Fresh, Healthy Living in 2020 with Sprouts and Microgreens in Your Diet
By: Alicia Rennoll
Sprouts and microgreens will be a major health trend in 2020, owing in no small part to their many health benefits and the ease with which they can be grown. In the first-ever scientific analysis of nutrient levels in edible microgreens, the American Chemical Society found that microgreens are more nutritious than their mature counterparts. It is just one of many studies proving that raw, healthy microgreens and sprouts have an important role to play in boosting our health and wellbeing.
Why Go Microgreen?
Researchers found that the seedlings of spinach, red cabbage, and other vegetables, when allowed to grow to within one to three inches in height and harvested within four days of germination, had a host of important nutrients. Compared to mature greens, microgreens have higher concentrations of important vitamins and carotenoids, which are essential for long-term health. If you wish to live a long happy life, try to consume a wide array of microgreens, as there are big variations from one microgreen to another. Ensure the seeds or plants you choose target areas of health like your heart and immunity, and make it a point to grow different ones every few days or every week.
What Nutrients do Microgreens Have?
Red cabbage microgreens have significantly higher Vitamin C levels than other greens. They also help lower the risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease and can play a role in weight loss – as per a report published in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Daikon radish is the Vitamin E king, while beet microgreens are renowned for their high levels of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, folate, and minerals like potassium, magnesium, and iron. The good news for those who are keen to grow their own microgreens, is that there are so many to choose from – including arugula, cilantro, carrots, celery, fennel, mustard greens, and even broccoli.
Sprouting to Life
Sprouts – which, like microgreens, can be grown easily on your kitchen countertop or in your dedicated greenhouse – are also nutritional powerhouses. When a seed, pulse, or grain starts germinating, it becomes an “energy factory,” with sprouted wheat grains in particular upping their Vitamin E content by a whopping 1300%. Sprouts are also rich in minerals and assimilable protein. As pointed out by health guru, Leslie Kenton, “Sprouts are in effect a ‘predigested’ food, so that when you eat them your body is able to absorb their nourishment. They are also rich in chlorophyll, which supports your body’s production of hemoglobin production.”
Microgreens are harvested within a few days of germination. The same goes for sprouts, which are usually in two to three days! Microgreens and sprouts demand little of your time. Sprouts like alfalfa, for instance, can be grown in a glass jar with water; all you need to do is drain away excess water and rinse the sprouts around twice a day. Microgreens are also easy to grow. Beginners usually start with one type of seed — for instance, sunflower, broccoli, or cabbage seeds. These can be grown indoors or, if the weather is good, outdoors. Microgreens require soil and sunlight, but you need very few tools, including a shallow tray, organic soil, a warming mat, seeds, and little more!
If you are keen on adding a special ingredient to your salads, sandwiches, meatless burgers, and soups, microgreens and sprouts might be the perfect fresh addition you have been seeking. They work in just about any dish that usually includes mature greens, so by all means, feel free to adopt your microgreen produce. Remember that variety is the spice of life, especially when it comes to reaping the plentiful benefits of microgreens and sprouts.