Microgreens are shoots of herbs or vegetables which are taken at the cotyledon stage after the first true leaves come up. Maximum microgreens are developed upto a height of approximately 2 to 4 inches. Those who do not know about microgreens can consider them sprouts, but they differ from sprouts because of their growing method. Microgreens will get all set to harvest ten to fourteen days after germination. Microgreens are a great source of nutrients. They come in a variety of colors. The flavor of microgreens is the same as any regular green but better. Several health benefits of microgreens are there. Microgreens can be an amusing and practical way to add nutritious, fresh produce to meals, even for city dwellers. They can be a tasty addition to savory and sweet dishes and may have more nutrients than their conventional counterparts.
Parents and caregivers who invite their children to help them water, plant, and harvest microgreens on a window ledge may find their children more thrilled about eating greens. Regarding price and sustainability, developing microgreens can be an economical and practical way of putting nutritious food on the table.
The Health Benefits Of Microgreens
Apart from being a popular garnish in different cuisines, microgreens are also super healthy and must be taken daily with a healthy diet. Let us look at some of the most evident health benefits of microgreens.
- Consuming microgreens can also help decrease the inflammation in the body.
- Microgreens are rich in nutrients, such as vitamin K & fiber, which help manage high blood pressure and decrease the risk of a heart attack.
- Since microgreens are simple to grow at home with minimal supplies, they can be a great source of daily nutritional necessities.
- A healthy diet including microgreens has also been proven to decrease cancer risk.
- As microgreens are eaten at the seedling stage, they can be grown all-year-round for everyday nutrition.
- Most microgreens are rich in beta-carotene, which help stop eye diseases and diabetes.
Why Are Microgreens Healthy?
Some qualities of home-grown microgreens come together to result in their designation as a ‘superfood’.
- Microgreens are healthy as they are nutrient-dense, which means they are concentrated sources of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Compared to their adult counterparts, they have up to 40x the vitamins and a broader spectrum of antioxidants.
- Microgreens are appropriate to consume raw, which assists them hold on to their nutrients, as the heat in cooking can wipe out vitamins, enzymes, and phytonutrients.
- After the plant is grown, it decomposes and loses its nutrients and health benefits. For instance, spinach loses 90% of its Vitamin C within 24 hours of harvesting.
The only means to make sure you are capturing all the nutritional and health benefits of microgreens is to consume them once they have been grown. This is the main reason why people suggest home-grown microgreens instead of shop-bought ones. Luckily, microgreens are easy to grow and appropriate for people of all experience levels.
Nutritional Facts of Microgreens
Each microgreen has several health advantages, but in general, microgreens are perfect for obtaining your antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These are the unprocessed ingredients that your body utilizes to carry out several actions daily– from making your skin shine to shoring up your bones and therapeutic wounds.
- Vitamins: These are organic substances made by animals or plants. Microgreens are rich in vitamin C, E, and carotenoids.
- Minerals: These usually come from the soil and water and are then soaked up by plants and kept in their plant mass and seeds. The minerals present in microgreens are the richest in are iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and copper.
- Antioxidants: Antioxidants thwart unstable molecules that damage our body’s cells and DNA. One category of antioxidants, known as polyphenols, is rich in brassica microgreens. Another category of antioxidants, carotenoids, was found to be about five times greater in microgreens than in adult leaves.
Microgreens Can Reduce Risk Of These Deadly Diseases
Vegetables are an excellent source of approximately every essential vitamin and nutrient the body requires, making them excellent for lessening the risk of having certain diseases. Microgreens are like vegetables, and thus, they can also help reduce the risk of you having these deadly diseases:
- Heart disease: Microgreens are a good source of polyphenols, a class of antioxidants that can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Studies show that they can help by reducing triglyceride and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.
- Alzheimer’s disease: Microgreens are high in antioxidants and also have high amounts of polyphenols, which might be linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- Diabetes: Microgreens have many antioxidants that can help reduce the type of stress that can stop sugar from entering cells properly. In a few laboratory studies, a particular alternative of microgreens – fenugreek microgreens emerged to have improved cellular sugar by twenty-five to forty-four percent
- Several cancer types: Microgreens are high in antioxidants, such as polyphenols, and these might reduce the risk of cancer.
Microgreens’ Benefits For The Hair
Microgreens reduce the chances of hair damage. Microgreens like beetroot are healthy for the hair as they are rich in potassium, iron, and electrolytes.
Microgreens’ Benefits For The Skin
Several microgreens have health benefits for the skin, particularly radish, sunflower, kale, broccoli, and nasturtium microgreens, as they offer essential nutrients: vitamins A, B, D, E, zinc, sulforaphane antioxidants such as polyphenols. They also have anti-inflammatory effects that can be accredited to the antioxidants present within these plants.
The Most Nutritious Microgreens And Their Benefits
1. Radish Microgreens/Sprouts
These microgreens can are a nutrient-packed option known for health advantages. They comprise enhanced levels of vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. They also deliver iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and potassium to the human body. They provide crunchy texture, flavor, and a touch of spiciness to food.
2. Pea Microgreens/Pea Shoots
These are one of the nutritious microgreens, which people like to involve from time to time. Pea shoots have beta-carotene – which bodies convert into vitamin C, vitamin A, and folate–essential building blocks for the human body and fiber. These microgreens have a very mild taste, but they can add a crunchy texture and green color to your salads and sandwich wraps.
3. Sunflower Microgreens
These are known for their nutty flavor. They are easy to grow and harvest within a couple of weeks. You can grow them in a small container. Select a seeding mix of soil and keep it moist during growth. Sunflower microgreens necessitate appropriate light and fresh air to grow too. Thus, once germination begins, remove the lid. They can be used in soups, salads, sandwiches, and dips for adding munch. You can add them to your smoothies and shakes too. It is an excellent source of iron and calcium. Vitamin A, B, C, D, and E are present in plenty through these microgreens. They absorb easily too.
4. Beetroot Microgreens
A colorful and nutritious addition to your microgreen garden is varieties of beetroot microgreens. The beetroot microgreens’ beautiful green, pink, and red colors are quite common with microgreen growers. They might take some more days to yield, however, they are worth it. Beetroot seeds do not like much water in their roots to grow. Thus, make sure that your planting trays have appropriate drainage. They provide a sweet and earthy flavor like their mature counterparts. Thus they can be great accompaniments to sandwiches, soups, salads, pasta, and so much more. Like any other microgreen, Beet microgreens have lots of Vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, iron, calcium, and protein. They also have an excellent supply of potassium, magnesium, and copper.
Are microgreens more wholesome than usual greens?
Microgreens are filled with nutrients. It has been found that the nutrient levels here are much higher than in other regular greens. This happens as the microgreens are taken at the cotyledon stage when they are packed with nourishment. The texture and flavor of the microgreen shoots are also much more intense than vegetables.
Selecting a healthy lifestyle for yourself and your family might seem like a huge change, but microgreens are a great way to begin. Start growing microgreens with the collection of the simplest microgreens to grow in your kitchen garden or terrace garden in India throughout the year. They all have varied time to yield. These microgreens are small in size, but they can top the nutrients list compared to the matured plant. However, it is safe to state that microgreens must be added and introduced to the food culture. Another thing about microgreens is that they must be taken fresh. You can keep microgreens but after growing, they begin losing flavor and nutrients.
To take the advantage of microgreens, they must be eaten within two days of harvesting. It is safe for adults and children. It is never too late to begin growing your microgreens safely at home.