What Are Microgreens?

Image by Devi Puspita Amartha Yahya

Microgreens are young vegetable greens that are approximately 1–3 inches tall.

Microgreens are not sprouts. Sprouts have no leaves and have a growing cycle of 2–7 days, whereas microgreens are usually harvested 7–21 days after germination or once the plant’s first true leaves have emerged. 

Everything from herbs to vegetables, wheatgrass to sunflower shoots can be grown to a micro size for consumption.

Microgreens Are Nutritious

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Microgreens are packed with nutrients. While their nutrient contents vary slightly, most varieties tend to be rich in potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium and copper.

Microgreens are a great source of beneficial plant compounds like antioxidants.

Research comparing microgreens to more mature greens reports that nutrient levels in microgreens can be up to nine times higher than those found in mature greens.

Health Benefits

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Microgreens are a rich source of polyphenols, a class of antioxidants linked to a lower risk of heart disease. Animal studies show that microgreens may lower triglyceride and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.

Antioxidant-rich foods, including those containing high amounts of polyphenols,may be linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Antioxidants may help reduce the type of stress that can prevent sugar from properly entering cells. In lab studies, fenugreek microgreens appeared to enhance cellular sugar uptake by 25–44%.