Microgreens are currently one of the trendiest food items in the diet and nutrition world. Whether they are blended in smoothies, mixed into salads, or adding them to sandwiches, microgreens are powerful, tiny greens with unique flavor and color. The coolest thing is that they are very easy to grow. Often times they are ready to harvest within 10 days!
What Are Microgreens?
To understand microgreens, one must understand sprouts. First of all, sprouts and microgreens are not the same. Sprouts are typically grown in water and can be harvested in a couple days. The seeds of herbs or vegetables begin to grow and become sprouts. As the sprouts mature into baby plants, they become microgreens. Unlike sprouts, however, microgreens must be grown in soil, require sunlight, and are harvested in about one to three weeks. The flavor of the microgreen will depend on the plant they come from. You can have red cabbage micros, cilantro micros, green daikon micros, lettuce micros, sunflower micros, and many more.
There is really no reason to exclude microgreens from your diet. They pack a nutritional punch, containing more antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins than their larger counterparts. Let’s explore some of the benefits below.
Rich In Polyphenols
A lot of vegetables contain beneficial polyphenols, which are naturally occurring chemicals that contain amazing antioxidant properties. Helping to fight the build-up of free radicals in the body, polyphenols have also been known to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and heart disease. A 2013 study found more polyphenols in microgreens than in regular-sized leafy greens.
Easy To Grow
Why does this fall under the benefits category? You don’t need to be a botanist or farmer to be able to grow microgreens; they are like sprouts in that way. You just need some quality soil, seeds, and a little window that gets sufficient sunlight. Don’t forget to water them!
High In Nutrients
Microgreens are some of the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet. Think of all the nutrients that are in a bag of arugula. Now compact all of those nutrients into a micro bundle and you get an incredibly dense concentration of nutrients. Microgreens contain vitamins A, C, & K, manganese, folate, protein, beta-carotene, and an array of other nutrients. Studies have shown that microgreens contain four to 40 times more nutrients by weight than fully-grown greens.
Improve Heart Health
Since heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, it is integral to decrease your risk of developing it with natural foods. Several studies have shown that the nutrients in microgreens can help lower LDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides. Add microgreens to a well balanced diet and healthy lifestyle with regular physical activity to help reduce your risk of heart disease.