Micro green Varieties and their Health and Nutritional Benefits
Micro greens are baby plants typically measuring 1- 3 inches. They’re somewhere between a sprout and baby green. Unlike sprout, they don’t have leaves. The plants are harvested after germination once they produce the first true leaves. Like baby greens, their leaves, and stems are edible. The good thing with micro greens is that they can grow in numerous locations, including greenhouses and outdoors. This means that they’re very convenient to grow. Micro greens are tiny edible greens produced from very young vegetables, herbs, or other plants.
Micro green varieties
There numerous micro greens varieties which can be classified according to families. All micro greens varieties are rich in nutrients and polyphenols.
Some of the micro green varieties in Amaranthaceae family include beets, quinoa, spinach and amaranth.
Some of the micro greens in this family include lettuce, radicchio, chicory, and endive.
These microgreens include garlic, leeks, onions, and chives.
Some popular plants in this family are cereals such as rice, barley, wheatgrass, oats, and corn. Also, it includes legumes like lentils, beans, and chickpeas.
Popular Brassicaceae microgreens include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, watercress, arugula, and radish.
Popular Micro greens varieties
Below are some of the most popular micro greens you can grow at home:
Broccoli microgreen is rich in nutrients and minerals such as iron and Vitamin A and C. It contains sulforaphane which reduces risk of heart disease, cancer, mortality, and ageing. Since sulforaphane is heat-sensitive, you should eat broccoli microgreen raw.
Radishes grow very quickly. These plants are not only healthy but also have a spicy flavor. Also, they’re crisp and tender. They add color and heat to salads. Although they do well in soil, radish micro greens are better grown hydroponically. One of the most popular micro green varieties is white daikon radish. All radishes are great for preparing a garnish.
Beetroots take longer to grow compared to other micro green varieties. They add color and earthy flavor to salads. The flavor is produced by geosmin compound.
Carrots roots are a popular ingredient in foods thanks to their nutrients. If you love carrots, you’ll also love their micro greens. They’ve an awesome flavor. However, carrots take too long to grow.
Before planting sunflower, you need to presoak the seed for 12 to 24 hours. This enhances germination success and rate to grow as a micro green. Sunflowers are rich in Vitamin E, Zinc, and folate.
Wheatgrass is immature wheat. Wheat micro greens look like grass. They are full of minerals and vitamins. Its taste is somehow pungent and bitter. So, you should mix with a sweet ingredient to cover up for the flavor which is not great.
Health Benefits of Micro greens
Reduce the risk of Heart Disease
Micro greens have the potential to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease.
Lower Cholesterol levels
According to research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, cabbage micro greens contain fibers that lower cholesterol levels and help in weight loss.
Boost Immune system
Micro greens have anti-inflammatory properties. Also, most plants contain antioxidants which help to fight free radicals. These waste molecules can cause cell damage when they accumulate. Micro greens such as broccoli have high antioxidant levels which prevent numerous diseases. Brassica family is rich in Vitamin E which is a phenolic antioxidant while Asteraceae is rich is Vitamin A carotenoid antioxidant.
Prevent Digestive problems
Micro greens have high fiber content which nourishes probiotic organisms found in the guts. The fibers enhance the growth of intestinal bacteria which lead to wellbeing and health. Also, fibers reduce constipation.
Micro greens have anticancer properties. According to research, sulforaphane, a compound found in broccoli, has the potential to target cancer cells.
If you’ve an eyesight problem, you should start eating more micro greens. Micro greens contain lutein which is a phytochemical that improves vision. The substance also helps eyes to absorb more light intensity. The excess light intensity can lead to migraines and headaches. Therefore, micro greens will prove very helpful if you work in an office.
Micro greens offer numerous health and nutritional benefits.They also add nice aroma and flavor to food. It’s time you include micro greens in your diet if you’ve not done that already.