Research Shows Ugly Produce Could Actually Be Healthier

By
Might actually be good for you.
Might actually be good for you. Photo: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

As NPR notes, it’s already been pretty well established that organic produce contains more antioxidants. It can’t rely on pesticides like conventional produce can, so it ends up doing most of the dirty work. Research suggests organics end up with 20 to 40 percent more antioxidants than regular stuff and that those tend to contain a lot of compounds typically produced when plants are attacked by pests (flavonoids, phenolic acids, carotenoids, etc.).

One study showed that an apple covered in scab has more healthy, antioxidant phenolic compounds, called phenylpropanoids, than a scab-free apple peel. Another study showed that apple leaves infected with scab have 10 to 20 percent more phenolic compounds. Similar research has found high levels of resveratrol in grape leaves infected with fungi or simply exposed to the stress of ultraviolet light. A study of Japanese knotweed, a plant with a long tradition of use in Chinese and Japanese herbal medicine, found that infection with common fungi boosted its resveratrol content as well.

As NPR notes, it’s already been pretty well established that organic produce contains more antioxidants. It can’t rely on pesticides like conventional produce can, so it ends up doing most of the dirty work. Research suggests organics end up with 20 to 40 percent more antioxidants than regular stuff and that those tend to contain a lot of compounds typically produced when plants are attacked by pests (flavonoids, phenolic acids, carotenoids, etc.).

Here’s what some of the more recent findings discovered:

[NPR]

Uglier Produce Could Actually Be Healthier