What are Microgreens?
Microgreens are the tender immature seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs. They have two developed embryonic leaves. Measuring one to three inches in height, microgreens are small, but come in a variety of zesty flavours, bright colors, and crunchy taste. They are packed with nutrients.
What are the nutritional characteristics of microgreens?
Microgreens have high concentrations of micronutrients, including antioxidants and Vitamin C. They are a concentrated source of phytonutrients and micro-elements that help protect the cells from free radical damage.
According to a study published in The International Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, microgreens were found to have higher nutrient levels than those of mature plants. In some cases 40 times the nutrient levels of the full grown mature counterparts. Microgreens contain higher amounts of vitamins A, B, C and K. They also contain calcium, phosphorus iron, magnesium and zinc amongst many other micro-elements.
How do Microgreens benefit your health?
Microgreens have a high ratio of chlorophyll to carotene, which is important for the prevention of cancer. Microgreens can reduce cholesterol and blood pressure levels as well as prevent cardiovascular disease. Microgreens contain isothiocyanates that fight against the dangerous carcinogens in our bodies like nitrite.
Microgreens contain high concentrations of vitamin C (80 to 250 mg/100 g microgreens) and vitamin A (1000 to 2000 µg/kg microgreens), which is much higher than mature plants.
What are micro-elements?
Researchers found that microgreens contain indices of mineral elements that contribute to the health of microorganisms and microflora. These micro-elements include iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium phosphorus, potassium, calcium and sodium. While micro-elements are present, micro-fiber is also found in microgreens which helps improve digestion and prevent constipation. A super-rich source of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
Over 100 Different Varieties!
There are more than 100 different microgreen varieties available today including; micro parsley, micro red sorrell, micro lemon balm, micro kale, micro mustard greens, micro spinach, micro radish greens and many more.
Where to find microgreens in Australia?
Microgreens can be found on dining menus around the country and are also available at some of our leading supermarkets including selected Coles Australia stores.
Your local farmers Markets are another great way to find microgreens.
Or you can learn to grow and harvest microgreens yourself!
Baker D, Covic M, Klein G (2006). “Erythroxylum coca Lam”: A microgreen for human and animal nutrition. Acta Horticulturae 682: 129-132.