Many health-conscious consumers have found themselves standing in a grocery store aisle, debating whether it’s worth spending an extra $1 on an organic product versus paying less for its conventionally grown counterpart.
Researchers at the University of Barcelona’s Department of Nutrition and Bromatology recently conducted a study that provides support for food grown without synthetic pesticides or chemicals, since it revealed that organic produce may contain higher concentrations of antioxidants.
Authors of the study explained that conventionally grown fruits and vegetables usually receive the essential element nitrogen through fertilizers to stimulate growth. In organic farming, plants are not supplemented and therefore must use their natural defense mechanisms to survive, increasing their levels of protective polyphenols.
“Conventionally grown plants can lose resistance to disease and present lower levels of nutrients, minerals and secondary metabolites,” said first author Anna Vallverdu-Queralt.