Red cabbage microgreens are a superfood and healthier alternative with five times more nutritional content than mature cabbage. Microgreens are seedlings of edible plants harvested after one true set of leaves appears. Among all cabbage microgreens, red cabbage microgreens are the most popular. They have a mild sweet taste and are crunchy in texture.
Red cabbage microgreens have more antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins C, vitamin E, and beta carotene than their mature counterparts. The high levels of nutrients offer several health benefits. As per the dietary guidelines by the US Department of Health and Human Services 2015-2020, depending upon their age, males should consume 1-4 cups of vegetables per day and females 1-3 cups of vegetables per day. However, most people consume fewer vegetables than recommended. The high nutrient content of microgreens makes them more popular and a promising dietary component for many health benefits.
Health Benefits of Red Cabbage Microgreens
Red cabbage microgreens are versatile vegetables. They can be eaten raw or cooked and can be roasted, sauteed, or shredded. Incorporating it into the diet can have the following health benefits:
- Keeps weight In check: As per the study conducted by the American Chemical Society (ACS), red cabbage microgreens keep the cholesterol at healthy levels and prevent weight gain. They are more nutrient-dense compared to their mature counterparts and attenuate high-fat diet-induced weight gain. Additionally, the study indicated that incorporating them into the diet lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides, further reducing the risk of developing heart diseases due to high cholesterol levels.
- Boosts immunity: Red cabbage microgreens boost immunity. They have a large amount of antioxidants that protect the body against cellular damage. The protective compounds in the red cabbage microgreens are vitamin C, flavonoids, carotenoids, and anthocyanins. A study revealed that red cabbage has one of the highest amounts of antioxidants per unit. It also has sulforaphane, a compound that protects heart health and fights against cancer.
- Fights inflammation: As per a study, red cabbage microgreens can fight inflammation and reduce gut inflammation. They also reduce the symptoms associated with inflammation, such as pain, discomfort, and swelling.
- Protects the heart: Red cabbage microgreens have 36 types of anthocyanins that give characteristic color to the red cabbage. Studies revealed that having a large bowl of anthocyanin-rich food will reduce the risk of heart attack by 10-30%. It is also linked with a reduction in blood pressure.
- Strengthens bones: Red cabbage has many minerals, including calcium, zinc, and manganese. Studies revealed that these nutrients play a vital role in bone formations and prevent damage to bone cells. It is also rich in vitamin K, which maintains the bone structure and makes them strong.
- Improves gut health: Red cabbage microgreens can improve the functioning of the gut and reduce its inflammation. It is also an excellent source of fiber that aids digestion. Around 70% of fibers in cabbage are insoluble, forming the bulk in the stool and making its easy passage easy. Thus, it reduces constipation. The remaining 30% of fibers are soluble that provide food to the gut bacteria and maintain a healthy gut. The study reveals that healthy gut bacteria will prevent the risk of Irritable bowel syndrome, Ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease. Also, studies have shown that fresh cabbage juice heals gut ulcers quickly.
Steps to Grow Red Cabbage Microgreens at Home
Red cabbage microgreens can be grown at home with little effort. You can grow them in soil, coconut coir, or hydroponic soil substitutes. The best thing about red cabbage microgreens is they don’t have to think about fertilizers as they get most nutrients from the seed itself. You will harvest it before the seed nutrients get exhausted.
Seeds are round, red-brown, and soft enough to germinate without soaking. Here are the steps to grow red cabbage microgreens at home:
Steps 1: Planting
Fill 3/4th of the growing tray with the soil or your choice of growing medium. Smooth out the soil and add water to it. Next, evenly sprinkle the seeds all across the soil surface. Do not overlap seeds on each other. It requires a 40℉-80℉(5℃-26℃) temperature to germinate. Put a blackout cover on them.
Step 2: Growing
Keep the microgreen seeds in dark for at least two to four days. Once they sprout, they will push out the blackout cover. Now remove the cover and keep them beneath the grow lights for 10-12 hours or natural lights for 6 to 8 hours. In grow lights, they will grow straight and evenly.
Step 3: Watering
You should give them bottom watering to prevent bacterial growth on them. Take the cover tray, fill them a few inches with water, and set the growing tray in it. Soil absorbs water through the drainage hole without splatters on the leaves. Keep for 10 minutes and then remove the watering tray. You may be required to do bottom water only once or twice as the red cabbage microgreens grow quickly.
Step 4: Harvesting
It will be ready for harvest 5 to 14 days after you plant. They will be around 1-3 inches tall with opened cotyledons and bright colors. Harvest them before the growth of the first leaves. The soil can be reused after removing seeds and roots from it.
Stem 5: Storing
Keep the harvested red cabbage microgreens dry and wrap them in paper towels. Place the bundle in a tightly sealed container. You can refrigerate them for a few days, but they taste best when eaten right after the harvesting.
Red cabbage microgreens are immature seedlings with a more intense taste and higher concentration of nutrients than their mature counterparts. The superfood keeps cholesterol levels and weight in check. It protects our bodies against heart diseases and cancers. Also, they can be grown easily at home, even on the countertops. Choose a healthier lifestyle by incorporating red cabbage microgreens into your diet and reap health benefits.
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