The antioxidant, phytonutrient, and vitamin content of basil grown in water (hydroponic) is compared to basil grown in soil.
At one of the Farmer’s markets I go to there’s a farmer with a hydroponic greenhouse such that I can get fresh basil all year ‘round, but I was always curious how hydroponic basic—grown in water—compared nutritionally to basil grown in soil. Same seeds, one in water, and one in soil. What do you think they found, in terms of vitamin content, antioxidant content and phytonutrient content?
The hydroponic basil won hands down, more antioxidant power and more vitamins and key phytonutrients. Why? Because the basil doesn’t like it. It's the same reason organic greens are healthier, they get bitten by bugs and in defense they manufacture more of those wonderful glucosinolate compounds that are so good for us. Likewise, under environmental stress drowning in the water basil may release these phenolic antioxidant phytonutrients like rosmarinic acid and we reap the benefits.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Serena
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Herbs and spices are among the healthiest plants to consume. See one of my favorites for example, Antioxidants in a Pinch and Antioxidant Content of 3,139 Foods. The glucosinolates I mention are the broccoli compounds featured in videos such as Broccoli Versus Breast Cancer Stem Cells, Sulforaphane: From Broccoli to Breast, and The Best Detox. For how our food crops have been doing in general over the years see Crop Nutrient Decline and for more on the organic question: Can Pesticides Be Rinsed Off? and Fungal Toxins in Apples. There are also hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects.
For more context, check out my associated blog post, Antioxidants in a Pinch: Dried Herbs and Spices.