And by ante, we mean nutritional ante. Eating green offers you a host of health benefits, and as nutritional experts say, “The fresher the better.” But, two studies suggest that the younger a plant is, the better it is for you. These younger plants are collectively referred to as Microgreens.
Commonly used, but pushed aside as garnish, Microgreens should in fact be part of your main course—or at least your salad!
Why you should eat green vegetables EVERYDAY
Green vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, celery, cilantro, kale, mustard greens, peppers, and spinach, are filled with vitamins and minerals that your body can easily absorb. Likewise, green vegetables provide an excellent supply of fibre and enzymes to boost your digestive function and metabolism, respectively. Last, but certainly not least, green vegetables are filled with chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll: Your secret Detox weapon
When it comes to chlorophyll, it puts the SUPER in superfood. Chlorophyll is known for its antioxidants, which thoroughly detoxify your body of harmful toxins. Yet, you may not know that chlorophyll’s powerful ability to remove toxins also improves your immunity. So, this natural support for your immune system is just another reason why you should start eating Microgreens.
Microgreens: Diamonds in the rough?
As mentioned earlier, Microgreens are basically the immature forms of green vegetables. In other words, Microgreens are the first stems and leaves that emerge from the soil as a seedling grows. Therefore, these petite vegetables serve as nice decoration on the side of a gourmet meal, but they can serve you much better if you eat them.
One study from the University of Maryland determined that Microgreens actually contain more vitamins and minerals while they are immature than after they mature. Meanwhile, a second study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry analysed 25 different Microgreens and discovered the following:
- Red cabbage Microgreens contain the highest levels of vitamin C
- Green daikon radish Microgreens contain the greatest amount of vitamin E
- Garnet amaranth Microgreens contain the maximum concentration of vitamin K1
- Coriander (Cilantro) Microgreens offer an abundance of carotenoids
However, you do not have to limit yourself solely to these vegetables. Indeed, Microgreens like arugula, beets, basil, parsley, fennel, and chard are just as beneficial. You can even grow them from home!
Sprouts vs. Microgreens
It is important not to confuse sprouts with Microgreens. Sprouts include the leaf buds, stem, seed, and root of a plant. Sprouts are produced underwater in dark conditions whereas Microgreens grow in soil in air and sunlight. As a matter of fact, Microgreens are often sold while still planted in soil, and you must cut them before eating them.
Although sprouts have some nutritional value, they cannot quite compare to Microgreens. At the same time, the dark, moist conditions sprouts grow can make them susceptible to bacterial growth – unlike Microgreens.
Go raw and immature
Overall, eating raw or lightly-steamed vegetables guarantees you more nutrition than cooking vegetables heavily. And now, eating immature greens promises you even more nutrition than eating mature greens.
Nevertheless, if you want to learn more about Microgreens or how to grow your own at home, do not hesitate to visit Mr Vitamins and ‘Ask a Naturopath.’