In our increasingly health-conscious society, microgreens are the latest food trend, and for good reason.
They’re delicious, nutritious, and studies show that the health benefits of microgreens go further than adding vitamins and minerals to your meal.
For the most part, microgreens are seedlings of common edible vegetables and herbs harvested and eaten a week after the cotyledons (i.e. the embryos within the first leaves to grow after seed germination) have developed.
Microgreens can be eaten whole or used as garnishes. They come in an impressive variety of flavors, colors, aromas, and nutritional profiles, making them a vibrant and versatile addition to any dish.
The Health Benefits of Microgreens
Microgreens are packed with nutrients; they contain more vitamins and minerals than their mature counterparts.
Though they’re popularly known as “vegetable confetti” due to their use as a garnish in fancy restaurants, there’s a lot more to them than their ability to visually spruce up an otherwise bland plate of food or sandwich.
This article reviews their nutritional profiles and how you can tap into their health-positive potential in your everyday life.
The Nutritional Advantages of Microgreens
Microgreens are a nutrient-rich food that can provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals.
They are exceptionally high in antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage. Microgreens also contain high levels of vitamin C, which is essential for maintaining healthy skin and bones.
The health benefits of microgreens also can help prevent disease.
Women’s Health reported that microgreens help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol. Many microgreens contain sulforaphane, a compound that may target cancer stem cells.
The article also says the health benefits of microgreens include boosting the immune system, helping improve eyesight, are fiber-rich, and warding off digestive ailments.
In addition to their nutritional value, microgreens are also a low-calorie food, making them an excellent choice for individuals watching their weight.
If you’re looking for a way to add more nutrient-rich foods to your diet, consider adding microgreens; they not only add flavor, aroma, and texture but also a host of other long-term benefits.
Are Microgreens Better Than Multivitamin Pills?
Suppose your physician informs you that you may be deficient in one or more vitamins. In that case, you’d be better served regularly utilizing microgreens than supplementing with multivitamin pills, which have several disadvantages.
First, multivitamins carry a considerable risk of potential interactions with other medications you may be taking.
High concentrations of some vitamins and minerals (e.g., vitamin C, zinc) paired with amounts you’re already getting in your diet could cause an excess intake, which is known to produce unwanted side effects like nausea, stomach cramps, or even diarrhea.
Look at any label on a multivitamin container; you will see very high concentrations of many vitamins and minerals. This is because your body does not absorb nutrients very well in tablet form.
We all hoped a “pill” would someday be developed to satisfy our nutritional needs. Unfortunately, that has not happened, nor will it. The best way to gain nutritional value is to eat fresh foods.
The fresher, the better.
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Also, multivitamins have additive or “filler” ingredients that, in many cases, can cause gas or bloating when taken on an empty stomach or in individuals with sensitive stomachs.
So why do doctors recommend multivitamins?
Because very few have had any training in nutrition, ask any doctor how much nutritional training they receive in medical school, and their answer will be “maybe a week.”Most doctors rely on pharmaceutical companies for answers.
Can Microgreens Really Help Prevent Disease?
Microgreens have been shown to be a viable supplement in preventing common diseases.
They provide plenty of vitamins that help the body stay healthy and are also an excellent fiber source.
Other beneficial plant compounds, such as terpenes, can also be found in appreciable amounts in microgreens. Myrcene — the mother of all terpenes as it’s sometimes known — is particularly abundant in popular selections like daikon and arugula.
At their core, microgreens are superfoods packed with nutrients.
They’re a great source of vitamins A, C, E, and K. They also contain carotenoids, flavonoids, and chlorophyll, making them a great way to boost your immune system and keep your body healthy year-round.
How You Can Get More Microgreens in Your Diet
Microgreens make a delicious and healthy addition to any meal and can be eaten raw or cooked.
You can add them to salads, soups, sandwiches, wraps, and more. Microgreens are versatile food that can be used in various recipes, so don’t be afraid to experiment with them.
It’s worth noting the terpene profiles of your microgreens and their implications on the flavors and aromas of your food.
The terpene limonene, for instance, can be found in abundance in lemon balm and other citrusy microgreens.
It imparts a crisp lemony taste and smell, making it a natural choice for incorporation into vinaigrettes, salads, and marinades. Of course, limonene’s anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, antihyperalgesic, and gastroprotective effects are more reasons to include terpene-rich microgreens in your diet.
Pea shoots, red beets, and amaranth are terpene-rich.
Health food stores and more and more mainstream grocers are now carrying microgreens. Also, check to see if there is a local grower near you. They may even deliver!
If you’re interested in growing some of your own, the seeds (no different from regular seeds) are available at competitive prices in the Home Microgreens Store.
Vegetables and greens lose nutrients every day after harvest. Growing your own fresh food is the best way to improve your nutrition. Microgreens are very easy to grow.
Home Microgreens also offers a free guide on how to grow microgreens at home and offers many other articles, training, and courses.
Try Growing Your Own
Their wide range of physiological and practical advantages aside, microgreens are also very easy to grow. You need very little equipment, some potting mix, and your seeds of choice.
The free guide above outlines what you need to know. For the most part, to grow microgreens, simply sow the seeds in a shallow tray of potting mix and keep them moist.
In a few days, the seeds will sprout, and the microgreens will be ready to harvest in 10 to 14 days.
Once you’ve harvested your microgreens, you can eat them raw in salads or use them as garnishes on soup or other dishes. You can also juice them, blend them or add them to smoothies.
Those are easy ways to incorporate the health benefits of microgreens into your diet.
This makes microgreens an incredibly versatile and attractive way to increase the overall nutritional profile of your diet.
If you’re looking for a fun and easy way to grow your own food, microgreens are a great option.
Give them a try and see how much you enjoy eating these nutrient-packed greens. If their current status as a food craze is any indication, microgreens are likely to revolutionize not only your dietary regimen for the better but those of your family and friends as well.
Do You Have a Pinterest Microgreen Board?
If not, why not start one! Use this pin as the first or add to your existing boards.