Microgreens are young seedlings that are harvested after they produce at least one pair of true leaves on the cotyledon. Lentil microgreens are used as a flavor and texture enhancer as well as a nutritious supplement. They’re a nutrient-dense addition to smoothies and salads and are frequently used as garnish at restaurants.
How Healthy are Lentil microgreens?
Lentil microgreens are nutrient-dense, tasty, and completely safe to consume. Lentil microgreens are a healthy protein option since they are high in fiber and protein but low in fat and calories.
Lentil Sprouts vs. Lentil Microgreens?
These terms are often misunderstood, so let’s take a closer look.
Lentils that have been soaked and allowed to sit will form a stalk, which is known as lentil sprouts.
If you leave that sprout to grow in soil or another growing media, it will develop roots and generate leaves. These greens will be classified as lentil microgreens.
What are the benefits of eating Lentil microgreens?
Lentil microgreens can provide essential nutrients that assist growth and strengthen the heart and bones by improving body metabolism, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, and maintaining blood glucose levels.
Let’s take a deeper look at the benefits of Lentil microgreens.
- Simple Carbs that are Easy to Digest
Phytic acid, which is found in lentils, is mildly resistant to digestion. The phytic acid in lentils is neutralized by growing them as microgreens. This makes them more digestible.
- Nutrition-packed Food
Lentil microgreens have a high concentration of vitamins B, C, and E, which are all beneficial to your general health. Carotene, folate, and potassium are also present.
- Low-calorie Diet
Lentil microgreens have a low-calorie content by nature. Unlike other protein sources such as meat and poultry, lentil microgreens have very low fat. As a result, if you’re aiming to reduce weight or maintain a healthy weight, they’re a terrific option.
- Easy to Grow
Lentil microgreens are easy to grow and require less space at home. Because they just take a few days to grow, you can have a consistent supply of microgreens.
- Packed with Fiber
Lentil microgreens are high in fiber, making them a healthy addition to your diet. Fiber aids digestion and keeps hunger in control.
- Help in Glycaemic Control
Lentil microgreens can help slow down the digestion of starch and the release of glucose into the bloodstream. This will lower blood glucose levels in the long run. As per a study titled ‘The Effects of Legume Consumption on Markers of Glycaemic Control in Individuals with and without Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Literature Review of Randomised Controlled Trials‘ published in the journal Nutrients, it was found that lentils can improve the markers of glycaemic control like blood sugar levels and HbA1c.
- Blood Cholesterol Reduction
Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (bad cholesterol) can be reduced by 5% with a daily intake of lentil microgreens. As a result, consuming lentil microgreens can drastically cut cholesterol levels. As per a study titled ‘Effect of dietary pulse intake on established therapeutic lipid targets for cardiovascular risk reduction: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, lentils can significantly reduce blood cholesterol levels.
- Lower Cancer Risk
Lentils are high-protein, high-fiber food. By keeping food moving smoothly through your digestive system, fiber can reduce cancer risk, particularly colorectal and stomach cancers. Anti-cancer phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals are abundant in lentils.
- Alleviate Constipation
Lentils, like most legumes, contain sugars that cause intestinal gas. Growing them as microgreens aid in the breakdown of some of those sugars, reducing constipation.
- Control Blood Pressure
Lentil microgreens aid in the reduction of cholesterol and the control of blood pressure. Lentil microgreens also aid in the relaxation of cardiac muscles.
- Strengthen Bones
Calcium absorption is enhanced by lentil microgreens. This aids in the reinforcement of bone integrity and the improvement of bone health.
Can you Grow Lentil Microgreens at Home?
It’s simple and inexpensive to grow lentil microgreens at home. Water, dried lentils, and a jar are some of the items you may need. To help them grow, follow these steps:
- Step 1: Soak Lentil Seeds
To speed up the sprouting process, soak the lentil seeds overnight or for at least 8-12 hours. This can be done in a microgreens tray, a glass jar, or a reusable food container.
- Step 2: Get your Growing Medium Ready
To progress through the sprouting stage, microgreens require some sort of moist soil medium. Coco coir matting, seed starting mix, or even a simple paper towel can be used to help roots thrive.
- Step 3: Plant the Sprouts
Transfer your lentil sprouts to the growing medium, making sure it’s moist enough for them to thrive.
- Step 4: Provide a Suitable Light Source
This light source will be required for the rest of the life of the lentil microgreens. Lentil microgreens need at least 4 hours of sunlight daily.
- Step 5: Water the Microgreens
Make sure the growing medium is moist. A good rule of thumb is to feel the soil or growing medium to ensure that it is damp but not too wet.
- Step 6: Harvest the Lentil Microgreens
Microgreens will be ready to harvest in 3-5 days after germination! A normal knife or a pair of scissors will suffice.
The Bottom Line
Microgreens are vegetables that have been harvested before they have reached their full maturity. Lentil microgreens are the rare balance between taste and nutrition. On the one hand, they have a strong flavor that is quite appealing and add texture to the dish. On the other hand, lentil microgreens have a long list of health benefits and make a great addition to any meal. They can add a twist to several dishes, such as salads, curries, and sandwiches.
While being one of the lesser-known and undervalued microgreens, Lentils are nonetheless helpful to our health. Lentil microgreens are high in protein and contain minerals such as vitamin B, C, and E, making them an excellent meat substitute. Furthermore, the high fiber content aids in metabolism and weight management. It also lessens the risk of cancer.
Bielefeld, D., Grafenauer, S., & Rangan, A. (2020). The Effects of Legume Consumption on Markers of Glycaemic Control in Individuals with and without Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Literature Review of Randomised Controlled Trials. Nutrients, 12(7), 2123. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072123
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