Reasons to Include Microgreens in Your Diet
A healthy life is something we all wish to live. But it is scientifically impossible to achieve this with the eating habits that we currently have. How is it possible then? The answer is simple – eat healthy. How can you eat healthy? Microgreens are essentials that you should add to your diet and meals without thinking twice. Yes, we said it!
Are you curious about learning how microgreens can be beneficial for you and what they actually are? Keep reading, and you’ll know.
What exactly are Microgreens?
As the name implies, microgreens are miniature vegetables. They turn out to be too small since they are harvested only after 2-4 weeks after their germination. You can find microgreens in various colors and a wide variety of flavors too. Preparing meals with microgreens results in dishes that are not only virtually attractive but also they are delicacies that make the mouth water. They can be used to add that “chef’s touch” to a meal and serve as a vibrant side dish.
Let’s get to the topic and learn about their health benefits so that you can finally make them an integral part of your diet plan.
1. Full of beta-carotene
Carrots are great for eyes according to doctors and nutritionists. The reason behind this is the presence of beta-carotene. It is a compound that is found in certain microgreens in large amounts. This compound is a type of carotenoid. It can fight against eye-related diseases and is even said to help prevent type 2 and type 1 diabetes. These tiny vegetables also contain two other compounds namely, Lutein and zeaxanthin, which are very beneficial in the prevention of cataracts and macular degeneration in the eye. Not just that, these compounds are also effective in the prevention of damage to the eye from harmful UV rays.
2. Fabulous source of vitamin K
Microgreens also contain Vitamin K in huge quantities. A Yale study found out that exposing pea microgreens to light for longer periods enhanced the production of vitamins, particularly Vitamin K. This particular vitamin type is very beneficial for human health as it promotes bone health and is effective in the prevention of osteoporosis and strengthens bones and cartilage with high amounts of calcium. It also helps in improving bone density alongside decreasing the chances of blood clotting and reduces nosebleeds as well as treats bleeding gums.
3. More nutrition than mature leaves
The leaves of Microgreen vegetables are more nutritious than their mature versions. The United States Department of Agriculture conducted a study on 25 commercially available microgreens which found out that cotyledons or the first young leaves of a vegetable are high in nutritional content. It found out that they are at least 4-6 times higher in nutritional content than fully grown plants. These first leaves serve as a source of food for the growing plant and possess the nutrients that are essential for the young plant’s survival. Hence, eating these young plants can be more beneficial for us given their high nutritional content.
4. Antioxidant source of Vitamin C
These microgreens also contain Vitamin C in large quantities. All microgreens are rich in one type or another of vitamins, and rest assured they are packed with a healthy dose of them. Vitamin C helps in developing immunity against cold and influenza. It helps in wound healing and helps develop lasting connective tissue by promoting the production of collagen. The vitamin also helps the body absorb iron from food and works as an antioxidant.
5. Rich in Vitamin E
Foods rich in Vitamin E have numerous health benefits. Tocopherol is a type of Vitamin E that microgreens contain. Tocopherol helps in increasing the production of red blood cells and reduces the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases, as confirmed by a study conducted at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
6. Antioxidant power station
Free radicals that can cause cell damage can be repaired and prevented with antioxidants. Having antioxidants in our meals is very important for us because of this ability. Guess what is a rich source of antioxidants? Microgreens! Yes you guessed it right. According to the Journal of the American Society of Horticultural Sciences, lettuce seedlings have the highest level of antioxidants after 7 days from germination. For this reason, making microgreens a part of your diet becomes essential for a healthy lifestyle.
7. Better than sprouts
Sprouts need to be soaked in water for days to ensure proper growth. Microgreens, on the other hand, grow in the soil for almost 42 days, absorbing all their required minerals and nutrients directly from the soil. Which means that microgreens are richer in nutritional content than sprouts. Just remember that contaminated water such as that used to grow cabbage can cause food poisoning and other diseases, such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli.
Microgreens spend very little time on the ground. This means that they do not need to be sprayed with harmful pesticides and herbicides making them less likely to pass on chemicals when consumed, making microgreens a very healthy vegetable option.
9. Combine well with healthy foods
Microgreens are tasty and delicious. They are great for decorating meals and adding a beautiful texture to them. These small vegetables also taste very good when coupled with other ingredients such as a fruit salad, with soups, on a sandwich, or as a side dish to highlight the color in other foods.
10. Microgreens growth is relaxing
Gardening is a relaxing activity and is considered a high voltage stress reliever. When you grow your own food, you don’t have to worry about chemicals and toxins becoming a part of your diet. Growing microgreens is not very difficult or time-consuming either. The process of growth and harvest is very short, so almost anyone can do it. Also, you don’t need to have a garden for this. All it needs is a pot, tray or any container that can contain almost two inches of soil. Once you fill the pot with soil, you need to spread the seeds of the microgreen that you wish to grow. Bury these seeds with a little more soil over them and water them to moisten the mud. Take care of the water and sunlight for a month see your greens grow into a perfectly healthy diet for you.