even savory meat dishes.

Fortunately, freezing doesn’t significantly diminish berries’ nutrition. In fact, berries are harvested for freezing when they’re at the peak of freshness, so you can enjoy them all year round. Frozen berry blends may come with various combinations of berries, including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cherries. All of these bring significant health benefits.

Frozen Berries Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information for 1 cup (197g) frozen berries has been provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 100
  • Fat: 1.3g
  • Sodium: 2mg
  • Carbohydrates: 24g
  • Fiber: 5.3g
  • Sugar: 16.6g
  • Protein: 0.8g

Carbs 

Like many other fruits, frozen berries contain ample amounts of carbohydrates. One cup provides 24 grams of carbs. Five of these grams come from fiber, providing 18% of your daily value. And while around 17 grams of frozen berries’ carbs are sugars, these are naturally occurring. However, if you’re watching your carbs, you’ll want to keep an eye out for added sugars in frozen berries. 

Fats

If you’ve always thought berries were a naturally fat-free food, that’s not quite the case. Fruits that contain seeds often have trace amounts of fat, which is why you’ll find in 1.3 grams of fat in 1 cup of frozen berries. But 1.3 grams is a very small amount of fat and not likely to make a significant impact on your diet.

Protein

Berries don’t contain much protein, either. One cup only provides 0.8 grams.

Vitamins and Minerals

Frozen berries are literally bursting with micronutrients, which are largely responsible for their many health benefits. Most berries you’re likely to find in a frozen mix are high in vitamin C, especially strawberries, which provide 120% DV of this nutrient for men and 130% DV for women. Some berry blends include significant amounts of manganese, vitamin K, zinc, folate, and copper.

Health Benefits

Not only are frozen berries delicious, but they also contribute a host of health benefits.

Promotes Gut Health 

Most people on a standard Western diet don’t get enough fiber. In fact, only about 5% of the U.S. population meets current fiber recommendations. With almost one-fifth of the daily value of fiber per cup, frozen berries can help close this gap. Increased fiber in the diet can help promote bowel regularity, among other benefits.

Note, too, that fiber content may vary from one berry blend to the next. Wild blueberries, for example, are especially high in fiber because of a higher ratio of skin to flesh. 

Boosts Heart Health

In epidemiological and clinical studies, the polyphenols, micronutrients, and fiber in berries have been linked to improved cardiovascular health. Researchers believe these nutrients work together to reduce inflammation, leading to better outcomes for the heart.

Antioxidants Slow Aging 

As berries’ antioxidants reduce oxidative stress in the cardiovascular system, they also do so in another, more visible place: the skin. Antioxidants combat the free radicals that can cause wrinkles and premature aging. Toss a handful of frozen berries in your smoothie for an anti-aging boost.

May Improve Insulin Response

While berries do contain carbohydrates, they can still be added to a diabetes friendly diet. According to a 2019 review in the journal Food and Function, eating cranberries, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries is linked to improved blood sugar levels post-mealtime in overweight or obese adults with insulin resistance. Another small study from 2015 found that when healthy women ate a serving of berries alongside bread, their bodies needed less insulin to process the meal than when they ate bread alone.

May Aid Weight Loss 

As a nutritious, low-calorie dessert, frozen berries certainly make a better choice for weight loss than your average chocolate cake. Plus, eating them may even lead to better dietary choices later in the day. One small study found that when women ate a 65-calorie snack of berries in the late afternoon, they ate less throughout the evening than women who had snacked on candy.

Suitable for Many Special Diets

Even for people with dietary restrictions, berries can often stay on the menu. They’re compatible with vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, Paleo, Whole30, sodium-restricted, and many other eating plans. 

Allergies

An allergy to frozen berries is considered rare. No berries make the list of the top eight food allergens, which account for 90% of all food allergies. 

Adverse Effects 

Frozen berries’ health benefits far outweigh their drawbacks, but these wholesome fruits have some possible adverse effects. Teeth staining may occur from the pigments in their juices, so brush your teeth after eating berries to keep from tainting your pearly whites. Some people are also sensitive to salicylates, a compound found in several berries. If you’re salicylate sensitive, you’ll want to steer clear of frozen berries.

People who follow a low-fiber or carbohydrate-controlled diet may need to watch their portions of berries. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about the risks versus benefits of berries for these special diets.

Varieties 

Typically, frozen berry mixes include a blend of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, and/or strawberries. Some may add bananas or other fruits as well. Always be sure to note whether a berry blend has added sugar, as this will affect flavor and nutrition.

When They’re Best

The wonderful thing about frozen berries is that they're consistently available and fresh year-round. Because frozen berries are processed immediately after harvest, you can enjoy their flavor and nutrients any time, even (or especially) during the winter when fresh berries are expensive or unavailable. 

Storage and Food Safety

Store frozen berries in the freezer immediately, and try not to let them sit out at room temperature for long when using them. Once thawed, frozen berries will “bleed” juice, which may cause them to clump into a mass when re-frozen.

How to Prepare

There’s no end to the uses of frozen berries! In general, they work best in recipes that don’t require the firm texture of a fresh berry, such as muffins, quick breads, jams, and pies. At breakfast time, toss them into smoothies, parfaits, oatmeal, or breakfast bowls. At dinner, a compote made with frozen berries is an elegant accompaniment to pork, chicken, or beef.

Recipes

 

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