You have likely heard of the hot new health trend of microgreens. Maybe you have seen them on the menu at a nice farm-to-table or heard about the incredible health benefits from a friend in-the-know. But what exactly are microgreens? And why are they so popular right now? The following fun facts will let you know all about microgreens and what they can do for your health!
What are microgreens?
Microgreens are very young greens that are harvested just after their cotyledon leaves develop. These young greens can be consumed as a nutritional supplement, garnish, topping, or salad for a big health boost. Popular microgreens include young arugula, chard, cabbage, beets, chives, and kale, but there are many, many more!
They are simply more fun to eat.
Dining is a multisensory experience of taste, smell, and sight, and for some people, big leafy greens on a plate just don’t excite the senses. Microgreens are typically more colorful and flavorful than their full-grown counterparts and can easily elevate the appearance and flavor profile of a dish.
They aren’t actually a new phenomenon.
Though we may just now be seeing microgreens on menus across the country, their origin as a health food trend began in 1980’s San Francisco. The localized phenomenon spread through Southern California, and many health-conscious Californians embraced a limited variety of microgreens, including beets, basil, kale, and arugula. Times have changed, and microgreens are abundant and varied throughout all the states.
Microgreens are packed with nutrients.
All those nutrients we love in big leafy veggies are now fun-sized! Colorful, tender, microgreens pack the same health punch as their full-grown counterparts, and many prefer the taste and aesthetic of the younger plants. Swiss chard is a vitamin-packed green, but many do not like its bitter taste. Swiss chard microgreens taste milder, more like spinach, and can still give you a big kick of vitamins K, A, and C.
Microgreens are easy to get.
Shop for microgreens at your local grocery store or grow your own at home. Microgreens are easy to grow in a window box, on the kitchen counter, or even in your garden. The more specialized a green, the more expensive it is, so if you can grow greens at home, cultivate the more expensive of the greens you like. With your own homegrown star of the salad, you can buy the rest of your more common greens at the grocer.
Microgreens support a healthy heart.
Microgreens are packed full of the vital nutrients our body needs to stay healthy. Reducing the amount of processed food you eat and adding more microgreens to your diet will support your overall health and greatly reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other serious health conditions. Add microgreens to your eggs, sandwiches, and salads throughout the day to be sure that you are feeding your body the vitamins and minerals it needs; Plus, they taste great!
They can reduce the risk of some diseases.
Microgreens could save your life, literally. Consume microgreens to reduce your risk of prostate and digestive tract cancers. Microgreens contain powerful antioxidants that prevent the buildup of cancer-causing free radicals. Look for microgreens rich in vitamins that you may not be getting elsewhere in your diet and enjoy the yummy benefits.
Microgreens are not just for salads.
The boring days of repetitive microgreen salads are over. You don’t have to eat a salad every day to enjoy the benefits of these young greens. Try blending basil microgreens into your next pesto, or add a few crunchy kale microgreens to a turkey panini. A kale microgreen and kefir smoothie is the perfect gift to your digestive system and has a wonderfully crisp green flavor. There are countless recipes online that can teach you great uses for microgreens, so let your inner chef go wild!