Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...Tell Me More
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering two questions. First up, do the nutrient contents of hydroponic produce differ from soil-grown produce? If so, in what way? Then I give a few (somehwat unprompted) tips for lowering blood pressure without meds. While meds can and do help people overcome or mitigate hypertension, we should apply other options. What are these possibilities?
Hydroponic veggies – Any nutritional difference?
Hydroponic: more room for things to go right or wrong. The mineral content of a hydroponically-grown leaf of spinach depends entirely on the minerals added to the growth solution. If the grower is clueless, their product will be less nutritious. If you’ve got a hydroponic grower who knows what they’re doing, it can be great. They can even use hydroponic systems to incorporate nutrients we require but inadequately obtain (like iodine) into vegetables that normally don’t provide it (like lettuce).
What about polyphenols and other antioxidant compounds? Many of these vitamins and antioxidants are defense mechanisms for the plants. The more stress they endure, they higher the levels. The more cultivated and controlled your operation gets, the lower the levels. So wild (“uncultivated”) greens have higher carotenoid content than conventional (“cultivated”) greens, and hydro leafy greens have been shown to have significantly lower levels of carotenoids, including lutein, beta-carotene, neoxanthin, and violaxanthin, than conventionally grown greens.
Soybeans grown in hydroponic conditions have more fat and fiber than their conventional counterparts, but fewer phytochemicals.
Hydroponic vegetables appear to have more nitrates than other varieties. Some authors paint this as a negative, yet I see it as a boon; nitrate begets nitric oxide, which improves vascular function and health.
All in all, there are some differences. If hydroponic farming ever takes off and provides a sizeable portion of the food we eat, I can only imagine the growers would innovate and replicate . Maybe hormetic doses of pests applied to boost polyphenols.
Mark, Blood Pressure Meds. So many of my contemporaries are on BP meds, and I just got advised by my doc to start. I’ve been Primal for 4-5 years and read all your posts, but don’t recall anything on this widespread problem/question. Please advise. Bill
Going Primal or paleo fixes blood pressure issues for many, but it’s not a panacea. There are some quick tweaks and hacks a person can enact, many of which a Primal devotee might be missing or unaware of. If anything strikes a chord, give it a try and report back.
Check everything out with your doctor. Show the links and references. If your readings aren’t in a critical range and your doctor will agree to work with you, try this stuff before going on meds.
Let me know how it goes.
If you have any more input on the blood pressure question, share your thoughts down below. If I think there’s enough new information out there, maybe I’ll do a dedicated post on the subject.
Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care.