Microgreens are seedlings of edible vegetables. They are a new sort of vegetable that individuals may buy in stores or cultivate at home from vegetables or grain seeds. There are several health benefits of microgreens.
Microgreens are regarded as functional food, which implies that they may practically deliver essential nutrients. That is the reason – some people call them a superfood.
Microgreens may be used in both sweet and savory meals. In addition to their nutritional benefits, they may add taste and color to salads and other foods.
Microgreens can be eaten both raw and cooked. If they are eaten uncooked, they may preserve their essential vitamins and mineral content.
This article will discuss the health benefits of microgreens.
What are microgreens?
Microgreens can be a convenient method to get essential nutrients.
Microgreens, like sprouts, are young vegetables. Sprouts and microgreens, on the other hand, are not the same thing.
Sprouts are tiny outgrowths of newly germinated seeds. They are harvested just before the seed starts to expand in size and the leaves appear. While, on the other hand, microgreens develop from sprouts.
When the embryonic leaves fully grow, and their first true leaves emerge, the plant is classified as a microgreen.
Sprouts are typically harvested within 2–3 days. These sprouts are usually grown in water.
On the other hand, microgreens can be grown both in soil and water. They require light. Depending on the type of the plant, they are harvested within 1–3 weeks.
Microgreens can be grown from a variety of plants. However, the popular plants include borage, mustard, basil, kale, and kohlrabi.
Difference between microgreens and sprouts
Sprouts and microgreens both are the same seed at different stages of their growth. Microgreens are sprouts that have been “matured” by allowing them to grow a bit longer to the point where they have visible leaves.
Microgreens contain far more taste, flavor, and perhaps more nutrients than newborn sprouts. They stay considerably longer than sprouts since you can maintain them alive until you chop them.
Microgreens and sprouts may both be cultivated indoors.
Sprouts may grow in a jar with only water – however, microgreens require a substrate, which can be either a growth pad or soil.
The nutritional content of microgreens
As with traditional vegetables, the nutritional content of microgreens varies depending on the kind.
There is evidence that some may have a higher concentration of numerous nutrients than their mature counterparts.
The United States Department of Agriculture reports that 100 g of microgreens of kale only contain 29-30 calories.
According to other studies, Brassica microgreens may be an exceptionally rich source of antioxidants as well as minerals.
The amounts of four important elements (vitamins and carotenoids) were measured in 25 different types of microgreens.
Cilantro microgreens had the highest concentrations of lutein and beta-carotene.
Some plants had large quantities of vitamin C, vitamin K, and E. These plants included red cabbage, garnet amaranth, and green daikon radish.
All these nutrients are essential for skin, eyes, and cancer prevention.
Typically microgreens provide fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, calcium, zinc, and plenty of antioxidants.
Health benefits of microgreens
As a dietary supplement, microgreens may provide various advantages.
A variety of fresh plant items provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Kohlrabi is offered as both a microgreen and a normal veggie. Discover the health benefits of kohlrabi.
Rich in antioxidants
Many plant-based diets contain essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients are involved in hundreds of biological functions of the human body.
Antioxidants help in the elimination of free radicals in the body.
Free radicals are produced by both normal biological processes and external forces such as pollution. They may harm the cell after accumulation. This damage may eventually lead to the development of illnesses such as cancer.
Although the body can eliminate certain free radicals, they can still accumulate. Antioxidants in food may help in eliminating this waste.
Microgreens have plenty of antioxidants that aid in preventing different diseases.
There is a rising interest in sustainability, and microgreens might be a smart method to deliver low-cost locally grown seasonal veggies to urban residents.
Microgreens can be grown at home even in a limited space. A tiny investment can provide a large return in terms of diversity and nutrition.
You may get a continuous supply of microgreens because they only require a few weeks to fully grow. People might get fresh microgreens every week by rotating three crops. Microgreens cultivated hydroponically don’t even require soil.
How to grow microgreens?
Microgreens are quite simple to cultivate on a tiny scale and may flourish inside if exposed to enough sunshine. These veggies – with their short development cycle and low fertilizer requirements – can provide solutions to places that are deemed food deserts.
People who want to develop their microgreens can do it by following these steps:
- Soak seeds for 7-8 hours, or as directed on the box packaging.
- Scatter seeds of your choice in a dish or tray over an inch of soil. Top it with another layer of soil.
- You may also use a growth mat for this purpose. Soak it in water before placing it in a container.
- Mist the soil or growth mat with water and set it near the source of sunlight.
- Spray the seeds with water regularly to keep the soil wet.
- In a few weeks (usually 2-3), your microgreens will be ready to harvest. People should trim greens above the soil level and thoroughly rinse them before utilizing them.
How to add microgreens to your diet?
Microgreens can be added to meals in the following ways:
- As a garnish for salads, soups, stews, and bread
- As a pizza topping
- Make juice or smoothie with microgreens
- Add them to breakfast omelets and dinner casseroles
- Add them to salsa and dips
- Use them in sandwiches and burgers
Some scientists have expressed worry about the danger of contamination of microgreens with pathogens such as E. coli.
The danger increases with storage time and is partially determined by the kind and composition of the microgreen. Some individuals are more prone to hazards than others.
To prevent contamination- some commercial sprout and microgreen growers utilize disinfection treatments, such as chlorinated water.
To reduce the hazard – people should spray microgreens with chlorinated water right before eating them.
Microgreens have a shelf life of 10–14 days after harvesting. Avoid consuming microgreens after this period.
People who buy microgreens at the grocery store should verify that they originate from a trustworthy supplier and is fresh.
People who produce microgreens at home will be better equipped to control these problems.
Even for urban residents – microgreens can be a convenient way to add fresh and nutritious food to meals. They can add flavor to both sweet and savory foods, and they may contain more nutrients than their traditional equivalents.
There are many health benefits of microgreens. People must be encouraged to participate in growing microgreens due to their convenience and nutrition.
Growing microgreens may be a practical and cost-effective method to put fresh food on the table, both in terms of cost and sustainability.