A recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that as good as vegetables are for you, very young vegetables—referred to as microgreens—are even better. Researchers say that these greens are extremely potent and beneficial for your health, containing all the goodness of a grown veggie in as little as one bite-full.
According to the Huffington Post, the study looked at 25 different kinds of microgreens including baby cilantro, radish greens, celery, red cabbage, arugula, and green basil. And what they found was that these little guys had more nutrients than the adults.
These are the seedlings, as young as one to two weeks post-germination. Think of the sprouts you commonly find in the grocery store.
Researchers are hopeful that their findings will lead to even deeper studies regarding the effects of these small plants on disease prevention. After all, if kale, for instance, has known anti-cancer benefits, could kale mircrogreens show even more promise as a preventative measure?
The study concluded:
In general, microgreens contain considerably higher concentrations of vitamins and carotenoids than their mature plant counterparts, although large variations were found among the 25 species tested. Maximum values of vitamin C, viamin K1, and vitamin E were found in red cabbage, garnet amaranth, and green daikon radish microgreens, respectively. In terms of carotenoids, cilantro microgreens showed the highest concentration of lutein/zeaxanthin and violaxanthin and ranked second in β-carotene concentration.
These small greens have rich flavor and varying textures. They can be added to salads and sandwiches, where they enhance the veggies already present, or even as an edible garnish. Fruit and vegetables are loaded with health benefits, and even contain key nutrients that could make you look more attractive. To have an even more powerful food, microgreens, to ingest in an even smaller quantity paves way for an even simpler way to reap the health benefits of greens.
Finding organic sprouts and microgreens isn’t difficult if you live near a health food store. Growing them in numbers enough to serve yourself and family may be a bit more work, but would certainly be worth the effort.