The Millennial Superfoods Everyone Needs - Microgreens

Microgreens, which seemed to be an accessory to make your dish look aesthetic, can prove to be wondrous for your health. Here we discover the nutritional benefits of microgreens and the ways in which you can add them to your diet.

By Ameya Arora
13 Jun 2022

Since their introduction to the chef’s menus in San Francisco as early as the 1980s, Microgreens have steadily gained popularity. They add a splash of bright color to various dishes and are rich in flavour.

They make a great addition to your diet as they contain a pack of a nutritional punch, despite being ‘micro’ in size. Continue reading to learn more about them and how you can add them to your diet in a sustainable way.


What Are Microgreens?

If you’ve ever been to a fancy restaurant, you must have noticed a small green leaf garnished on your plate. They add vibrant colour to your dish and are a chef’s special touch. They are small, tasty, fresh, crunchy, colourful, and healthy. They are Microgreens. Microgreens are the new re-discovered ingredient gaining steady popularity now and making their way to our homemade dishes. Microgreens are not just an accessory to your dish. They are full of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fibers.


2018 study published in the Journal Of Agriculture And Food Chemistry showed that microgreens reduce the risk of obesity and cancer and improve overall well-being. Microgreens are young vegetables and are approximately 1 to 3 inches tall. They come with an aromatic flavor and have concentrated nutrient content. One can buy Microgreens collectively and cut them at home while preparing your dish. An important point to consider is to keep them alive until they are ready to consume.


Different Types Of Microgreens

Microgreens are grown from different types of seeds, thus resulting in various types of greens. Among the most popular are the ones that are grown from the following plant families:


  • Brassicaceae family - Cauliflower, Cabbage, Broccoli, Radish
  • Asteraceae family - Lettuce, Chicory, Radicchio, Endive
  • Apiaceae family - Carrot, Celery, Dill, Fennel
  • Amaryllidaceae family - Onion, Garlic, Leek
  • Amaranthaceae family - Beetroot, Spinach, Quinoa
  • Cucurbitaceae family - Melon, Cucumber, Squash


2016 study published in the Journal Of Culinary Science And Technology tells that some cereals like rice, oats, corn, wheat, and barley, as well as legumes like beans, lentils, and chickpeas, can also sometimes be grown into microgreens.


What Are The Potential Benefits Of Microgreens?

Microgreens come fully packed with nutrients. A 2016 study published in the Journal Of Food Composition And Analysis reported that different microgreens can vary in their nutrient contents slightly, but most of them are rich in potassium, iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium.


Another study published in 2012 in the Journal Of Agriculture And Food Chemistry showed that Microgreens are also concentrated in nature. This means that a certain quantity of microgreens contains a higher amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than the same quantity of mature greens. The study also reported that microgreens were 40 times higher in the level of antioxidants than other mature leaves.


Another 2015 study published in the same journal reported that microgreens are nine times higher in their nutrient levels compared to their mature counterparts.


1. Provides increased levels of nutrients

Being rich in nutrient levels, microgreens can help in:


  • Controlling your weight
  • Preventing a range of diseases
  • Boosting mental health and physical well-being


2. Adds benefits related to Antioxidants

Being rich in antioxidant levels, microgreens can help in:


  • Regulate various bodily processes
  • Help eliminate unstable waste molecules known as free radicals


3. Reduce the risk of various heart diseases

2016 study published in the Journal Of Agriculture And Food Chemistry reveals that microgreens help lower the bad cholesterol levels in animals. This proves that it can reduce the risk of various heart diseases in humans as well.


4. Reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease

2014 study published in Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology showed that as microgreens are rich in antioxidants, they contain high amounts of polyphenols. Polyphenols are naturally occurring organic compounds known to have health benefits. These Polyphenols reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.


5. Reduce the risk of developing diabetes

Antioxidants found in microgreens enhance sugar uptake by the cells by 25 to 44%, reports a 1996 study published in Natural Product Reports.


6. Prevent the risk of developing certain cancers

A 2016 study revealed that green vegetables and fruits lower the risk of developing cancers. Similarly, microgreens that are rich in polyphenols aid the prevention and treatment of cancer.


How Can I Include Microgreens In My Diet?

You can include microgreens in your diet in many simple ways. They can be a part of your sandwich, wrap, and salad. You may also blend them in your smoothies or juices with other fruits and greens. Avocado and wheatgrass smoothies and broccoli sprout shots are a few famous choices.

Lastly, like our chef’s favorite, you can use them as garnishes on top of your pizzas, omelets, curries, and other warm dishes to achieve that aesthetic dish for your Instagram!


Can I Grow My Own Microgreens?

Microgreens are convenient to grow as you can sprout them in a variety of locations. They only require certain favorable environmental conditions like low humidity, lots of light, average temperature, and good air circulation. One can grow microgreens all year round - both indoors and outdoors.


What do you need to grow your microgreens?

  • Good quality seeds
  • A proper container filled with healthy soil or compost
  • Proper lighting, preferably sunlight


Steps To Grow Your Healthy Microgreens

Here are the correct steps to grow your microgreens effectively -


Step 1: Fill the container with soil. Compost it slightly, and water it.


Step 2: Disperse the seeds on top of the soil.


Step 3: Water the seeds again, and cover the container with a lid.


Step 4: Check the container daily, water it, and keep it moist to germinate.


Step 5: Once the seeds have germinated, remove the lid and expose the seeds to sunlight.


Step 6: Constantly check on them to see when they are ready to be harvested.



The Millenial Superfoods: Microgreens



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