I’ve always heard that microgreens have amazing health benefits, but never actually understood why. Recently, I’ve been reading up on these reasons. And OMG, my mind is blown!
Our family has been doing a detox protocol for about 4 months. Part of our protocol involves Jason and me to consume two 8-ounce servings of greens per day, and our kids eat two 4-ounce servings of greens per day. We’re eating greens like it’s our job…oh yeah, it actually is our job!
Here at Clean Genes Farm, we grow and sell microgreens, so it’s important for us to know and educate about the benefits. Along with that, my health sciences background also makes me want to understand exactly what makes them so nutrient-dense. I sure didn’t learn much about nutrition in nursing school!
What are Microgreens?
According to the USDA, “microgreens” is a marketing term used to describe edible greens which germinate from seeds of vegetables, herbs, and flowers and are harvested between 7-14 days. (1) They’re grown in soil and typically 1 to 3 inches in length. Essentially, they’re tiny versions of the full-grown plant.
Benefits of Microgreens
High Nutritional Value
According to researcher Qin Wang, PhD, a professor at the University of Maryland in College Park, “microgreens were four- to 40- fold more concentrated with nutrients than their mature counterparts.” (2)
The finding of the study was published in The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. Researchers used 25 different microgreen plants to measure levels of vitamin C, vitamin, K, vitamin E, lutein, and beta-carotene. Red cabbage microgreens were richest in vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin E. Cilantro microgreens were highest in lutein and beta-carotene; which are great for eye health.
I found a couple of articles to be super helpful resources in my research. Dr Josh Axe published this very informative article and included that microgreens contain polyphenols, reduce risk of chronic disease, and improve cardiovascular health. (3)
Medical News Today published ” Polyphenols are a category of chemicals that naturally occur in plants. There are more than 500 unique polyphenols.” (4) Furthermore, they’re found in fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, etc.
Dr Mercola describes polyphenols to be a group of antioxidants; inhibits oxidation or possible damaging effects to our cells. The article states “Polyphenols give fruits, berries, and vegetables their vibrant colors, and contribute to the bitterness, astringency, flavor, aroma, and oxidative stability of the food. In the plant, they protect against ultraviolet radiation, pathogens, oxidative damage, and harsh climatic conditions.” (5)
Polyphenols are linked to helping fight cancer, playing a role in weight loss (or maintaining normal weight), protecting skin against UV light, reducing inflammation, supporting blood sugar levels, promoting brain health, and supporting cardiovascular health.
Easy to Consume
In the culinary world, microgreens seem to be the best thing since sliced bread! Microgreens of all varieties have become an essential garnish for many foodie and chefs alike. They aren’t just eye candy though; they pack in the flavor, nice texture, living enzymes, and nutrients as mentioned above.
We love having fresh organic microgreens on hand because they take a flavorless blah meal, to a zingy love affair in your mouth. Microgreens can be consumed raw in a salad mix, on a sandwich, garnish for soup, smoothies, eggs, you name it!
We grow many different types of microgreens here at Clean Genes Farm including kale, broccoli, arugula, sunflower, radish, pea, mizuna, and more. Katie Wells from Wellness Mama wrote a well-cited article on Benefits of Sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is found in broccoli microgreens, so read her article for more specific benefits of broccoli shoots!
Microgreens can be grown in all seasons as long as conditions are right. Clean Genes Farm specializes and ensures that conditions are perfect for growing in our greenhouses, to provide our community with the cleanest microgreens. Grown organically.
Stay up-to-date with us by signing up for Clean Genes newsletter.