Written by Shanina Blaine
Microgreens have been doing the rounds in the health community for quite a while. If you’re new to this site and haven’t heard of microgreens, these are young seedlings of edible vegetables harvested right after the cotyledon leaves have developed one set, so they’re really small.
They’re often used as a visual and textural enhancement for dishes or to add a hint of sweetness or spice.
Many people love microgreens because of their nutritional quality and health benefits. A study from the Journal of Future Foods reveals that microgreens are rich in vitamins like vitamin C, minerals such as copper and zinc, and phytochemicals that can boost the immune system—including carotenoids.
Their nutritional value poses the question: can microgreens be used as part of a healthy weight loss approach? If you’re interested in finding out, keep reading below:
Is It Possible to Use Microgreens for Healthy Weight Loss?
Microgreens are rich in vitamins and minerals because of their concentrated nutrient content. Apart from keeping the body healthy by providing it with various vitamins and minerals, the nutrients in microgreens can help with weight management.
For example, chicory and lettuce microgreens are rich in vitamin A, also known as carotenoid antioxidants.
A 2015 study from the Indian Journal of Medical Research found that vitamin A regulates obesity through visceral fat loss in animal subjects, so it can have a similar effect on humans.
Additionally, microgreens are low-calorie because they’re high in fiber and water. That means you can include lots of microgreens in your meals without worrying about gaining weight. Their fiber and water content will also help you feel full for much longer. As a result, you’ll prevent overeating and avoid reversing your weight loss progress.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on to the best microgreens to eat for weight loss:
The Best Microgreens for Weight Loss
This microgreen is one of the most complete foods you can eat to get enough nutrients. Besides this, sunflower microgreens are low in calories. A quarter cup of sunflower microgreens only has 160 calories, but also contains 12 grams of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats to help you achieve a balanced diet. You can include sunflower microgreens in salads or soups for a healthy yet low-calorie meal.
A 2016 study published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry concluded that red cabbage microgreens can lower cholesterol. If you previously had a high-cholesterol diet, eating red cabbage can help lower your cholesterol levels, lose weight, and reduce your risk of developing certain conditions, like cardiovascular disease.
Red cabbage microgreens are popularly included in sandwiches and salads, so you can try various recipes to incorporate them into your diet.
Cilantro microgreens have three times more beta carotene than mature cilantro, according to a University of Maryland study. Beta carotene converts to vitamin A in the body, which, as discussed above, aids in weight loss via visceral fat loss. Add these microgreens to stir-fry dishes like fried rice or finely chop them and toss them in sauces and dips like guacamole.
What Should a Healthy Weight Loss Approach Have Aside From Microgreens?
Incorporating microgreens into a balanced diet is a significant first step toward a healthy weight loss approach. Yet to truly maximize microgreens’ nutritional benefits, you should consider adding these other things to your weight loss strategy:
In addition to a proper diet, exercising regularly keeps you from gaining more weight and ruining your progress. Physical activity burns calories that would otherwise turn into fat, allowing you to maintain your current weight or reach your goal weight.
As such, don’t forget to exercise alongside eating nutritious meals. Focus on cardio activities that get your heart pumping because these burn the most calories. Some examples are running, swimming, and cycling.
Weight Loss Medication
Despite eating healthily and exercising regularly, some people struggle to lose weight due to genes or underlying medical conditions like obesity. You can take weight loss medication to support your journey in these cases.
A popular option is GLP-1, commonly used to treat diabetes because it helps control blood sugar levels. Today, health professionals administer medications with GLP-1 for weight loss since it can activate receptors in the brain that control appetite and slow stomach emptying. Only certain individuals qualify to take GLP-1, such as those with a BMI of 30 and up, so consult your physician to see if you qualify.
Add microgreens to your weight loss plan to benefit from their low-calorie, high-fiber, and nutrient-rich goodness. Check out our article directory here on Home Microgreens to learn more about these living supplements—and how you can even grow your own.
“Vitamin A as a key regulator of obesity & its associated disorders: Evidences from an obese rat model” (2015) Indian Journal of Medical Research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4442325/
“Red Cabbage Microgreens Lower Circulating Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL), Liver Cholesterol, and Inflammatory Cytokines in Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet” (2016) The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.jafc.6b03805
“Mighty Microgreens” (2012) University of Maryland. https://agnr.umd.edu/news/mighty-microgreens
Credits: Any Stock Photos come from: depositphotos.com.