KOCHI: Microgreens have been increasingly growing popular within the wellness community and also the culinary world for very good reasons. The typical way someone wanting to improve their health would be using microgreens in smoothies, simply tossing them over salads and main courses. For instance, the brassica family of microgreens contain the biochemical glucosinolate, a powerful cancer fighter.
Microgreens are tiny plants that have only their first pair of leaves soon after the germination stage. They are a stage ahead of sprouts and are grown in soil or sometimes a soiless substrate such as cocopeat. Most popular vegetable varieties are grown as microgreens. The choice of microgreens grown by an individual depends on their preferences. They are delicious and can range from mild to tangy, spicy, or peppery.
Some of the most popular in India are red amaranth, rocket, radish, Italian basil, beets, broccoli, kale, mustard and sunflower.
Nutritional Powerhouses: When researchers at the University of Maryland in the US first discovered the nutrition contained in microgreens, they were so astonished by the findings that they went back to the drawing board and to their surprise, found out that it was indeed true. This study was also simultaneously carried out at the USDA and they too found the same results.
Even for argument’s sake, if we look at it, microgreens are just the next level up from sprouts and so it is just common sense to assume that they are just as packed with nutrition as sprouts are but they take it to a whole new level by also adding chlorophyll to the equation. Something that sprouts lack. But what commonly powers them is phytochemicals that are available in high concentrations at the early stage of a plant’s life. They are also responsible for the beautiful colours that these greens exhibit. Studies suggest that microgreens may contain high concentrations of nutrients compared with mature vegetables and herbs.
Due to their high antioxidant content, microgreens are considered as functional food, a food that promotes health by boosting immunity.A diet rich in plant-based foods of all kinds has been linked to a reduced risk of many health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Many people are not getting the recommended amount of vegetables and fruits per day for many reasons including access, cost, convenience, and taste preference. Microgreens are a high return, low investment home growing hobby which can really skyrocket your health and wellness quotient. The author is a plant lover and author of Microgreen Health Revolution.