MICROGREENS: Superfoods of the 21st Century
What are Microgreens?
Microgreens are young vegetable greens, younger than baby greens like baby spinach. They are about 1 to 3 inches tall, usually harvested 7–21 days after germination, once the plant’s first true leaves have emerged.
At this stage, these power greens have been found to be 4 to 40 times more concentrated with nutrients than their mature counterparts,” says researcher Qin Wang, PhD, assistant professor at the University of Maryland in College Park.
The results are published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
For all of that concentrated nutrition, these delicate plants are very easy to incorporate into any meal. Click here for recipes.
A huge plus is that they add great flavor and texture to your meal, while adding to the variety of goodness on your plate.
Accumulated data suggest that consumption of vegetables can significantly reduce the risk of many infectious as well as chronic diseases.
Dietary guidelines for 2015-2020 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health recommend 1-4 cups of vegetables per day for men and 1-3 cups of vegetables per day for women, depending on their age.
However, the average intake of vegetables is below the recommended levels.
In general, microgreens contain greater amounts of nutrients and health-promoting micronutrients than their mature counterparts. Smaller amounts of these may provide similar nutritional effects compared to larger quantities of mature vegetables.
Food is energy, nutrients, and information. Our bodies require nutrients packaged in the right complexity.
The best way to get nutrition is through real food.
How To Grow Microgreens At Home
Microgreens are relatively easy to grow on a small scale and can thrive indoors if indirect sunlight is available.
People who want to grow their own microgreens can follow these steps:
- Scatter seeds over an inch of potting soil in a planter dish or tray and cover with another thin layer of soil.
- Mist the soil with water and place near a source of indirect sunlight or a grow light.
- Continue to mist the seeds daily to keep the soil moist.
The microgreens will be ready to harvest in 1–2 weeks. People should take care to cut their greens above the soil line and rinse them well before using them.
If growing microgreens at home is not ideal for you, check your local grocery stores. If you live in the greater Boston area, we deliver the most fresh microgreens to your door. Click here for more details.