Are you looking for a way to boost your nutrient intake and take your health game up a notch? Look no further than microgreens. These tiny greens are packed with flavor, nutrition, and versatility.
What Are Microgreens?
Microgreens are young plants that have just begun sprouting their first set of leaves. They're typically harvested between 7-14 days after germination when they’re only about 2 inches tall.While small in size, these little powerhouses pack an impressive nutritional punch.
How Are They Grown?
Microgreens can be grown at home or on larger commercial farms using soil or hydroponic methods. To grow them at home, all you need is some seeds (such as broccoli or radish), a container with drainage holes (like a plant pot), and some potting mix or seed-starting medium. Simply scatter the seeds across the surface of the soil/medium and water regularly until they begin to sprout into mini greens!
Why Are They So Exceptional?
While regular leafy greens like spinach and kale are undoubtedly healthy, microgreens take it to the next level. In fact, some studies have found that they can be up to 40 times more nutrient-dense than their mature counterparts!(1) These tiny greens are packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, E, K and beta-carotene.(2) Plus, they contain high levels of phytochemicals such as carotenoids and polyphenols which act as antioxidants in the body.(3)
The Health Benefits of Microgreens
Incorporating microgreens into your diet may provide numerous health benefits. Here's what you can expect:
- Improved Digestion: The fiber content present within these little powerhouses helps aid digestion by promoting regularity and preventing constipation.(7)
- Boosted Immune System: Studies have shown that microgreens contain high levels of vitamin C, which can help boost the immune system and protect against infections.(8)
- Detoxification: The antioxidants present in many types of microgreens may aid in detoxifying the body by neutralizing harmful free radicals and reducing oxidative stress.(9)
- Increased Energy: Microgreens are a great source of vitamins and minerals that support energy production, such as iron and B-vitamins.(10)
Several clinical studies have been conducted to investigate the potential health benefits of microgreens. For example, one study found that consuming broccoli sprout-derived isothiocyanates resulted in lower blood pressure and improved endothelial function in hypertensive subjects.(11) Another study showed that red cabbage polyphenol extracts reduced inflammation responses caused by lipopolysaccharides (LPS) - molecules produced by bacteria - on human cells.(12) Additionally, research has suggested that microgreens may have anti-inflammatory properties, promote healthy aging, and aid in detoxifying the body.(13) While more research is needed to fully understand the potential health benefits of microgreens, these studies provide promising evidence of their positive impact on human health.
How to Eat Microgreens?
Microgreens are versatile little greens with a variety of uses including adding them to salads for an extra nutrient boost, using them as a garnish on soups or other dishes for added flavor and blending them into smoothies or juices.
You can find microgreens at some grocery stores, but they're also available online from specialty suppliers or through grow-your-own kits that you can purchase. Additionally, microgreens are becoming increasingly popular as an ingredient in supplements such as powders and capsules.
The tiny but mighty microgreen is a nutritional powerhouse packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that may offer numerous health benefits. Whether you're looking to improve your digestion or boost your immune system, incorporating these little greens into your diet could be a game-changer for your health.