If you are concerned about your health or just looking to live healthier, you have probably been looking for ways to incorporate more greens into your diet. You might wish to include beneficial organisms like algae or cyanobacteria, but how do you cook with them? Here enters the use of microgreens powder.
What are Microgreens?
Microgreens are edible, fragile, immature, or juvenile vegetable greens picked after the plant’s cotyledonary leaves have developed and the first true leaves pop up. They are regarded as potential functional foods because of their nutrient profile and are used as a flavor, texture, and taste substitute for sprouts.
Microgreens can be grown both indoors and outdoors. But the problems for cultivators arise as microgreens are soft, delicate, and have a short shelf life.
What is Microgreen Powder?
Microgreen powders are whole-food supplements that often include dried and powdered vegetables, fruits (including high-antioxidant foods), herbs, beneficial algae, and bacteria. Sometimes these include plant extracts, probiotics, and enzymes.
Microgreens have a macronutrient composition and provide many health benefits. Phenolic compounds and carotenoids, vitamins such as vitamin E, and minerals are present in microgreens.
A research study was conducted on the compositional data of critical nutrients and anti-nutrients for ten culinary microgreens from eight botanical families. The study titled “Nutrient composition, oxalate content and nutritional ranking of ten culinary microgreens” was published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. The study revealed microgreens are a high source of protein, dietary fiber, and vital components. In addition, they were high in ascorbic acid, vitamin E, and beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A), with 28–116%, 28–332%, and 24–72% of the recommended daily intake for each vitamin, respectively. According to this study, microgreens had low levels of oxalate.
Microgreens Nutritional Values
As microgreens are high in minerals and vitamins, they can help increase immunity, fight chronic diseases, and prevent and treat nutritional deficiencies.
Microgreens have a vitamin C concentration ranging from 31–56 mg/100 g in a fresh state; the content in dry microgreens ranges from 29.9 to 123.2 mg/100 g. Vitamin C levels in jute and cucumber microgreens were 25 mg/100 g fresh weight (FW) and 34.90 mg/100 g FW, respectively. Microgreens have a higher vitamin C concentration than mature plants in general.
Antioxidant minerals like zinc are present in concentrations ranging from 4.76 mg/kg FW to 29.12mg /kg FW. In comparison to raw seeds and sprouted seeds, small legumes like alfalfa and zigzag clover have 0.6 to 3.2 times more zinc concentration.
Beta-carotene is also abundant in microgreens. One of the popular microgreens with high beta-carotene is red cabbage (0.6 to 12.1 mg/100 g FW).
Health Benefits of Microgreen Powder
The benefits of merely including microgreen powder in your routine can be a game-changer for your health. Generally, foods such as broccoli are known as Nrf2-activating foods and therefore have anti-cancer properties. But, such foods are not popular with everyone.
Microgreens provide a good alternative as they are known for including the anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties of Nrf2-activating foods. They also have antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-diabetic properties. Microgreens are referred to as functional foods and superfoods because of their multiple health advantages.
The primary benefits of microgreen powder are:
- Control blood glucose levels
Microgreens have been demonstrated in studies to help with blood sugar control and weight loss. Fenugreek microgreens have shown an effect in managing blood glucose levels by reducing the activity of the enzyme responsible for generating glucose.
- Antioxidant properties
Mustard microgreens include vitamin C, carotenoids, and isothiocyanates, which act as antiproliferative and antioxidants. The bioaccessibility of polyphenols and glucosinolates in kohlrabi and kale microgreens promotes their anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-diabetic, and anti-carcinogenic activities. Vitamin C and antioxidants are abundant in radish microgreens, which help to cleanse the digestive tract.
- Anti-cancer qualities
Broccoli, kale, mustard, and radish microgreens exhibit anti-cancer properties according to a study titled “Antiproliferative effect of bioaccessible fractions of four Brassicaceae microgreens on human colon cancer cells linked to their phytochemical composition.” This study was published in the Antioxidants (Basel) journal in May 2020. The above-mentioned microgreens had a statistically significant (p 0.05) antiproliferative effect on colon cancer cells.
- Promote heart health
Fenugreek microgreens are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, which help with digestive problems, heart health, menstrual health, and cholesterol regulation. Animal studies have reported that supplementing red cabbage microgreens powder controls cholesterol by lowering LDL (low–density lipoprotein) and hepatic triglyceride levels. Blood pressure can be controlled with moringa and beet microgreens. Moringa microgreens also help with weight loss and cholesterol reduction.
- Tissue repair
Wheatgrass has a high chlorophyll content (70%) and is a suitable choice for bodybuilders. Sunflower microgreens are high in amino acids, which aid in tissue repair. Microgreens have higher levels of tocopherol, phenolics, ascorbic acid, phylloquinone, minerals (such as calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and selenium), and vitamins (such as vitamins A, K, and E) than their mature counterparts.
Why Use Microgreen Powder
Many Indians are vitamin deficient. The CDC says that roughly 47 percent of the north Indian population is vitamin B deficient. Statistics also show that 70%–100% of the Indian population is vitamin D deficient.
In terms of calories, Indians are well-fed, but not in terms of nutrition. Obesity is considered an epidemic globally. Nearly 16.9%-36.3% of the Indian population is obese.
Obesity causes a myriad of health problems, one of which is systemic inflammation. If you are obese, you will need more micronutrients to counteract the inflammation
in your body. An obesogenic (obesity-causing) eating pattern is unlikely to provide even baseline nutrition.
The majority of Indians consume a low-nutrient diet. A diet lacking in micronutrients is known to promote cancer. Conversely, a micronutrient-rich diet is known to reduce the risk of cancer.
This green powder offers a comprehensive nutritional profile, a brilliant color, a crisp texture, additional flavor, and a host of health advantages. The abundance of bioactive chemicals in microgreens attests to their research and health advantages.
A microgreen powder has its unique profile, both in terms of food and health benefits. These green powders can help you achieve your health goals, whether you are just aiming for a healthy life, preparing for your next endurance test, or want better sleep and skin.
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