Until now microgreens may not have been taken seriously as a substantial, beneficial food source but that has been to our detriment which has started to change for the better. As more people grow their own microgreens and extras to sell within their local communities, we will all be able to benefit from these nutritionally packed mini vegetables.
With a source of fresh microgreens readily available we will not only be able to eat healthier but also add diversity to our otherwise, sometimes mundane diets. As the scientists discover an increasing number of healthy benefits microgreens can offer, chefs are just as busy discovering more meals they can be added to in order to offer more nutritious meals.
Microgreens, by their nature, are of course relatively small however, ounce for ounce they are possibly one of the most beneficial foods available today. With hundreds of different types to choose from meals no longer need to seem repetitive in order to be nutritious, plus of course they can add color to an otherwise drab looking meal.
Most Common/Popular Microgreens Varieties
From the hundreds of different types of microgreens that are available, some have emerged as being more popular than others and these include:
Arugula – This is a type of microgreen which is particularly known for assisting in the maintenance of strong and healthy bones. This is a leafy vegetable (sometimes referred to as rocket) which has more vitamins, phytochemicals, and antioxidants than lettuce whilst also having a calcium level equal to spinach. However, this is often considered more beneficial than spinach as it contains fewer oxalates which are known to block the body from absorbing calcium. Also Arugula’s high levels of vitamin K help in maintaining bone health. This microgreen’s high levels of antioxidants can also assist in reducing stomach acidity and ulcers.
Radish – The many different varieties of this microgreen include red arrow, triton, sango, and Japanese daikon but all have the same spicy flavor associated with fully grown radish. Some people say these microgreens can help add fullness to a meal but whether that is true or not, they certainly have an abundance of vitamins and nutrients including high levels of vitamin C and also protein. Whilst popular, fortunately, radish microgreens are among the easiest to grow and are one of the fastest to grow, reaching harvest just 12 days from planting the seed.
Sunflower – Along with radish these are perhaps the most popular and commonly seen microgreens. Providing a sweet nutty flavor, these microgreens are also high in nutrients, vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B and zinc.
Beetroot – Known in the States as just beets, beetroots are mainly eaten for their roots but microgreen beetroots can be equally nutritious, in fact, more nutritious and have more iron than spinach. Microgreen beetroots are perhaps one of the microgreens you may already see on market stalls around the country but remember, if you are buying some for their nutrition, don’t forget to enquire how fresh they are.
Kale – Due to the fully grown kale being packed with vitamin C which is good for maintaining your immune system, it has already been considered a superfood by many. Kale microgreens have the same nutritional qualities plus many think they are nicer to eat than the leaves of the larger kale.
Broccoli – As a vegetable, broccoli is already very popular both for its taste and its nutritional potential. Broccoli has the highest amount of sulforaphane than any other vegetable and the same can be said about broccoli microgreens. Although many of the nutritional qualities in microgreens have yet to be proven, sulforaphane has been proven to help alleviate chronic inflammation and assist in preventing cancers. It is also known to protect against strokes and cardiovascular diseases. Sulforaphane can however lose its potential when excessively heated and so this is perhaps one type of microgreen that should be eaten raw, although most types can.
Parsley – Thought often as only a garnish by many, parsley and parsley microgreens have their own health benefits. Parsley is high in lutein and zeaxanthin which are good for the eyes and maintaining good eyesight.
Chives – Closely related to onions and garlic, chive microgreens have a bit of an oniony taste but they can help your heart’s health by lowering bad cholesterol in the blood due to them containing a compound called allicin.
Mint – Although mint is often only used to add flavor to cocktails, mint microgreens can assist in relieving indigestion and also help improve brain functions.
Dill – Dill microgreens are known to act as a sedative but they can also assist in reducing menstrual pains.
Fennel – Fennel microgreens are particularly beneficial to bodybuilders and others who indulge in strenuous exercise and this is because it has nine amino acids which are essential for rebuilding and repairing muscles.
Watercress – This is an amazing microgreen as it contains more vitamin C than oranges, more calcium than milk, more folate than bananas and more iron than spinach.
Some of the less popular or less well-known microgreens can also have health benefits, such as:
Cilantro – Packed with vitamin A cilantro microgreens can assist in removing unwanted heavy metals from the body and also help in balancing sugar levels in the blood.
Mustard – As with the many types of mustard, mustard microgreens have a high antioxidant level which is good for detoxicating the blood and liver, they are also a good source of fiber.
Orach – Like the ancient adult vegetable, orach microgreens are known for improving kidney function and digestion but as they have high levels of oxalic acid, people who are prone to kidney stones should perhaps avoid them.
Celery – These microgreens have the distinct celery taste and are rich in minerals and vitamins but low in sodium and they will not give your blood sugar level a hike.
Amaranth – These are microgreens of a vegetable that is now known to have made up 80% of the ancient Aztecs meals and contain 30% more protein than rice. Easy to digest, amaranth microgreens also contain many other beneficial ingredients that can help fight osteoporosis and various types of cancer, improve eyesight and assist in reducing hair loss.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Studies on Microgreens
- Microgreens contain 4-40x more nutrients than their mature counterparts! View the study.
- Red cabbage microgreens contain a variety of anthocyanins which have been reported to alter metabolic markers and inflammatory markers in cells, animals and humans. View the study.
- Microgreens have a higher anti-diabetic and anti-cholinergic activity than sprouts. View the study.