Microgreens are gaining popularity among “foodies” and a growing number of health-conscious customers. They are a nutritional powerhouse, containing many vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium, copper, zinc, magnesium, and other minerals.
They are far more healthy than their full-grown herbs and vegetable counterparts. They also provide a punch of vibrant color to any dish along with a pleasing crunchy texture.
What are Microgreens?
Microgreens are tender or immature vegetable greens harvested after the cotyledonary leaves have formed and the first actual leaves emerge. Due to their nutrient profile, they’re considered functional foods and used for flavor, texture, and taste substitutes for sprouts.
Microgreens can be grown indoors and outdoors. However, as they are fragile, delicate, and have a short shelf life, they can be problematic for cultivators.
How much Microgreens Should you Consume Each Day?
The daily fruit and vegetable consumption might often be inadequate. Microgreens are an excellent way to increase the number of healthy greens in the diet of an individual. While there is a risk of “overdoing it” with some foods, you shouldn’t have to worry about it with microgreens. As most people do, you won’t likely overeat it if you use microgreens as a garnish or as part of a healthy smoothie.
According to the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), you can consume enough microgreens to meet your daily vegetable nutritional needs. The regular serving size for vegetable microgreens is one or half a cup. Half a cup for starchy vegetables such as potato, peas, or corn constitutes one serving of microgreens. Moreover, the serving size is one cup of microgreens for vegetables such as cabbage or cauliflower or green leafy vegetables such as spinach or kale.
Microgreens of one cup weigh about 75 grams; this makes one serving. At least five servings of microgreens per day are advised. According to the American Dietary Guidelines, a minimum of two and a half cups of veggies should be consumed every day.
Microgreens are a terrific supplement to a healthy diet if used in moderation. Starting small and gradually increasing your consumption is the best approach to figuring out how much microgreens to eat per day.
Benefits of Microgreens
The compositional data of vital nutrients and anti-nutrients for ten culinary microgreens from eight botanical groups was studied. The study was titled “Nutrient composition, oxalate content, and nutritional ranking of 10 culinary microgreens.” published in the journal of Food Composition and Analysis Volume 91, August 2020. Microgreens showed to have rich protein content, dietary fiber, and essential nutrients, according to this research.
The following are some of its common benefits:
- Maintains a Healthy Blood Glucose Level: Microgreens aid in blood sugar regulation. It helps manage blood glucose levels by lowering glucose production.
- Helps Digestion: Microgreens are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which assist in cleansing the digestive tract.
- Antioxidant Characteristics- Microgreens contain antiproliferative and antioxidant vitamins C, carotenoids, and isothiocyanates. Polyphenols and glucosinolates in some microgreens are bioaccessible, making them anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial.
- Repairs Tissues: Microgreens are good for athletic performers because of their high chlorophyll content. Chlorophyll helps in muscle damage repair that occurs due to vigorous exercises. The amino acids found in microgreens also help in tissue repair.
- Cardiac Friendly: Fibre and complex carbohydrates are abundant in microgreens, which aid heart health, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Moringa and beet microgreens keep a check on your blood pressure.
- Assists in Weight Loss: Microgreens are high in nutrients; however, they have a low-calorie content compared to their serving size. As a result, they can be a great addition to your diet if you’re trying to lose weight or maintain it.
- Meets Daily Nutrient Requirements: Although microgreens are low in carbohydrates and proteins, they are high in fiber. Including microgreens in your diet as salads, dressings, or toppings is a fantastic method to meet your daily microgreens and vegetable requirements.
How to Incorporate Microgreens into your Diet?
You can eat microgreens raw right out of the package. If raw vegetables aren’t your thing, there are several other ways to include microgreens into your regular diet. Among them are,
- Include them to your everyday juices or veggie smoothies
- Toss them in salads or soups as a garnish
- When preparing bread or pizzas, add them to the dough
- As a filling in your burgers and sandwiches
- Along with your omelets
The Healthiest Type of Microgreens to Eat
All microgreens don’t have the same nutritional value. Depending on the kind, each microgreen has a different nutritional profile. Many online seed retailers include nutritional information.
To obtain a basic notion of the types of nutrients you’ll be consuming, search for the nutritional composition of the specific vegetable, herb, grain, or legume.
The study titled “Assessment of Vitamin and Carotenoid Concentrations of Emerging Food Products: Edible Microgreens” was published in Research Gate in July 2012. The University of Maryland and the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) conducted this study comparing 25 microgreens and discovered that the following microgreens have the highest levels of vitamin C, K, E, and carotenoids.
The research showed the following microgreens were healthiest due to their high nutrient content:
- Garnet amaranth
- Green daikon radish
- Red cabbage
Microgreens are packed with nutrients while being low in calories. In contrast to vitamin tablets, they are incredibly nutritious and easily digestible. They are low in carbohydrates, with most servings containing only five or six calories and less than a gram of carbs. Adding additional microgreens to your diet won’t add a lot of calories or carbs to your diet.
Experts recommend including a good amount of microgreens in your daily diet. Instead of focusing on the number of microgreens, focus on the flavor of your food. If your meal tastes delicious, you’ll end up eating more of it!
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