Pea Microgreens: A Healthy Food Alternative For All

Last modified on June 4th, 2022 at 3:06 am

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Pea microgreens are immature leafy greens produced from pea legumes and are different from sprouts. These are harvested between 10-20 days post the phase of seed germination. Pea microgreens consist of the following three parts, just like other microgreens- 1) the true leaves, 2) the stem, and 3) cotyledons which are nothing but seed leaves. These species of microgreens have high nutritional content and are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, iron, zinc, phosphorous, folate, etc., compared to mature pea vegetables. 

The research titled “Germination, harvesting stage, antioxidant activity and consumer acceptance of ten microgreens” was published in the Ceylon Journal of Science. This particular study, by testing ten different species of microgreens, showed that pea microgreens have antioxidant properties and high phenolic compounds, due to which their health-promoting potential cannot be underestimated.

A study conducted in 2020, titled “Microgreens: Consumer sensory perception and acceptance of an emerging functional food crop,” published in the Journal of Food Science, demonstrated that customer acceptability of pea microgreens is high because of their favorable appearance and taste. It also suggested that the more the knowledge about the health benefits of pea microgreens reaches consumers, the more people will integrate this healthy food item into their diets. 

Another original research titled “Comprehensive Evaluation of Metabolites and Minerals in 6 Microgreen Species and the Influence of Maturity,” published by the Current Developments in Nutrition, highlights more nutritional aspects of pea microgreens. The study mentioned that these microgreens have triterpene saponins which possess cardiovascular-protective, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Although microgreens have been used as garnishes in several culinary establishments, being popularly called ‘funfetti’ or ‘vegetable confetti,’ their usefulness does not end here. The above studies have highlighted that this food source has untapped potential because of its mild yet sweet taste, good appearance, tender crispness, and nutritional components. The requirement, however, is to disseminate information about the nutritional value of pea microgreens and their corresponding health benefits among consumers. 

What are the Essential Health Benefits of Pea Microgreens?

Incorporating pea microgreens into the diet can lead to the following health benefits:

  • Prevention of chronic diseases- The disease preventive role of pea microgreens is possible due to the presence of abundant amounts of flavonoids like trifolin and kaempferol glycosides. Flavonoids help fight chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Further, triterpene saponins present in pea microgreens also play their role in preventing cardiovascular diseases. Another condition prevented by consuming these microgreens is obesity, as the flavonoids regulate adipogenesis. 
  • Maintenance of gut microbiome- The gut microbiome consists of microbes, fungi, and bacteria present in the gut and helps maintain the gut’s proper functioning. In a short feature titled “Microgreens Food for the Future,” published in the magazine Science Reporter, it was mentioned that pea microgreens are essential for the proper maintenance of the gut microbiome because of their high flavonoid content. 
  • Combats inflammation- The antioxidant effect of pea microgreens is highly beneficial. These greens have antioxidants and high amounts of phenolic compounds that reduce swelling and inflammation in the body. The combination of phenolic compounds and Vitamin C in pea microgreens neutralizes free radicals that lead to oxidative damage in the body cells, thereby combatting inflammation. Pea microgreens also have selenium- a mineral that has potent antioxidant properties. 
  • Helps tackle anemia- Anemia is a condition of iron deficiency in the body that causes problems like tiredness, weakness, confusion, etc. Pea microgreens have sufficient iron and improve this nutrient’s bioaccessibility in the gut. 
  • Helps fight cancer- Triterpene saponin, along with flavonoids in pea microgreens, have anti-carcinogenic properties. In the short feature mentioned above, it has been said that these species of microgreens significantly help fight intestinal cancer due to their positive impact on gut health. 

How Can You Use Pea Microgreens in Daily Life?

Pea microgreens promote overall health due to their nutritional content while at the same time preventing diseases, making them a functional food item that must be included in diets regularly. This means it is a food alternative that users find convenient because it can improve diets while fulfilling the nutritional requirement of the human body. 

Here are common ways in which these greens can be used in the diet:

  • Garnish dishes using pea microgreens
  • Make pea microgreens salad or combine it with other healthy salad alternatives
  • Use it as a sandwich filling
  • Wilted pea microgreens can be used over meat dishes
  • Add it to the soups

Where Can You Buy Pea Microgreens?

According to the study mentioned above, it has been found that when it comes to commercially and farm-grown microgreens, their nutritional content associated with antioxidants and phenolic compounds is the same. The chlorophyll component in farm-grown microgreens is higher than that of commercial ones. 

However, the study’s conclusion suggested that consumers can prefer commercially grown microgreens as the cost is lower for nutritional benefits. Whereas for enhanced sensory experience, consumers might opt for farm-grown variants. 

Depending on the nutritional value of pea microgreens and sensory qualities, a choice can be made as to where to buy pea microgreens. Growing pea microgreens at home is also an option that can be explored to gain access to nutrient-dense microgreens for direct consumption or preparation of meals. 


Pea microgreens are a healthier and safer food alternative for all. It can help in obesity management, regulating diabetes and gut health, improving the immunity system, fighting cancer and anemia, and reducing inflammation. 

Therefore, it must be ensured that at least some grams of pea microgreens are added to the daily intake for consuming a healthy balanced diet. Whether home-grown or commercially purchased, pea microgreens enhance the sensory qualities of the food and make the food nutritionally balanced when added to the food. 


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Johnson, S. A., Prenni, J. E., Heuberger, A. L., Isweiri, H., Chaparro, J. M., Newman, S. E., Uchanski, M. E., Omerigic, H. M., Michell, K. A., Bunning, M., Foster, M. T., Thompson, H. J., & Weir, T. L. (2020). Comprehensive Evaluation of Metabolites and Minerals in 6 Microgreen Species and the Influence of Maturity. Current Developments in Nutrition, 5(2).

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Tan, L., Nuffer, H., Feng, J., Kwan, S. H., Chen, H., Tong, X., & Kong, L. (2020). Antioxidant properties and sensory evaluation of microgreens from commercial and local farms. Food Science and Human Wellness, 9(1), 45–51.

Wojdyło, A., Nowicka, P., Tkacz, K., & Turkiewicz, I. P. (2020). Sprouts vs. Microgreens as novel functional foods: Variation of nutritional and phytochemical profiles and their in vitro bioactive properties. Molecules, 25(20), 4648., S., & Chakraborty, A. (2021, May). Short feature microgreens food for the future. Scientific Reporter. Retrieved May 30, 2022, from

Zhang, Y., Xiao, Z., Ager, E., Kong, L., & Tan, L. (2021). Nutritional quality and health benefits of microgreens, a crop of modern agriculture. Journal of Future Foods, 1(1), 58–66.

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