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Microgreens: Small in Size, Big in Health Benefits

Microgreens: Small in Size, Big in Health Benefits

As we witness the awakening and renewal of nature with the arrival of spring, if you are preparing to sprout new seeds in your garden or on your balcony, we have a healthy and cost-effective suggestion for you: microgreens!

Microgreens are one of the superfood types that have become popular in the health world lately. These small-sized plants contain more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than regular greens since they are harvested before they fully mature. They are also easy and inexpensive to sprout at home or in your garden. In this blog post, we will discuss microgreens, how to sprout them, which seed varieties are suitable, and their health benefits.

What are Microgreens?

Microgreens are often defined as sprouted versions of vegetables. These plants are harvested right after their seeds, before they fully mature. Therefore, their leaves, stems, and roots are only a few centimetres in size. These small-sized plants have a denser nutrient content than regular greens, which helps boost the immune system and protect against diseases.

How to Grow Microgreens?

Growing microgreens is quite easy. First, prepare a sprouting container. Place a waterproof tray under the container and add moist soil or a hydroponic medium to the container. Sprinkle the seeds onto the soil or medium and cover them slightly. Cover the container with cling film to keep the seeds moist. Since light is necessary for the seeds to sprout, place the container in a sunny location.

What are the Differences Between Microgreens and Sprouts?

Sprouts are germinated in water, while microgreens are germinated and watered in soil. Sprouts are usually eaten with their stems and seeds, while microgreens are eaten with their leaves and stems. Sprouts are harvested much earlier than microgreens.

Can Normal Seeds be Used to Grow Microgreens?

Microgreens can be grown from normal seeds, but it is important to know that some varieties develop more easily than others. Also, consuming certain varieties, such as eggplant, tomato, and pepper, as microgreens may have toxic effects.

Not all normal seeds will produce plants that can be harvested as microgreens. The fact that seeds are often sold as microgreens indicates that they are tested to grow quickly and be harvested within a short period of time. Sometimes, the only difference between normal and microgreen seeds is the recommended growing instructions and the number of seeds in the package.

What are Some Types of Microgreens You Can Grow?

Many seed varieties can be used to sprout microgreens. The most popular seeds include broccoli, spinach, cabbage, mustard, and red radish. These seeds can typically be found online or at local gardening centres. When harvested at the right time, these plants have a high nutrient content and are delicious.

What are the Health Benefits of Microgreens?

Microgreens have similar or higher nutrient content than mature greens. Since agricultural products lose nutritional value due to oxidation between harvest and consumption, the fact that microgreens are cut and consumed immediately makes their nutrient content 5 to 50 times higher than fully grown greens, according to many studies.

Since they are rich in antioxidants, they reduce the effects of ageing and prevent cell damage. Additionally, their high fibre content improves digestion and regulates bowel movements. Due to their high vitamin and mineral content, microgreens also promote bone health.

Microgreens are a great way to obtain a fresh source of nutrients. They are commonly used as leaves in salads and sandwiches. To increase their nutritional value, they can also be added to various dishes, including smoothies and soups.  

Instead of purchasing them, you can sprout these microgreens at home. By doing so, you can experience the joy of consuming a product you have grown yourself while easily adapting to a healthy lifestyle due to its high nutrient values.

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