Microgreens are a trending topic these days. Are they all they're cracked up to be? As a grower myself, I was interested to find out the truth.
Real quick, for those who don't know...
Microgreens are just baby edible versions of many vegetables & herbs. They are cut & harvested usually around a week after germinating. Stored in the seed are a TON of nutrients when you consider it on a per weight basis. Seeds store nutrients to get themselves going. They need this energy to establish roots in order to extract nutrients from the ground. Since we're cutting it right as its developing roots, all that nutrition went up into forming its first set of true leaves, which are the ones we eat!
Opinions aside. Research on microgreens overall, is still lacking. That doesn't mean they should be ignored or disregarded, quite the opposite actually based on early findings.
Let's look at the most "authoritative" source we have, the US Department of Agriculture, which has said in a study, the leaves of almost all microgreens have “four to six times more nutrients than the mature leaves of the same plant.”
Dr. Gene Lester, a USDA researcher in the study points out, “All of these nutrients are extremely important for skin, eyes, and fighting cancer and have all sorts of benefits associated with them.”
Quite impressive so far.... but let's keep looking.
The University of Maryland recently did a study on 25 varieties of microgreens and got some interesting results. Microgreens almost all had higher nutrient concentrations as we've already found, but all micro's posed varying benefits and levels of vitamins. For example, microgreens are rich in Vitamin C, but low in Vitamin E. Green daikon radish microgreens were rich in Vitamin E but low in Lutein compared to amaranth, cabbage or cilantro.
So, if you're looking for a supplementation of a particular vitamin through microgreens, this is the study to dig into.
The same study also tested microgreens on mice, controlling for several differing diets. This showed that microgreens seemed to improve factors like blood-cholesterol levels and weight control. These are only mice, but still worth noting.
This same study took the time to point out 4 of the 25 microgreens which have the highest concentrations of four different vitamins and carotenoids:
Not 'science', but very well worth noting...
Besides the nutrition, the absolute best part of eating microgreens is that they require No Chemicals of any kind! Just pure H20.... (important tip - don't use tap water on micros. You don't like it, neither do they.) And since you can grow them on your own counter top, you are in complete control, you know what you are eating is completely clean. When else can you say that?
So, I think this is a good start. Microgreens are gaining in popularity, and with that increased consumer demand, the studies will continue to come in and shed light on these special little plants.
You can grow microgreens in the kitchen (or anywhere indoors)! You can grow microgreens on a window sill, under a grow light, or even outside! We've got kits of all shapes and sizes to help you get started.
We've got all the information you'll ever need when it comes to microgreens.