Health Benefits of Microgreens
Microgreens: The Tiniest Superfood with Big Health Benefits
Microgreens are tiny plants that have gained immense popularity over the past few years. These tiny greens are harvested when they are just a few inches tall, usually between two to three weeks old, and contain all the nutrients and health benefits of their mature counterparts.
These tiny powerhouses are more than just a simple garnish on your plate. Microgreens are packed with flavor and are believed to be even more nutrient-dense than many of their fully grown counterparts. In this blog post, we’ll explore what microgreens are, their benefits, how to grow them, and how to incorporate microgreens into your diet.
A Brief History of Microgreens
The use of microgreens dates back to ancient civilizations such as the Persians, Greeks, and Chinese. These civilizations believed that young plants offered more nutrients and health benefits than mature plants. The idea of growing microgreens commercially began to gain popularity in the 1980s in the USA.
The Benefits of Microgreens
Microgreens are a nutrient-dense food, meaning they contain high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in a small number of calories. The nutrient levels of microgreens are far greater than the mature counterparts of these plants, making them an excellent addition to any diet.
Microgreens are a good source of vitamins, especially vitamin C and E, which are essential to maintaining healthy skin, teeth, and bones. They are also rich in minerals, including iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. By incorporating microgreens into your diet, you can maintain a healthy balance of nutrients that can help you stay healthy.
According to research, microgreens contain up to 40 times the level of nutrients as their mature counterparts. So, if you are looking to improve your health and add some nutritional variety to your diet, then microgreens are an excellent choice.
The Cancer-Fighting Properties of Microgreens
Microgreens are rich in antioxidants, which can help prevent cell damage caused by free radicals, harmful molecules that are caused by environmental factors such as pollution and stress. By eating microgreens regularly, you might protect your cells from damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Recent studies have also shown that microgreens have cancer-fighting properties. According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2012, broccoli microgreens were found to have high levels of sulforaphane, a compound that has been linked to cancer prevention. This study showed that broccoli microgreens contain 20-100 times more sulforaphane than mature broccoli plants.
How to Grow Microgreens
Microgreens can be easily grown at home, making them a convenient and inexpensive addition to any diet. Growing microgreens can be done in soil or hydroponically using nutrient-rich water.
To grow microgreens, you will need a container, potting soil, and seeds. Fill your container with potting soil and sprinkle the seeds on top. Follow the instructions on the seed packet for planting depth, spacing, and light requirements.
Microgreens are ready to harvest after around two to three weeks or when they have grown their first true leaves. To harvest microgreens, snip them off at the soil line and rinse them gently under cold water. Pat them dry with a towel and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
How to Use Microgreens in Your Diet
Microgreens are extremely versatile, and they can be used in many ways to add flavor and texture to your meals.
- Add them to your salads and sandwiches. Crispy and crunchy microgreens add texture and flavor to any salad or sandwich.
- Use microgreens as a garnish. The colorful and delicate leaves of the microgreens can enhance the presentation of any dish.
- Sprinkle them on soup or pasta. Adding flavorful microgreens to your soup or pasta dish can add a burst of flavor and nutrients.
- Make a green smoothie. Adding microgreens to your daily smoothie is an excellent way to incorporate them into your diet.
- Mix with other greens in a vegetable stir fry or sauté.
In conclusion, microgreens are a nutrient-dense food that can be easily grown at home. They are an excellent addition to any diet and are believed to offer many health benefits including cancer prevention. Microgreens are versatile, flavorful, and can elevate the taste and visual appeal of any dish. Try adding them to your diet today, and enjoy the benefits of these tiny superfoods.