The incredible health bennefits of micrgreens.
What Are Microgreens?
Microgreens are little seedlings of edible plants that are often used to add color and flavor to meals. They're much smaller than regular greens (and even "baby" greens) and have grown in popularity, especially in fine dining circles. The term "microgreen" isn't specific to any one plant.
Although people don't typically eat them in large quantities, microgreens are still high in vitamins and minerals. In fact, they have a much higher concentration of nutrients than fully mature plants.
What Are the Health Benefits of Microgreens?
Microgreens have become increasingly popular in the past handful of years, and a great deal of ongoing research seeks to understand all the health benefits these tiny plants offer.
Early research has indicated that microgreens contain up to 40% more phytochemicals (beneficial nutrients and components) than their full-grown counterparts.
Microgreens can lower blood pressure. Foods that are high in fiber and vitamin K can be helpful in maintaining a healthy blood pressure, and microgreens are high in both of these important elements as well as other vitamins and minerals.
Microgreens might help fight cancer. Research is ongoing into this subject, but some early evidence suggests that sulforaphane — a compound found at especially high levels in broccoli sprouts — may help fight cancer.
Some microgreens can help lower cholesterol. A study found that red cabbage microgreens lower levels of LDL cholesterol, liver cholesterol, and inflammatory cytokines — all factors that can increase your risk for heart disease.
Microgreens can support gut health. Foods that are high in dietary fiber, like microgreens, can ease constipation or other gastro-intestinal distress when eaten as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Research also indicates that dietary fiber serves as a " prebiotic," or material that provides an ideal environment for the "good" bacteria in the human microbiome to flourish.
What Kinds of Microgreens Are There?
As Microgreens can be grown from any edible plant seed, varieties of microgreens, there is no shortage of tasty and healthy choices when it comes to what to explore. The most poluplar microgreens based on nutrional value and taste are:
Arugula, Sunflower, Pea, Radish, Beet, Bok Choic, Cress, Mustard, Chard, Kale, Chia, and Brocoli.
Since microgreens are small and tender, it's easy to add them to recipes to take full advantage of their nutritional power and flavor. Given their small size and high water content, it's not recommended to cook microgreens, but don't forget to wash them before eating them. Here are a few suggestions for how to use microgreens:
Toss in a salad
Sprinkle on top of grilled fish or meat
Mix into scrambled eggs or omelets
Blend into a smoothie
Use as topping on soup or pasta
Add to a sandwich for extra texture
Garnish hummus or other dips