Think Broccoli sucks? Try Broccoli Microgreens- Milder and 40X as Nutritious!

Think Broccoli sucks? Try Broccoli Microgreens- Milder and 40X as Nutritious!

 

Hello there! We have a guest writer on board! Meet Caralyn Aufiero. Caralyn is a writer, who has also worked in the restaurant industry, and we thought her perspective would be invaluable for our readers! Here's her take on Broccoli Microgreens!

 

When the world started falling apart in March, the first thing I gave up on was my diet. I’ve treated this lockdown as a vacation from responsibility- including my health. The twenty pounds I had so proudly lost before quarantine had come back… and then some. I have successfully committed myself to a “Junk Food Diet” that’s put me in the worst shape of my life and made me feel like garbage. It’s time for a change.  

As difficult as it was to lose those twenty pounds before, it’s even harder now. As my carbo-load cycle has gotten out of control, introducing “healthier” foods (aka not just bread) into my diet is… daunting. I dread eating my veggies about as much as the average toddler. 

When a friend suggested I try microgreens, I was apprehensive to say the least. “Microgreens” sounds like something a “Todd” would buy at a Whole Foods. It’s hard enough to eat full grown veggies, I’m hardly ready to try something so niche.  A quick google search promised me a “milder taste” worth it’s densely packed nutrition (hopefully just a little of these microgreens would do the trick). With nothing to lose, I decided to give them a try. 

Considering I have a tendency to go all in and drop out early, I decided to take baby steps. I started off small, with a handful of broccoli microgreens on my morning bagel. I was delighted to find the taste of my routine breakfast was virtually identical. In fact, the microgreens added a little crunch to an otherwise homogeneously soft bagel. Even better, I actually felt fuller for longer than usual- but I wasn’t sold just yet. I decided to see if the broccoli microgreens could stand up to a challenge. I got the idea to try microgreens on pizza from the Giant Gorilla Greens Instagram page. I bought a premade crust and used a little BBQ and fontina cheese, some red onions, corn and… broccoli microgreens. I can’t lie- it was really good! I found myself wondering: Can microgreens really be as nutritious as “real” veggies? According to a study with the USDA, “microgreens [contain] four to 40 times more nutrients than their mature counterparts”.

Broccoli has long been notorious for its rich value- but studies show that mature broccoli plants don’t contain nearly enough antioxidants to do what they promise. A study found in The National Library of Medicine, says broccoli is “particularly rich in a plant chemical called sulforaphane (SFN) which boosts production of certain "defense" enzymes that increase the activity of antioxidants”.  To make a long story short: this chemical is promised to help your immune system fight off disease.

However, that might not be enough. According to a study at the The University of Queensland, even when benefit for a compound has been demonstrated, it is common for a commercial product to include the ingredient at a dose manyfold lower than that shown to be efficacious in [clinical trials]”. Disease prevention wise, eating mature vegetables may not do much for you. To get a more concentrated effect, consumers are better off eating microgreens to reap the maximum benefits of the plant. Hopkins Medicine claims “sulforaphane-containing broccoli [microgreens] might also confer protection against asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or other respiratory illnesses”.  Sound relevant? It’s important now than ever to focus on our health. While we cannot control the environment we live in, we can control what we eat. While mature veggies fall short, microgreens are your immune systems “second in command”. 

Additionally, the delicate texture of the broccoli microgreens makes them perfect to eat raw. An NPR article tells readers cooking broccoli may “[destroy] the enzyme that breaks down chemicals called glucosinolates into cancer-fighting agents”.  Picky eaters like me have a hard time eating broccoli slathered in a creamy sauce, let alone raw. Broccoli Microgreens cut out the drama of finding a way to “sneak in” your broccoli. No more throwing away rich vitamins in the forms of stalks and stems- you can eat those too!

As I make steps towards a healthier lifestyle, I can see myself reaching for Broccoli microgreens to get my daily allowances of greens. They are just too easy to include into my meals! By using Giant Gorilla Greens, I can save the trip to Whole Foods- and running into “Todd”. Stay tuned for more on my journey to a greener diet…  

 

 

 1“Mighty Microgreens.” Mighty Microgreens | Nutrition and Food Science, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 6 Sept. 2012, nfsc.umd.edu/news/mighty-microgreens.

 2“Effects of Sulforaphane (SFN) on Immune Response to Live Attenuated Influenza Virus in Smokers and Nonsmokers - Full Text View.” Full Text View - ClinicalTrials.gov, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 4 Jan. 2011, clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01269723.

3Houghton, Christine A., et al. “Sulforaphane and Other Nutrigenomic Nrf2 Activators: Can the Clinician's Expectation Be Matched by the Reality?” Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, Hindawi, 6 Jan. 2016, www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2016/7857186/.

4Hendricks, Melissa. More Reasons to Eat Those Vegetables, John Hopkins Medicine, 28 June 2017, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/institute_basic_biomedical_sciences/news_events/articles_and_stories/cancer_disease/2010_08_eat_veggies.html.

5Barclay, Eliza. “Cooking (Or Not Cooking) Broccoli To Protect Its Nutritional Riches.” NPR, NPR, 11 Oct. 2011, www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2011/10/11/141238716/cooking-or-not-cooking-broccoli-to-protect-its-nutritional-riches.

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