In one word: Yes! Microgreens are good for you. They are a tiny, amazing, delicious, nutritious superfood.
Here are a few fun facts you might want to know about these amazing plants:
Microgreens are young vegetable greens that are approximately 1” to 3” tall. You know, micro!
They are considered baby plants, falling somewhere between a sprout (smaller than a microgreen, has no leaves) and a baby green (larger than a microgreen).
Micros are generally harvested after their first true leaves have emerged.
They are similar to baby greens in that their stems and leaves are edible, but they are much smaller in size.
Microgreens are jam-packed with nutrients. For a little plant, boy are they nutritious!
Their nutrient contents differ slightly from one micro to another, but they are typically rich in potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and copper.
Microgreens are also a great source of antioxidants.
Since their nutrient contents are concentrated in their small stature, they often contain higher vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant levels than their full-grown counterparts.
In fact, vitamin and mineral levels measured in microgreens were up to 40X higher than those recorded in the mature leaves. Can you believe it!? That’s crazy!
Microgreens are also a rich source of polyphenols which are natural compounds found in plant-based foods.
Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that help ward off free radicals and increase protection against certain conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Polyphenols also play a role in healthy digestion.
However, it is important to note that not all micros are created equal. The amount of nutrients varies depending on the type of microgreen.
Health Benefits of Microgreens
Eating a good amount of vegetables (not just microgreens) is linked to lowering the risk of many diseases.
This is most likely because of the high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds they contain.
Microgreens contain similar and more often than not, more of these nutrients than mature greens.
Therefore, they may help reduce the risk of the following diseases:
- Heart Disease: Microgreens are a rich source of polyphenols, a class of antioxidants linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
- Diabetes: Antioxidants may help reduce the type of stress that can prevent sugar from properly entering cells.
- Alzheimer’s Disease: Antioxidant-rich foods, including those containing high amounts of polyphenols,may be linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Certain Cancers: Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, especially those rich in polyphenols, may lower the risk of various types of cancer.
How To Eat Microgreens
So now that you know how awesome and good for you microgreens are, just how should you eat them?
Here are a few ideas for you:
I personally like them on pretty much everything, from salads to sandwiches, topped on a stir fry, or just plain jane fresh right after harvest.
There is nothing like that delicious crunch and pop of fresh flavour from a newly harvested microgreen. Yum! I am drooling just thinking about it!
How Much To Eat Per Day
Is there a maximum amount? Nah!
Seriously though, here’s the deal. Chances are you are not exclusively eating, smoothie-ing, or juicing microgreens all day long as your sole source of nutrients.
So, you probably don’t have to worry about over-eating them.
The odds are that if you are using microgreens moderately in smoothies or topping your meals with them, then you are good to go.
The truth is most people need to add more veggies to their diet, and adding different types of micros is a delicious way to do that.
Variety is the spice of life, as they say.
My anecdotal experience is that I eat a lot of veggies throughout the day, including microgreens, and I have never suffered any negative side effects from them.
In fact, eating a lot of veggies is a great way to feel full while consuming a lot of nutrients and fewer calories.
List of Microgreen Types
Just how many types of microgreens are there, you ask? Well here is a long list of them:
And there are probably more!
The most popular micros are radish, pea, sunflower, and one growing in popularity is broccoli.
I personally love pea shoots, they are good on everything!
Broccoli is intriguing, however, so it is on the top of my list to try.
Microgreens Nutritional Chart
Long story short, yes microgreens are good for you!
They are tiny but pack a mighty nutritious punch. Microgreens are an awesome addition to any diet, they are so versatile and go with almost any dish you serve up.
If you haven’t tried them yet, head out to your local farmers market and get some freshly cut microgreens, you won’t regret it!
What’s you’re favourite way to eat microgreens? Let us know in the comments below.
I’ll go first, on top of some loaded rice cakes that I have every day for lunch. Mmmm, I think I will go make some right now!
Kathy & Jon
Your Friendly Neighbourhood Growers