Are Hydroponic Vegetables Healthier than Regular Vegetables?
Some people claim that growing vegetables hydroponically can increase their nutrition, so the results are healthier than plants grown in the usual way. However, is it true that hydroponic vegetables are healthier?
What are Hydroponic vegetables?
Hydroponic vegetables are vegetables that are grown with the help of liquids that contain minerals needed by vegetables to grow.
Unlike other vegetables that require soil to grow, hydroponic vegetables only require mineral water to grow. The water used to grow these vegetables can also be recycled.
In addition to water and minerals, hydroponic plants also need lights, filtration systems for water and air, and climate control devices. All of these things are needed to support the growth of hydroponic plants.
Usually, hydroponic vegetables are grown in a greenhouse or outdoors.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of hydroponic vegetables?
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Because hydroponic plants are highly guarded by the method and place of planting and do not require soil, hydroponic vegetables do not need the use of pesticides to protect them from insect pests.
Thus, most hydroponic plant products are also organic food products . In addition, below are the advantages that can be obtained from growing vegetables hydroponically.
- It only needs less water than the usual way of planting.
- Nutrition, humidity (pH), and the environment in which it grows can be controlled.
- Vegetables grow faster because more oxygen (from water) is available in the root area.
- More yields.
- Can be planted anywhere, does not require a large area to plant it.
- Does not require cultivation or weeding.
- No need for crop rotation.
- Some crops, such as lettuce and strawberries , can be well conditioned to reach better heights for planting, cultivating, and harvesting.
Unfortunately, behind all these advantages, hydroponic plants have several disadvantages.
Although hydroponic plants have a lower risk of being affected by pests, it does not rule out that hydroponic plants can experience fewer pest problems.
Some fungi, such as Verticillium or Fusarium which are the cause of several health conditions such as conjunctivitis eye disease , can spread quickly through planting a hydroponic system.
You need good skills and knowledge to be able to grow hydroponic vegetables well. Because, this type of plant requires temperature, humidity, and the amount of light that must be controlled at all times.
Not only that, you need high operational costs. This fee will be used to buy light and other equipment that supports the growth of hydroponic plants.
Are Hydroponic vegetables healthier?
Actually, hydroponic vegetables have not been proven to be more healthful than vegetables grown by other methods.
There are several studies that show that this type of vegetable has a higher nutritional value. There are also various studies showing that the nutrients in hydroponic plants are equivalent to those of conventional plants.
However, there are other studies showing that hydroponic plants may also have fewer nutrients.
One of them is a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry . In this study, hydroponic vegetables showed lower levels of carotenoids .
Keep in mind that the nutrients and phytochemicals in hydroponically grown vegetables vary in content depending on various factors, such as plant variety, season, and when the vegetables were harvested.
Handling and storage of vegetables after harvest also affects nutrition. Poor storage can reduce the nutrients contained in vegetables.
Regardless of the method of cultivation, as long as the plant has adequate nutrients (especially minerals in water) to grow, and also gets sufficient light and air, it can grow with good nutritional content.