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What Seniors Need to Know About Microgreens

Microgreens are healthy, tasty foods that we consider additions to any good salad. And along with their numerous health benefits, they’re also fun and quick to grow.

At the same time, though, they have some potential drawbacks, particularly for some seniors or immunocompromised people.

Read on to see what the big deal is about microgreens and what seniors need to know to enjoy them safely.

Microgreens Are Sprouts, Right?

Microgreens are not sprouts… anymore. They are basically what sprouts turn into.

Sprouts don’t have leaves yet, while microgreens have their first true leaves.

This also means that if not appropriately grown, both the soil and the plant have a little more time to develop mold (whereas sprouts are plucked before there’s much time for that first layer of light, dusty mold to appear).

Home Microgreens provides all the instruction you need to grow healthy microgreens at home.

Because sprouts and microgreens aren’t moved around very much, however, the soil doesn’t usually get a chance to aerate (though Gildshire points out that the opposite can be true of houseplants –– something to bear in mind!).

Unlike sprouts, which are generally eaten whole –– leaves, stems, and roots –– microgreens are harvested by being cut right above the root, so what you see in the store or farmer’s market consists of just the stems and leaves.

Essentially, the part eaten was not in contact with the soil at harvest time.

home microgreens sells seeds

FREE Home Microgreens Grow course that teaches you the basics of growing microgreens in your home! There are 12 video lessons (over 120 minutes), downloads, and more written information and tips!

Can Microgreens Make Me Sick?

As with any food, microgreens can make you sick if they aren’t grown, harvested, or stored correctly. The aforementioned mold issue can arise, as can problems with anti-pest substances and other chemicals.

It’s also important to note that seniors may have weakened immune systems or specific sensitivities that may make it especially risky to consume microgreens raw.

These are things seniors can discuss in check-ups with their primary doctors.

Furthermore, KelseyCare Advantage points out that some seniors with Medicare Advantage plans will have access to extensive networks of doctors beyond primary care providers.

So, the visit may be covered if there’s a need to see an immunologist or specialist.

So, I Should Avoid Microgreens, Right?

No. 

Just as we rinse chicken and cook it to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F to ensure it’s safe to eat, we can ensure our microgreens won’t make us sick!

Remember that most store-bought fruits and veggies can come into contact with harmful germs, chemicals such as fungicides, and insect repellent –– so microgreens aren’t unique to possible fresh food issues.

Growing microgreens at home eliminates the worry of how they were grown.

As the CDC recommends, washing your microgreens under clean, running water is the best way to clean them. It is also a good idea to cook them entirely to kill off any harmful bacteria or fungi that washing might miss.

How Can I Prepare Microgreens?

First of all, there is a wide variety of microgreens to choose from: amaranth, mustard greens, and Swiss chard are just some popular options, all with distinct flavors you can mix and match with other ingredients.

Common recipes include stir-frying with a bit of olive oil and other vegetables; boiling; roasting along with other ingredients; and even using on a salad (as long as you’re absolutely sure they’re clean!).

They also work as a simple addition to any meal –– just sprinkle some on top and enjoy!

What Are the Benefits of Microgreens?

According to Women’s Health Magazine, there are a ton of health benefits to these simple mini-veggies.

Microgreens can help reduce your risk of heart disease, fight certain types of cancer, and give your immune system that extra boost to help you fight off infection –– all valuable benefits to seniors.

Like most fresh fruits and vegetables, they are also an excellent source of fiber, which benefits your digestive system.We hope that this clears up any confusion you have had about microgreens. And for more information about microgreens and how to grow, harvest, and cook with them, please look at the other articles on this website. 

Author

  • Todd

    Todd is the founder of Home Microgreens & the Home Microgreens store. He also writes for several other websites, including MyViewFromTheWoods.com. Todd worked at a large farm market, garden & nursery center for 20 years. Somehow he snuck off to become a geologist and professor before coming back to his senses to write & lecture about microgreens and gardening. When not at the computer, he can be found in the garden, trout stream, or mountain trail with his new Springer Spaniel Caden.

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