All You Ever Wanted to Know
Since their introduction to the Californian restaurant scene in the 1980s, microgreens have steadily gained popularity.
These aromatic greens, also known as micro herbs or vegetable confetti, are rich in flavor and add a welcome splash of color to a variety of dishes.
Despite their small size, they pack a nutritional punch, often containing higher nutrient levels than more mature vegetable greens. This makes them a good addition to any diet.
This article reviews the potential health benefits of microgreens and provides a step-by-step guide on how to grow your own.
What Are Microgreens?
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Microgreens are young vegetable greens that are approximately 1–3 inches (2.5–7.5 cm) tall.
They have an aromatic flavor and concentrated nutrient content and come in a variety of colors and textures (1).
Microgreens are considered baby plants, falling somewhere between a sprout and baby green.
That said, they shouldn’t be confused with sprouts, which do not have leaves. Sprouts also have a much shorter growing cycle of 2–7 days, whereas microgreens are usually harvested 7–21 days after germination, once the plant’s first true leaves have emerged.
Microgreens are more similar to baby greens in that only their stems and leaves are considered edible. However, unlike baby greens, they are much smaller in size and can be sold before being harvested.
This means that the plants can be bought whole and cut at home, keeping them alive until they are consumed.
Microgreens are very convenient to grow, as they can be grown in a variety of locations, including outdoors, in greenhouses and even on your windowsill.
Microgreens are young vegetable greens that fall somewhere between sprouts and baby leaf vegetables. They have an intense aromatic flavor and concentrated nutrient content and come in a variety of colors and textures.
Microgreens vs. Sprouts
Don’t confuse microgreens with sprouts. Sprouts are seeds that have just been soaked in water long enough to germinate.
With sprouts you eat the entire thing, including the root, and they haven’t produced their first true set of leaves yet.
Microgreens are typically grown in soil and cut off at stem level.
Since microgreens are usually grown in the soil like their larger vegetable counterparts, they have a lower risk for carrying water-borne bacteria like E.Coli that sprouts have a reputation for. Microgreens have a lower risk of foodborne illness, and they also pack more nutrition than sprouts do.
Microgreens Are Easy!
If you’ve got an interest in growing your own food, microgreens are a great place to start. Both experienced farmers and beginner growers alike find they’re a great choice.
Microgreens can be grown year-round, they’re very cost-effective, and it only takes a couple of weeks for them to go from seeds to ready to eat.
Even if you live in an apartment, you can fit a few trays of microgreens in a sunny windowsill.
So if you find yourself buying a pack of microgreens at the grocery store each week, why not try growing them yourself to save some money and get a better idea of where your food comes from?
No matter what your taste preferences are when it comes to produce, there’s a microgreen for you. Almost any vegetable or herb can be grown as microgreens.
Microgreens are a versatile ingredient that you can use in soups, sandwiches, salads, smoothies, and more.
Most Common/Popular Microgreens Varieties
Here are some of the most popular and well-known microgreens that you’re likely to find in a shop near you:
If you’ve bought a spring salad mix from the grocery store, then you’re probably already familiar with arugula. It’s also commonly called rocket.
This leafy vegetable is packed with more antioxidants, phytochemicals, minerals, and vitamins than regular lettuce.
Arugula microgreens are great for keeping your bones strong and healthy. That’s because it contains about the same quantity of calcium as spinach, bite for bite.
Unlike spinach, it has lower amounts of oxalates, which can prevent your body from fully absorbing the calcium.
• Arugula microgreens are also high in vitamin K which is also needed for bone health.
- Its high levels of antioxidants may also help reduce stomach acidity and protect against ulcers.
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Research has specifically linked arugula and other cruciferous vegetables with the following health benefits:
While an overall healthful, vegetable-rich diet reduces a person’s cancer risk, studies have shown that certain groups of vegetables can have specific anticancer benefits.
A 2017 meta-analysis linked eating more cruciferous vegetables with reduced total cancer risk, along with a reduction in all-cause mortality.
Cruciferous vegetables are a source of glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing substances. Glucosinolates may be responsible for the plants’ bitter taste and their cancer-fighting power. The body breaks down glucosinolates into a range of beneficial compounds, including sulforaphane.
Researchers have found that sulforaphane can inhibit the enzyme histone deacetylase (HDAC), which is involved in the progression of cancer cells. The ability to stop HDAC enzymes could make foods that contain sulforaphane a potentially significant part of cancer treatment in the future.
Reports have linked diets high in cruciferous vegetables with a reduced risk of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and more. However, the research is limited, and scientists need more high-quality evidence before confirming these benefits.
The Office of Dietary Statistics state that vitamin K is involved in bone metabolism and that a deficiency can increase the risk of bone fracture. Leafy green vegetables are one of the primary dietary sources of vitamin K.
Adequate vitamin K consumption improves bone health by playing an essential role in bone mineralization and helps to improve how the body absorbs and excretes calcium, which is another crucial nutrient for bone health.
Arugula also contributes to a person’s daily need for calcium, providing 32 milligrams (mg) per cup, going towards the DV of 1,000 mg for adults.
One test tube study showed that arugula extract had antidiabetic effects in mouse skeletal muscle cells. They produced this effect by stimulating glucose uptake in the cells.
Plus, arugula and other cruciferous vegetables are a good source of fiber, which helps to regulate blood glucose and may reduce insulin resistance. High fiber foods make people feel fuller for longer, meaning they can help tackle overeating.
Vegetable intake, specifically cruciferous vegetables, has protective effects on the heart.
A 2017 meta-analysis reports that diets rich in cruciferous vegetables, salads, and green leafy vegetables have links with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
In addition, a 2018 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association reported that consuming a diet high in cruciferous vegetables could reduce atherosclerosis in older women. Atherosclerosis is a common condition where plaque builds up in the arteries, increasing a person’s risk of cardiovascular problems.
The heart protective effects of these vegetables may be due to their high concentration of beneficial plant compounds, including polyphenols and organosulfur compounds.
A cup of arugula also contains:
• 0.516 g of protein
• 0.132 g of fat
According to an adult’s daily nutritional goals, set out in the FDA’s daily values (DV), a cup of arugula will provide:
• 27.7% of vitamin K
• 3.2% of calcium
• 2.5% of vitamin C
People commonly add fresh arugula to salads, but it also works well incorporated into pasta, casseroles, and sauces, just like other leafy greens.
It tends to sauté faster than its tougher cousins kale and collard greens. Because of its tenderness, and it lends more flavor to a dish than spinach or Swiss chard.
Due to its peppery flavor, people often mix arugula with other milder greens, such as watercress and romaine. In Italy, it is common to top pizza with arugula after baking.
Arugula is easy to grow and perfect for a windowsill garden. When store-bought or picked fresh, people should store arugula in the refrigerator and use it within a few days of purchase.
Here are some tips for incorporating more arugula into the daily routine:
• Add a handful of fresh arugula to an omelet or scramble.
• Throw a handful of arugula and blend into a fresh juice or smoothie.
• Sauté arugula in a small amount of extra virgin olive oil and season with freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Eat as a side dish or top a baked potato.
• Add arugula leaves to a wrap, sandwich, or flatbread.
When choosing foods for preventing disease and achieving good health, it is important to remember that the overall diet and eating patterns are the most important factors. It is better to eat a diet rich in a variety of nutrient-dense foods than to concentrate on individual foods.
People who are taking blood-thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin), should avoid suddenly beginning to eat more or fewer foods containing vitamin K, as this vitamin plays a vital role in blood clotting.
If improperly stored, nitrate-containing vegetable juice may accumulate bacteria that convert nitrate to nitrite and contaminate the juice. Ingesting very high levels of nitrite can be harmful.
Keep in mind that consuming large doses of nitrate-rich foods may interact with certain medications, such as organic nitrate, nitroglycerine, or nitrite drugs that treat angina, such as tadalafil and vardenafil.
Arugula is a peppery leafy green that provides many of the same health benefits as other cruciferous vegetables. It has a high nutrient content and makes an excellent and healthful addition to most diets.
A varied diet rich in leafy greens can help prevent health problems, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, and cancer.
They’re among the fastest growing microgreens and one of the easiest to grow at home. Radish microgreens are ready to eat about 12 days after you sow your seeds.
Radish microgreens have the same spicy flavor you’d expect when you bite into a fully grown radish.
• Radish microgreens are high in vitamin C but also contain all sorts of vitamins and nutrients across the board. They even offer a good amount of protein.
Some people also say that radish microgreens provide them with a sense of fullness after they’re done eating.
Some popular varieties of radish microgreens include triton, Japanese daikon, sango, and red arrow.
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Benefits of Radish Microgreens
Microgreens are becoming popular with every passing year, and one of the most sought after microgreens is the radish type. Radish microgreens taste like radish! They have fewer calories but rich in beneficial nutrients, such as enzymes, antioxidants, protein, and minerals. If you are also looking for vitamins in microgreens, radish has them all.
There are different kinds of radishes, some growing in winter, some in summer, while others do well in spring. The most common one is the Daikon, most commonly found in Southern Asia, especially India, and it’s a spring-summer vegetable. Research states that radish microgreens are effective at preventing cancer than broccoli microgreens.
Let’s find the health benefits of radish microgreens.
According to research findings, radish microgreens contain large deposits of folate with 100 grams or 3.5 ounces of radish microgreens able to give you close to a quarter of folate you should consume in a day. Folate is known to promote cardiovascular health by breaking down an amino acid known as homocysteine, which is believed to promote atherosclerosis(fatty deposits in the blood vessels).
Half of the people suffering from cardiovascular disease have high homocysteine levels compared with 5 percent of the general population. Apart from folate, radish microgreens also contain a lot of vitamin B6, which research has shown that it’s capable of breaking down homocysteine in one’s body, another reason to go for the nutrition in microgreens.
Multiple studies have shown that radish microgreens may be helpful in promoting digestive health. Some people experience digestive issues and one of the ways to eradicate such is by ensuring that your plate contains a portion of radish microgreens. An animal study showed that an extract of Chinese radish microgreens helps to improve bile flow.
The essence of bile is to help breakdown fats and enhance digestion. Daikon and Chinese radish microgreens possess strong radish flavor with a dash of pepper-like background taste. That’s why they are the most preferred in sushi, salads, and also used as a garnish.
If you consume radish microgreens daily, you will be doing your skin a favor by giving it special boosters to remain healthy. That’s because it contains Vitamin C, phosphorus, and zinc. According to research, one of the health benefits of radish microgreens is keeping acne, dryness, pimples, and rashes at bay.
You don’t have only to ingest radish microgreens to benefit from them. You can make a radish paste from the microgreens and use it to cleanse your face. Applying the paste on your hair will help remove dandruff, strengthen the hair roots, and prevent hair loss.
Radish microgreens are a suitable choice for those trying to lose belly fat and weight in general. They are low in calories and high in vitamin C. Study found that people with lower Vitamin C in their bodies burned 25 percent less fat compared to those who had an adequate amount of Vitamin C after a 60-minute session on the treadmill.
The body requires Vitamin C to make a compound known as carnitine, which helps the body convert fat into fuel rather than store it as body fat.
Low immune leaves your body vulnerable to diseases. You should, therefore, consume foods that enhance your immunity. Radish microgreens are high in Vitamin C, which protects your body from common cold and cough, and they also strengthen your basic immunity system.
However, it’s recommended that you consume them regularly. Studies have also shown that radish microgreens control the development of harmful free radicals, early aging, and inflammation, just like kale microgreens.
Radish microgreens provide your body with potassium according to studies, and it can help lower your blood pressure and maintain your blood flow, especially if you suffer from hypertension.
According to Ayurveda, radish microgreens have a cooling effect on your blood. So, if you know someone suffering from blood pressure, advise them to explore what radish microgreens have in store and also expound on mung bean microgreen health benefits.
It’s no brainer that you need fiber in your body. Research has proved countless times that fiber improves your digestion. If you eat enough radish microgreens every day, your body will be provided with ample roughage and fibers,which will enhance the way your food is digested.
The fiber gained from radish also regulates bile production, takes care of water retention, and safeguards your liver.
Health practitioners always recommend you to take eight ounces of water every day, but you shouldn’t depend on water alone to keep your body hydrated. You can also eat foods that boost your body’s water content.
You should eat more radish microgreens, especially during summer, to keep your body hydrated because they contain high water content. In fact, you should consume them daily on top of taking the recommended amount of water.
Wondering whether radish microgreens are suitable for your liver? Yes definitely! Radishes are perfect for both your liver and stomach since they act as powerful detoxifiers. Radish microgreens reduce the destruction of red blood cells by increasing the supply of fresh oxygen to your blood.
According to multiple studies, vitamin C in radish helps prevent cell damage from free radicals and also repairs them and heals wounds.
From the ten points above, it’s clear that most of your health issues can be solved by one serving of radish microgreens daily. Your body requires much care healthwise. Enroll in a microgreen diet and reap the benefits. Also, read the health benefits of pea shoots microgreen.
Photo from: https://www.fruithillfarm.com
Sunflower microgreens are probably the most common variety that you’ll find at your local farmer’s market or supermarket beside radish.
They have a sweet nutty taste and they’re packed full of nutrition.
• They’re high in B vitamins, zinc, and a number of other vitamins and minerals.
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Sunflower Microgreens Nutrition and Health Benefits
When whole Sunflower seeds are planted and grown for a few days they become baby plants, also referred to as microgreens, that provide us with incredible health benefits. These greens are delicious eaten as snacks on their own and can also help transform even the most ordinary of salads, sandwiches or wraps into a presentation that is equally impressive and nourishing. Simply put, sunflower greens are one of the most complete foods you can add to your diet for overall health and well being, and this is why they are used as the main ingredient of many juices.
- Sunflower microgreen are a perfect source of complete protein. In fact, they are considered to be the most balanced of all of the sources of essential amino acids, helping to repair muscle tissue and aid in enzymatic functions in the body.
- They help build our skeletal, muscular, and neurological systems.
- They activate every cell of the immune system and help to keep gut bacteria healthy, thus improving our ability to fight disease.
- They boost fertility as they contain high amounts of zinc. Zinc is a well-researched mineral that is essential for the development of sperm.
- Sunflower microgreens are a nutritional powerhouse packed with vitamins A, B complex, D, and E; they also contain minerals including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.
- Sunnies are high in B vitamins, especially folate. Folate is a necessary B vitamin for pregnant women. Folate helps to protect babies from developing neural tube defects (NTDs). The combination of B vitamins also assists in the mother’s circulation as well as aids in stress relief. In fact, sunflower sprouts are rich in all of the nutrients that are important during pregnancy such as iron, calcium, essential fats, and folate.
- Sunflower microgreens are a rich source of lecithin which helps to eliminate accumulated deposits in arterial walls, and break down fatty acids into an easily digestible water soluble form.
- They are rich in chlorophyll which benefits many functions within the body, including building blood supply, revitalizing tissue, calming inflammation, activating enzymes, and deodorizing the body.
- The sunflower microgreen is a natural expectorant for chest congestion: In Ayurvedic medicine*, these sprouts are thought to have the ability to encourage clearance of the lungs. Natural expectorants may also be used as a preventative measure against lower respiratory infections to deter the invasion of pathogens.
- Boost your antioxidant capacity with sunflower microgreens: Sunflower microgreens contain high amounts of vitamin E. Vitamin E works synergistically with vitamin C and selenium to reduce blood pressure, increase the elasticity of arteries and prevent heart disease.
- Sunnies are low in calories and high in nutrition, making them ideal for any natural and healthy fat loss program.
Pea microgreens are surprisingly healthy and easy to grow. With a little practice and effort, you’ll have your own supply of these delicious microgreens throughout the year! The term ‘microgreens’ means the growing of a plant into its first leaves appear. This can be achieved in the space of a few weeks.
Pea Microgreens Health Benefits
There are actually several different types of peas, the main categories are English peas, snow peas, and sugar snap. But, there are also plenty of subcategories, including speckled pea, and black-eyed pea. You can grow all of these in the same way at the same time, or you can choose to grow them one at a time.
The choice is yours!
To help you realize how good an idea it is to grow pea microgreens, let’s take a look at the health benefits.
There are many antioxidants and phytonutrients inside pea microgreens. These can help to support your immune system and actually reduce inflammation!
You’ll find plenty of vitamins C, D, K, and even A; ensuring your immune system and other body functions are working at peak efficiency.
Pea microgreens have an array of nutrients that have been shown to help reduce blood sugar levels. This makes them a valuable addition to any diet, especially if you’re trying to prevent diabetes or are dealing with the effects of this disease.
The same antioxidants that boost the immune system and help to reduce inflammation in your body can actually improve your cardiovascular health.
Science is not yet clear on exactly how the two are linked but there is a definite connection that can help to protect you against heart disease.
There is a lot of fiber in pea microgreens. This will help you to feel fuller for longer which will reduce your need and tendency to snack.
This, as part of a calorie controlled diet, can actually help you to lose the extra pounds and get back the body that you want.
How to Grow Pea Microgreens
• Soak: Yes; soak for 8 hours
• Rinse/drain: Yes until germination
• Time to germinate: 2-3 days
• Time to harvest: 8-14 days
Top Tip: Pea microgreens will re-grow after being harvested; keep looking after them!
Your step by step guide to growing pea microgreens:
You can rinse them before placing them in a bowl of cold water for 8-12 hours. This will encourage germination. You don’t need to germinate them but it will speed it up. Experiment if it actually does germinate faster.
Once you have soaked them overnight, you can go ahead and plant them in your tray.
The next step is to choose a tray that has drainage holes. This will allow you to put a water tray underneath and control the moisture levels of the plants without soaking their leaves or the seeds.
You’ll also need to choose a growing medium. One inch of your preferred potting mix is fine. You can use coconut coir too.
The growing medium should be loose in the tray, packing it down will make it harder for the roots to find their way and get established. Before sprinkling the seeds over your tray it is a good idea to soak the growing medium. You can also sprinkle a little extra of the grow media over the seeds; they do like it dark.
Once planted, you should cover them for 2-3 days. You will need to water the soil every day during this period. The drainage holes will ensure excess water drains out onto the tray.
After 2-3 days you’ll see signs of germination. Wait a few more days until they develop their first leaves. If they are 2 inches high it’s time to remove the cover and let them soak up the light.
You’ll now need to watch your plants every day to ensure they are moist enough and are growing well. Keep your eyes open for mold as you’ll need to treat this quickly if it does appear.
During the growing stage, you can taste the pea microgreens and harvest them when you like them. This should be between days 8-14.
Don’t forget your first time is a learning curve, you can always tweak the procedures on your next attempt.
Beetroot (usually just called beets in North America) are normally grown for their roots. But they make great microgreens too!
• Like arugula, they’re high in vitamin K which can help prevent osteoporosis and helps with blood clotting.
Beet microgreens contain more iron than spinach does and offer more nutritional value per calorie than full-grown beets do!
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Beet microgreens have high levels of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Folate, and the minerals copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.They also contain thiamine, riboflavin, zinc as well and beta carotenes.
Beets and beet microgreens have a lot more benefits than those listed according to this article on beet nutrition.
Fully grown kale leaves are often touted as a superfood.
In fact, they’re the highest-scoring food on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (aka ANDI scale) in terms of nutrient density per calorie.
But if you’re like me, then you can’t stand the texture or taste of kale leaves. Luckily you can eat kale in microgreen form to still take advantage of its benefits.
• Kale microgreens are packed full of vitamin C, which can help keep your immune system healthy.
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Nutrition Benefit of Kale Microgreens
Kale is one of the leafy greens with a large nutrient density. People consider it a superfood. It has numerous benefits to your body including lowering bad cholesterol to reduce the risk of heart disease. Kale microgreens contain over forty times the nutrients achieved from adult kale. So, if you’re planning to add some extra nutrition to your diet, microgreens are the way to go. In case you don’t know how kale microgreens look like, they are harvested just after they’ve sprouted and produced the first group of true leaves.
Now, let’s find out the nutritional benefits of kale microgreens:
A study on sprouts and microgreens was done by Australia’s Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) to find the anti-cancer potential of several microgreens including kale microgreens. For every microgreen of sprout, the anti-cancer score was calculated per the microgreen’s glucosinolate content.
Glucosinolates have a limited biological activity while their metabolites especially isothiocyanates have a significant potential for fighting cancer thanks to their ability to induce phase 2 detoxification enzymes. In that study, broccoli and red radish microgreensled the pack as the ultimate anti-cancer champions. Kale microgreens also showed significant anti-cancer potential. Same as pea shoots microgreens.
Antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol, yeah!Just like other leafy greens, kales are highly loaded with antioxidants, and their microgreen version is packed with over 30 times more. These antioxidants include beta-carotene, vitamin C, flavonoids and polyphenols. These substances help counteract oxidative damage done to your body by free radicals.
Oxidative damage causes ageing and many diseases such as cancer. The substances especially the flavonoids also have other vital functions which have been adversely studied through test tubes and animals. They are anti-viral, anti-depressant, and anti-inflammatory to name just a few.
It’s common knowledge that vitamin C helps improve your immune system, but it can also keep your bones strong, stimulate your collagen production and keep your skin supple. Most edible veggies, especially kale sprouts and microgreens, are packed with vitamin C. However, greens have different amounts of the vitamin.
According to scientific evidence presented at the International Conference on Food Innovation back in 2010, broccoli and kale microgreens have significantly more vitamin C than other kale types. The study also suggested that to get the most of vitamin C, you should harvest your microgreens when they are around 15-16 weeks old since it is the period when vitamin C levels are on peak.
Vitamin K is essential. It’s critical for blood clotting which is done possibly by activating specific proteins and enabling them to bind calcium. Kale is one of the world’s leading sources of vitamin K. A single raw cup of kale microgreen contains over ten times the recommended daily amount.
The form of vitamin K in kale microgreens is K1 while fermented soy foods and some animal products contain K2. Vitamin K also helps to prevent conditions like heart disease and osteoporosis.
The fiber and antioxidants in kale microgreen have the potential to protect against diabetes. Studies indicate that a high intake of fiber, which is available in kales may help lower blood glucose levels in those having type-1 diabetes. It also helps those with type-2 diabetes to have improved lipids, blood sugar, and insulin levels.
Studies have also shown that kale microgreens have alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant that can help lower glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity to prevent oxidative stress-induced changes for diabetes patients. To produce this antioxidant naturally, you should roll onto a kale microgreen diet.
An apple a day certainly keeps the good doctor away, and a cup of kale microgreens could keep the doctor even further distant. One cup of raw kale contains 80 mg of vitamin C, while the apple surprisingly contains 6 mg of vitamin C. Perhaps they should take out “apple” and put “kale!” Vitamin C is associating with keeping common cold away and prevents viruses.
Vitamin C also helps lower the risks of other diseases like cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune disease, and some cancers. So, if you are frequently hit by the common cold, adopting to a kale microgreen would be the best option.
Kale microgreens contain minerals, some of which some peoples miss in their bodies. They are a good source of calcium, which is essential for bone health, a good source of magnesium which most people don’t get enough of and protect against heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and a bit of potassium which helps maintain electrical gradients in the cells of your body.
Studies have shown that adequate potassium can help reduce the chances of suffering from blood pressure and lowers heart disease risk. One advantage of kales over spinach and other leafy greens is that it has low oxalate, a substance known to prevent minerals from being absorbed.
Kale microgreens are high in fiber and water just like mung bean microgreens. Research has proved that both of this help prevent constipation and promote regularity and healthy digestive tract.
Kales also contain vitamins B and C, which are known to promote iron absorption, and they are essential for extracting energy from food, perhaps one of the main reasons you should eat kale microgreens often.
When trying to lose weight, you should try to understand foods that can fuel your body without adding enormous amounts of calories. The fiber and water in kale microgreens can make you feel full even though it contains about 33 calories per cup.
Kales also contain about 2 grams of protein in every cup. 4 to 5 cups of kale microgreens would give you 35 grams of complex fibrous carbs, and 10 grams of protein to make you feel full.
Your eyesight gets worse as you age, but luckily, there are several nutrients that can slow down the process. Two of the main nutrients are lutein and zeaxanthin which are found in large deposits in kale microgreens.
Studies have shown that people who consume enough of the two compounds have a much lower risk of contracting cataracts and macular degeneration which are common eye disorders. Consuming kale microgreens may help solve the problem.
Sprouts are generally at high risk of E.coli while growing, and it would be advisable to grow kale microgreens or other microgreen types because they usually need sunlight, and good air circulation to grow. Otherwise, healthy life starts with you making the right decision concerning your body. Try consuming healthy microgreens such as kales. Also, read the benefits of radish microgreens here.
Broccoli microgreens contain the highest amounts of a chemical called sulforaphane compared to almost any other food available.
Other cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower also contain it, but broccoli sprouts are the best source.
Sulforaphane has some really impressive health benefits that have already been proven, with many more findings coming out each year.
1. It alleviates chronic inflammation.
2. It offers protection against several forms of cancer, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, as well as diabetes.
3. It can even potentially regenerate neurons in the brain, as well as protecting the brain from strokes.
That’s why broccoli microgreens are my favorite variety. Every time you eat them, you’re protecting yourself against some of the leading causes of death like heart disease and cancer.
How do you prepare broccoli microgreens for the best health benefits?
Heating them at 70 degrees C for 10 minutes increases the bioavailability of sulforaphane by about 3.5x.
However, if you cook them too hot or for too long you’ll destroy the compound, so eating them raw is a safer alternative if you can’t exactly measure the temperature you’re cooking them at.
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Nutritional Benefits of Broccoli Microgreens
It’s no secret that microgreens and sprouts of cruciferous vegetables are highly nutritious. Broccoli finds its way to the dinner table all the time, but broccoli microgreens are not popular. Broccoli microgreens are usually 10 to 14 days old from planting, and it’s at that period when the plants have a higher amount of sulforaphane, a natural compound.
The compound is also in other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, kale, and cabbage, but broccoli is one of the vegs with the highest levels of it, especially at the microgreen and sprout stages. You can eat broccoli microgreens with anything edible. They’re capable of reversing serious ailments and boosting your health.
Let’s explore the nutritional benefits of broccoli microgreens.
According to studies, broccoli microgreens can help lower blood pressure in our bodies. It also lowers triglyceride levels. Therefore, if you consume broccoli microgreens frequently, you can keep stroke and other heart diseases away.
A study done on lab rats showed that the substance Glucoraphanin helped to lower their blood pressure. Other studies have shown that sulforaphane can reduce the risks of heart attacks, strokes, and atherosclerosis.
Sulforaphane, which is present in broccoli microgreens and sprouts, has been a subject of interest in anticancer research. Studies show that the compound in the broccoli microgreen may have a chemopreventive effect on certain types of cancers such as prostate, skin, breast, melanoma, and stomach tumors.
According to a study published in Cancer Prevention Research in 2018, the inclusion of broccoli microgreens was more beneficial in breast cancer prevention than adulthood diet. The same journal also deemed the cruciferous vegetable effective on urinary bladder carcinogenesis.
Sulforaphane in broccoli microgreens has been known to alleviate diabetes, especially for those people who are overweight or obese. It helps people with type II diabetes regulate their blood sugar levels and deal with diabetic neuropathy. These magical microgreens can also bring down oxidative stress, insulin resistance, and CRP, an infection-growth protein.
A study was done on people with Type 2 diabetes. The participants were given broccoli with a high volume of sulforaphane daily, and it helped reduce blood sugar levels by almost 6.5% and improved the control of blood sugar, according to the findings.
Aging is a normal process. Genetics and the environment play a vital role in one’s health throughout their lives. Research has shown that supporting body cells and helping them maintain their normal activity can impact the health of the aging body positively. By supporting the cells, you defend the normal cellular functions against external threats to health.
Although aging is unpreventable, it’s possible to support someone’s health and wellbeing as they age. Broccoli microgreens’ sulforaphane reduces the factors that facilitate decreased quality of life. Moreover, vitamin A and C in the microgreens can help eliminate wrinkles and age spots to reduce aging.
Some studies on microgreens nutrition have shown that a sulforaphane-filled broccoli microgreens diet can help reduce the chances of autism in children. It may be the powerful antioxidants in the young broccoli plants which ensure children have normal brain development.
Pregnant women are therefore encouraged to consume broccoli microgreens to ensure the fetal brain develops normally. According to Dr. Kanwaljit Singh, fever improves autism, and sulforaphane induces fever and, therefore, can treat autism.
Many people have experienced gastrointestinal issues in different forms. It can be mild bloating or extreme abdominal pain. Doctors have recommended broccoli sprouts or microgreens for patients exhibiting those conditions. Broccoli microgreens help to aid the digestive system and prevent the accumulation of dangerous bacteria.
One of the dangerous bacteria broccoli microgreens help to reduce is Helicobacter pylori. They also ensure good nutrient uptake and digestive health, thus lowering the risk of ulcers, constipation, and colorectal cancer. Indeed, broccoli microgreens have a lot of health benefits for people.
According to studies, sulforaphane reduces the chances of mental decline and improves recovery in case of a brain injury. The compound in broccoli microgreens and sprouts has been proven to reduce depression symptoms as well as anxiety in animals.
After a study was done in 2017, it was concluded that sulforaphane and vitamin E combined reduced oxidative damage to mice that were exposed to lead, and also improved their deteriorating cognitive system.
A study published in Clinical Immunology in 2009 found that broccoli sprouts and microgreens could solve an array of problems with our lungs. Sulforaphane, the compound in broccoli microgreens, reduces inflammation in the respiratory pathways and brings oxidative stress down.
When you consume broccoli microgreens frequently, you will be able to keep lung-related conditions at bay and reduce symptoms of asthma. According to a journal published by the Medicine Plant Research, sulforaphane is capable of fighting off respiratory diseases.
Inflammation causes numerous diseases, and you can effectively avoid those diseases by reversing it. By consuming broccoli microgreens, your body gains a compound known as glucoraphanin, which is an antioxidant that helps improve heart health, lower blood pressure, and fight against inflammation.
Basically, the antioxidant boosts your immune system to fight oxidative stress. Glucoraphanin collaborates with other nutrients in the broccoli microgreens and sprouts and fights cell damage promoting overall health.
Broccoli microgreens are packed with plenty of Vitamin C. One serving has about 60 percent of this essential nutrient. Vitamin C protects your skin from the sun rays and prevents early aging.
In a study conducted on over 4000 women, it was discovered that women with vitamin C deficiency had more wrinkles than the ones with the nutrient.
Broccoli microgreens reserve a lot of nutrients which comprise of proteins and antioxidants. We’ve seen that the nutrients improve the body’s defense against cancer, diabetes, calms inflammation, protects vision and helps detoxify the body.
To reap the health benefits, consume them immediately after harvesting them to prevent loss of nutritional value after harvest. The longer the time gap between harvesting and delivery, the more nutrients the harvested vegetables will lose. That’s why consuming them right away is recommended.
Also, read the health benefits of pea shoots microgreen.
Most people see parsley as just a garnish, but it also has some great health benefits.
Parsley microgreens are high in zeaxanthin and lutein which are necessary for proper eye health and maintaining good eyesight.
It can also help with asthma, as well as being good for your circulation.
So stop thinking of parsley as that piece of green left on your plate in a restaurant at the end of a meal.
Instead, start incorporating it into your diet in the form of microgreens!
How to Grow IHG Parsley Microgreens
Parsley Microgreens: How to Grow Microgreens Indoors Quickly and Easily
Health Benefits of Parsley
Parsley garnish that came on his plate when we made those infrequent trips to the restaurant. I enjoyed my weird characterization so much that not only would I eat my garnish but would collect and eat everyone else’s parsley as well. Little did they know — little did I know — what a healthy thing it was to be a weird parsley eater.
Surprisingly, parsley was often overlooked on so-called superfood lists until recently. But the more we learn about the health properties of certain volatile oils, the more we realize that parsley is valuable for more than its high levels of vitamin C, vitamin K, Vitamin A, and folic acid as well as its iron, calcium, and magnesium. Those oils have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They’re known to boosts liver health, maintain a good immune system, and have even been found to discourage and inhibit the spread of certain types of cancers.
Parsley is credited with all kinds of benefits, including relaxation of smooth muscle tissue (especially important to asthmatics), maintaining good vision (it contains lutein and zeaxanthin), and promoting good circulation and heart health. Its folk remedy uses, including rubbing it on insect bites to stop itching and as a baldness cure, are legion if unproven. So potent is parsley that it’s recommended that pregnant women and those taking blood thinners, like Coumadin, avoid it (always talk to a doctor before attempting any herbal “cure”). So powerful is parsley that Celtic armies employed it in defeating the invading Greeks simply by strapping bunches of it on the back of burros and sending them straight at the invaders (the Greeks held superstitious beliefs about parsley because of its attachment to their ancient gods).
A sprig of parsley can provide much more than a decoration on your plate. Parsley contains two types of unusual components that provide unique health benefits. The first type is volatile oil components—including myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. The second type is flavonoids—including apiin, apigenin, crisoeriol, and luteolin.
Parsley’s volatile oils—particularly myristicin—have been shown to inhibit tumor formation in animal studies, and particularly, tumor formation in the lungs. Myristicin has also been shown to activate the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase, which helps attach the molecule glutathione to oxidized molecules that would otherwise do damage in the body. The activity of parsley’s volatile oils qualifies it as a “chemoprotective” food, and in particular, a food that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens (like the benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke and charcoal grill smoke).
The flavonoids in parsley—especially luteolin—have been shown to function as antioxidants that combine with highly reactive oxygen-containing molecules (called oxygen radicals) and help prevent oxygen-based damage to cells. In addition, extracts from parsley have been used in animal studies to help increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood.
In addition to its volatile oils and flavonoids, parsley is an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A< (notably through its concentration of the pro-vitamin A carotenoid, beta-carotene).
Vitamin C has many different functions. It is the body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant, rendering harmless otherwise dangerous free radicals in all water-soluble areas of the body. High levels of free radicals contribute to the development and progression of a wide variety of diseases, including atherosclerosis, colon cancer, diabetes, and asthma. This may explain why people who consume healthy amounts of vitamin C-containing foods have reduced risks for all these conditions. Vitamin C is also a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, which explains its usefulness in conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. And since vitamin C is needed for the healthy function of the immune system, it can also be helpful for preventing recurrent ear infections or colds.
Beta-carotene, another important antioxidant, works in the fat-soluble areas of the body. Diets with beta-carotene-rich foods are also associated with a reduced risk for the development and progression of conditions like atherosclerosis, diabetes, and colon cancer. Like vitamin C, beta-carotene may also be helpful in reducing the severity of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. And beta-carotene is converted by the body to vitamin A, a nutrient so important to a strong immune system that its nickname is the “anti-infective vitamin.”
Parsley is a good source of folic acid, one of the most important B vitamins. While it plays numerous roles in the body, one of its most critical roles in relation to cardiovascular health is its necessary participation in the process through which the body converts homocysteine into benign molecules. Homocysteine is a potentially dangerous molecule that, at high levels, can directly damage blood vessels, and high levels of homocysteine are associated with a significantly increased risk of heart attack and stroke in people with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease. Enjoying foods rich in folic acid, like parsley, is an especially good idea for individuals who either have, or wish to prevent, these diseases. Folic acid is also a critical nutrient for proper cell division and is therefore vitally important for cancer-prevention in two areas of the body that contain rapidly dividing cells—the colon, and in women, the cervix.
While one study suggests that high doses of supplemental vitamin C makes osteoarthritis, a type of degenerative arthritis that occurs with aging, worse in laboratory animals, another indicates that vitamin C-rich foods, such as parsley, provide humans with protection against inflammatory polyarthritis, a form of rheumatoid arthritis involving two or more joints.
The findings, presented in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases were drawn from a study of more than 20,000 subjects who kept diet diaries and were arthritis-free when the study began, and focused on subjects who developed inflammatory polyarthritis and similar subjects who remained arthritis-free during the follow-up period. Subjects who consumed the lowest amounts of vitamin C-rich foods were more than three times more likely to develop arthritis than those who consumed the highest amounts.
So, next time parsley appears on your plate as a garnish, recognize its true worth and partake of its abilities to improve your health. As an added bonus, you’ll also enjoy parsley’s legendary ability to cleanse your palate and your breath at the end of your meal.
Chive microgreens have a slightly oniony flavor. That’s because chives are closely related to garlic and onions.
They contain a compound called allicin that can improve heart health by lowering the amount of LDL or “bad” cholesterol in your blood.
Chive microgreens also have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
How To Grow Or Plant Microgreen Onion Leek Or Chive
How to Grow Onion Microgreens the IHG Method
What are the health benefits of chives?
Chives are a green vegetable with a mild onion-like flavor. They are in the Allium genus, which also includes garlic, onions, and leeks. People have cultivated allium vegetables for centuries for their characteristic pungent flavors in cooking and their medicinal properties.
Chives, or Allium schoenoprasum, contain nutrients that are important for sleep and bone health. Some research has also linked the chemicals in chives and other allium vegetables with anticancer effects.
This article provides an overview of chives, including a nutritional breakdown, their possible health benefits, and some ways to incorporate chives into the diet.
Eating chives may help improve a person’s sleep and bone health.
Chives are a nutrient-dense food. This means that they are low in calories but high in beneficial nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
That said, to get a significant amount of these nutrients, a person would have to eat a large quantity of chives. Instead, people often use chives as a garnish. A common serving is about 1 tablespoon (tbsp), or 3 grams.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 1 tbsp of chopped chives provides the following nutrients:
• energy: 0.9 calories
• vitamin K: 6.38 micrograms (mcg), or 5% of the Daily Value (DV)
• vitamin C: 1.74 milligrams (mg), or 2% of the DV
• folate: 3.15 mcg, or 1% of the DV
• vitamin A: 6.43 mcg, or 1% of the DV
• calcium: 2.76 mg, or less than 1% of the DV
• potassium: 8.88 mg, or less than 1% of the DV
Vegetables are excellent sources of healthful nutrients. Chives contain a range of beneficial nutrients that may offer some health benefits, including anticancer effects.
The following sections will discuss the potential health benefits of chives in more detail.
For example, a 2019 review summarizes research that has linked 16 different species of allium vegetables with preventing or positively influencing cancer. The authors highlighted the compounds S‐allyl mercaptocysteine, quercetin, flavonoids, and ajoene for their potential anticancer properties.
One study in 285 women found that garlic and leeks were associated with a reduced risk of developing breast cancer. The authors also suggest, however, that eating high amounts of cooked onion could increase breast cancer risk.
Also, a 2015 review of studies reports that eating allium vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer, particularly gastrointestinal cancer. This is due to their sulfur-containing compounds and antimicrobial effects. Allium vegetables and their components may have effects at various stages of cancer and could affect biological processes that modify a person’s risk.
The authors of the review explain that although allium vegetables may help prevent cancer, more research has looked into the effects of garlic and onion on cancer than those of chives. Researchers therefore need to conduct more studies before they can determine the amount a person needs to eat for this effect, and the relative effectiveness of other interventions.
Chives contain a small amount of choline. Choline is an important nutrient that helps maintain the structure of cellular membranes. Choline also helps with mood, memory, muscle control, and other brain and nervous system functions.
According to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), the adequate intake (AI) of choline is 550 mg per day for adult males and 425 mg per day for adult females.
Chives contain a small amount of choline: 0.16 mg per tbsp. A person would need to eat a high quantity of chives and other foods that contain choline to get the recommended AI.
Research has also linked chives and other allium vegetables with the following benefits for health:
A source of vitamin K
Chives contain vitamin K, which is important for bone health and blood clotting. Other sources of vitamin K include leafy green vegetables, vegetable oils, and fruits including blueberries and figs.
A source of folate
Chives also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids. According to some research, lutein and zeaxanthin accumulate in the retina of the eye to help prevent age-related macular degeneration. This means that eating foods rich in these substances could benefit eyesight.
Some studies into allium vegetables and their organic compounds, such as allicin, suggest a positive relationship with certain health conditions.
For example, one study indicated a potentially positive relationship between garlic and health conditions such as heart disease and high blood sugar. Garlic may also have antitumor and antimicrobial effects.
However, the study was not clear about which compounds are responsible for these effects. Researchers will therefore need to perform additional studies to determine the effectiveness and safety of garlic and other allium vegetables for preventing certain health conditions.
Though no research has connected chives with inflammation, one 2015 study reported that garlic may reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is linked with various health conditions, including heart disease and several cancers.
Chives are not a common source of food allergies, though people with allergies or intolerances to onions or other allium vegetables may also need to avoid chives. People with food allergies may wish to talk to their doctor before adding chives to their diet.
Also, some people may find that eating a lot of chives can cause stomach upset. However, in moderation, most people can safely add chives to their diet.
Chives add a mild onion-like flavoring to dishes. People tend to use chives as a garnish or topping for main meals or salads, though they can also substitute chives for onions in other recipes.
Chives are a common topping for foods such as:
• chicken dishes
Chives are a common member of the allium family of vegetables, alongside garlic and onions.
Research has linked allium vegetables with a range of possible health benefits, including anticancer effects. However, a person would need to eat more than the average serving size of chives to get these health benefits.
Mint leaves are a key ingredient in a good mojito, but they’re good for more than just making cocktails!
In microgreen form, mint offers some real health benefits.
It can help with bad breath, improve brain function, relieve indigestion, and even improve irritable bowel syndrome.
Grow Mint in small spaces hydroponically
Nutritional Breakdown of Mint
But, before I tell you all about the cool benefits of mint, I’m going to give you a nutritional breakdown of this plant so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.
For every two tablespoons of mint, there are:
• 0.12 grams of protein
• 2 calories
• 0.48 grams carbohydrates
• 0.03 grams of fat
• 0.30 grams of fiber.
Plus, mint also contains small amounts of potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and magnesium. Essentially, this plant is both healthy and powerful.
Now that we got that out of the way, here are the 11 main benefits of mint.
Mint is full of a compound known as rosmarinic acid, which scientists have found to be quite effective at helping people with their pesky seasonal allergies. Rosmarinic acid helps to reduce inflammation, and this is why it is so great at tackling congestion, sneezing, and all those other annoying allergy symptoms that none of us have time for.
Feeling a bit under the weather? Incorporate some mint into your diet in order to help with decongestion and to break up phlegm. But, if this winds up not being enough to get you back into tip-top shape, put it in your tea to help get rid of your sore throat.
Indigestion is something that we all deal with but never want to talk about. Fortunately, mint can help with the discomfort and make it more manageable. Mint, and more specifically peppermint, relax the muscles around the intestines, which in turn makes it less likely that the muscles will then spasm and cause indigestion to occur.
Scientists are still trying to figure out the exact reasons behind this, but they have a hunch that it has to do with the menthol that’s in mint.
The reasoning behind why mint helps to alleviate the side effects of irritable bowel syndrome is really similar to how it helps out those people with indigestion.
By relaxing the muscles around the intestines, gas, cramps, and other painful symptoms are significantly lessened. A lot of scientific studies have actually been completed regarding whether or not mint works to help with this medical condition, and it has been concluded that both mint and peppermint do increase the quality of life of those that are afflicted with IBS.
If you are one of those individuals, don’t lose hope just quite yet.
I personally am a huge fan of using mint to help with skin conditions. Creams, oils, and other topical solutions that contain mint are great for a variety of conditions, like acne, scars, rashes, bug bites, etc. Not only does it help to speed up the healing process, but it also is incredibly soothing.
A fun and not very well-known fact: mint has certain properties that help to kill bacteria and prevent it from growing in the first place. So, if you are constantly battling infections, fungus, or other bacteria-related issues, give peppermint oil a try.
One of the best things about mint is that it has a powerful and soothing aroma that helps to calm nausea. Whether you smell it or consume it, mint will help your upset stomach and will lessen your discomfort. I personally make a point of having mints and mint flavored gum around just in case.
Balms, lotions, and oils that have mint are also a great option too, as you can rub it on your forehead or face. Plus, if you’re like me and suffer from the occasional migraine, mint will help out with that as well.
This is another situation where rosmarinic acid once again saves the day, as it helps to treat asthma. By limiting inflammation, mint leaves the body’s airways open and makes it easier for the average individual to breathe.
Or, if you have trouble breathing due to allergies, mint will also be able to help you out by treating allergy related symptoms, just like I mentioned earlier.
While many women love breastfeeding and find it to be very beautiful, it can be really hard on the body, especially on the nipples. Fortunately, mint oil can help to prevent nipples from cracking, drying, or chafing.
Many studies have been conducted that show that mint can actually help to prevent both prostrate and liver cancer. By limiting unhealthy cell reproduction, this plant has been proven to both slow down the spread of cancer and prevent it from beginning in the first place.
While it is by no means a cure for cancer, it may be helpful.
Finally, both mint and peppermint have been found to increase the efficacy of medicines that are used to treat yeast infections. If you’ve ever had to deal with yeast infections, you know firsthand just how great this discovery is.
But, it is important to note that mint has not been found to cure yeast infections all on its own. Instead, it just speeds the recovery process along and allows for any immediate discomfort to go away sooner than normal.
Spice Up Your Life with Mint
Now that you know about all of the health benefits that mint provides, it’s time to go over how you can easily incorporate mint into your current lifestyle.
First, you need to know how to properly prepare mint:
• Use a knife that is sharp, and make sure to be gentle.
• If you use a knife that is too dull, you’ll wind up bruising the plant
• This is something you definitely want to avoid, as it will compromise the potency and flavor
In regards to the types of recipes that you should make, try out some middle eastern dishes, as mint is a common ingredient in most of them. Salads, soups, lamb, and other assorted vegetable dishes go perfectly with this plant, and they’re fairly easy to prepare, too.
Or, if you would like something even easier and more refreshing, put together a quick limeade. Crush the mint, mix it in with the drink, and make sure to include enough ice cubes. I personally am addicted to this drink, and I know you’ll love it too.
You can spice things up even more by putting a spin on traditional salsa and instead making it out of fruit. Use pita chips instead of tortilla chips, and garnish it with mint in order to give it the extra bite and flavor that it needs.
Finally, if you want to keep things as simple as possible, mix mint into your water in order to make it extra refreshing. I know individuals that drink this beverage every day, and they’re obsessed with it to say the least.
The Possible Risks of Eating Mint
While I am a huge supporter of mint and believe that everyone should use it as a natural approach to treating medical issues, it’s important to keep in mind that there are potential negative health benefits involved with this plant.
• For instance, if you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease, otherwise known as GERD, do not use mint in order to treat your digestive issues, as it will only irritate your body and make the condition worse.
• Additionally, if you consume too much peppermint oil, it can wind up being toxic. Plus, pure menthol is actually highly poisonous, and should never be consumed under any circumstances.
• Avoid using mint essential oils on children, no matter how appealing it may be. Applying these topically to kids can actually cause them to stop breathing, or to have intense spasms.
• If you have gallstones and are using mint, proceed with caution. This plant may exacerbate your condition.
• Finally, if you are ever unsure about whether or not mint will harm you in the long run, talk to your health care provider. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and you don’t want this plant making your medical condition(s) worse.
Whether you have one of the specific medical conditions that I mentioned, or you just want to boost your overall health, consuming mint can definitely be worth looking into. I urge you to try out a few of the tricks that I mentioned, and I look forward to hearing whether or not they’re as successful for you as they have been for me.
I hope that you liked my list of the major benefits of mint and that you learned a new trick or two! As always, make sure to let me know which benefit you like most in the comments below. Or, if you have a personal favorite that didn’t make it onto my list, let me know about that as well!
Dill microgreens can help reduce the severity of pain associated with menstruation. It also has a sedating effect that can help if you have trouble getting to sleep.
In fact, it’s said that Roman soldiers used to apply dill oil to themselves before going in to battle to reduce stress and nervousness.
How to Grow Dill Microgreens
Many use dill weed to boost nutrition and wellness
Dill (Anethum graveolens), or dill weed, is an easy-to-find and commonly used annual herb that is part of the celery (Apiaceae) family. Dill weed is native to the Mediterranean and southern Russia but can be grown in most parts of the world, including in North America.
The feathery green is often added to salads or soups, or used as a garnish. Some people also use dill to gain certain health benefits.
Dill is packed with micronutrients that provide health benefits. For example, a 100-gram serving of dill boosts your vitamin A intake. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps you to maintain healthy vision, skin, immune function, growth, and reproductive health. You’ll also get a significant boost of vitamin C, an important antioxidant that helps your body to resist infection.
However, the amount of dill you consume makes a difference. You might not consume a full 100-gram serving (that’s about 2/3 cup). Many people use a much smaller amount and will get smaller doses of micronutrients.
Dill has been used for centuries in traditional Asian and Ayurvedic medicine. Currently, people use dill for certain medicinal purposes, including:
• Gastrointestinal disorders
• Loss of appetite
• Kidney disease
• Fever and colds
• Infectious disease
• Liver and gallbladder complaints
• Urinary tract disorders
• Renal colic
• Genital ulcers
• Insomnia and other sleep disorders
There is not enough evidence to rate the effectiveness of dill in humans for these uses.
Research studies have suggested that dill may have an anti-diabetic effect, with authors of one review stating, “It can be suggested for the management of diabetic patients.” More studies are needed to confirm this benefit.
There are also some studies suggesting that dill may help you manage cholesterol. But other studies have shown that dill has no effect, so it is unclear if there is enough evidence to support this benefit.
Lastly, scientists are investigating whether or not dill may have an effect on metabolic syndrome. One 12-week study found that dill extract had a beneficial effect on triglyceride levels but no effect on waist circumference, blood pressure, and fasting blood sugar.
A 100-gram serving of fresh, raw garden dill provides about 43 calories. A serving of the herb also provides 3.5 grams of protein and just over 1 gram of fat. Two-thirds cup of dill also provides 7 grams of carbohydrate, and about 2 grams of fiber, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Vitamins in dill include vitamin A (7717 IU, or 154% of your daily recommended intake), vitamin C (85 mg, or 142% of your daily recommended intake), folate (about 38 percent of your recommended daily intake) and riboflavin (17% of your recommended intake). You’ll also get small amounts of thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid.
Minerals in dill include calcium (208 mg), iron (6.6 mg), magnesium (55 mg), phosphorus (66 mg), potassium (738 mg), manganese (1.3 mg), and small amounts of sodium, zinc, and copper.
Selection, Preparation, and Storage
You’ll find dill in the produce section of most grocery stores all year long. When buying fresh dill, look for fresh, green feathery fronds that have been freshly cut. When you get it home, wrap it loosely in a paper towel, place it in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for a day or two.
Dill does not stay fresh for a long time.
You may also find dried dill in the spice section of your market. Dried dill lasts much longer than the fresh variety.
Dill has a fresh, grassy taste that some food experts describe as a combination of fennel, anise, and celery. Many people are familiar with the taste of dill pickles, which have a much more intense flavor that combines salt, vinegar, and dill. Dill, alone, has a more delicate taste.
Possible Side Effects
According to researchers, dill is generally safe, but in rare situations, it may lead to allergic reactions, vomiting, diarrhea, oral pruritus, urticaria tongue, and throat swelling. People who are allergic to carrots may experience an allergic reaction to dill.
There are certain situations when you may want to be careful about using dill as a medicine. It is not recommended that you use dill as a medicine during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Using dill on your skin may cause irritation, and drinking dill juice may make you more sensitive to the sun.
Lastly, people with diabetes, who are taking lithium, and those undergoing surgery within two weeks should talk to their healthcare provider before using dill as a medicine.
Fennel in microgreen form contains nine essential amino acids, which are proteins necessary to repair and build muscles.
So adding some fennel microgreens to your diet can be a great choice after a particularly strenuous workout or if you’re a bodybuilder.
Although it can help even people who aren’t working out to repair damaged tissue.
Fennel Microgreens (And a Story)
How to Grow IHG Fennel Microgreens (With Discussion on Methods)
Like many of its fellow spices, fennel contains its own unique combination of phytonutrients—including the flavonoids rutin, quercitin, and various kaempferol glycosides—that give it strong antioxidant activity. The phytonutrients in fennel extracts compare favorably in research studies to BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), a potentially toxic antioxidant commonly added to processed foods.
The most fascinating phytonutrient compound in fennel, however, may be anethole—the primary component of its volatile oil. In animal studies, the anethole in fennel has repeatedly been shown to reduce inflammation and to help prevent the occurrence of cancer. Researchers have also proposed a biological mechanism that may explain these anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. This mechanism involves the shutting down of a intercellular signaling system called tumor necrosis factor (or TNF)-mediated signaling. By shutting down this signaling process, the anethole in fennel prevents activation of a potentially strong gene-altering and inflammation-triggering molecule called NF-kappaB. The volatile oil has also been shown to be able to protect the liver of experimental animals from toxic chemical injury.
In addition to its unusual phytonutrients, fennel bulb is an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is the body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant, able to neutralize free radicals in all aqueous environments of the body. If left unchecked, these free radicals cause cellular damage that results in the pain and joint deterioration that occurs in conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
The vitamin C found in fennel bulb is directly antimicrobial and is also needed for the proper function of the immune system.
As a very good source of fiber, fennel bulb may help to reduce elevated cholesterol levels. And since fiber also removes potentially carcinogenic toxins from the colon, fennel bulb may also be useful in preventing colon cancer. In addition to its fiber, fennel is a very good source of folate, a B vitamin that is necessary for the conversion of a dangerous molecule called homocysteine into other, benign molecules. At high levels, homocysteine, which can directly damage blood vessel walls, is considered a significant risk factor for heart attack or stroke. Fennel is also a very good source of potassium, a mineral that helps lower high blood pressure, another risk factor for stroke and heart attack.
• Watercress microgreens are packed full of all kinds of nutrients. Need vitamin C? Watercress contains more than oranges.
As well as more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, and more folate than bananas.
And since microgreens are so low in calories, you’re getting a lot more essential nutrition without potentially putting on extra weight.
How to Grow Cress Microgreens Fast and Easy
How to Grow Cress Microgreens – Full Walkthrough – On The Grow
10 Impressive Health Benefits of Watercress
Watercress is an often overlooked leafy green that packs a powerful nutrient punch.
Its small, round leaves and edible stems have a peppery, slightly spicy flavor.
Watercress is part of the Brassicaceae family of vegetables, which also includes kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbage (1Trusted Source).
Once considered a weed, it was first cultivated in the UK in the early 1800s but is now grown in watery beds throughout the world.
Here are 10 impressive health benefits of watercress.
Watercress is low in calories but packs a vast array of nutrients.
Nutrient density is a measure of the nutrients a food contains in relation to how many calories it provides. Therefore, watercress is an extremely nutrient-dense food.
In fact, it’s ranked number one on the US Centers for Disease Control’s Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables list (2Trusted Source).
One cup (34 grams) of watercress contains the following (3):
• Calories: 4
• Carbs: 0.4 grams
• Protein: 0.8 grams
• Fat: 0 grams
• Fiber: 0.2 grams
• Vitamin A: 22% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
• Vitamin C: 24% of the RDI
• Vitamin K: 106% of the RDI
• Calcium: 4% of the RDI
• Manganese: 4% of the RDI
As you can see, one cup (34 grams) of watercress provides over 100% of the RDI for vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin necessary for blood clotting and healthy bones (4).
Watercress also contains small amounts of vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and copper (3).
Watercress boasts many important vitamins and minerals, including over 100% of the RDI for vitamin K.
Watercress is packed with plant compounds called antioxidants that protect against cell damage caused by free radicals, which are harmful molecules that lead to oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress has been associated with several chronic illnesses including diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease (5Trusted Source).
Fortunately, diets high in antioxidant-rich foods like watercress can help protect against oxidative stress, which may lower your risk of these diseases.
One study on the antioxidant compounds in 12 different cruciferous vegetables found over 40 unique flavonoids, a type of plant chemical, in watercress (1Trusted Source).
In fact, watercress outperformed all other vegetables in this study in terms of total amount of phenols and the ability to neutralize free radicals (1Trusted Source).
Watercress is extremely high in antioxidants, which may help prevent chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Because watercress is high in phytochemicals, it may reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancer.
Watercress and other cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates, which are activated to compounds called isothiocyanates when they’re cut with a knife or chewed (8Trusted Source).
These compounds protect against cancer by safeguarding healthy cells from damage, inactivating carcinogenic chemicals and blocking the growth and spread of tumors (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).
Additionally, research demonstrates that the isothiocyanates and sulforaphane found in watercress suppress the growth of breast cancer cells (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).
Watercress contains potent anticancer compounds called isothiocyanates that have been shown to ward off several types of cancer.
Eating watercress may be beneficial for heart health in several different ways.
Watercress Is a Cruciferous Vegetable
Watercress is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables. A diet high in cruciferous vegetables may benefit heart health.
A review of studies in over 500,000 individuals linked eating cruciferous vegetables to a 16% reduced risk of heart disease (18Trusted Source).
Antioxidants Improve Heart Health
Watercress contains the antioxidants beta carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein. Low levels of these carotenoids are associated with heart disease and high blood pressure (19Trusted Source).
Studies have shown that high levels of carotenoids not only protect against the development of heart disease but also lower your risk of heart attack and strokes (20Trusted Source).
Dietary Nitrates Boost Blood Vessel Health
Watercress also contains dietary nitrates, which boost blood vessel health by reducing inflammation and decreasing the stiffness and thickness of your blood vessels (21Trusted Source).
Dietary nitrates have also been shown to lower blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide in your blood (22Trusted Source).
Watercress May Lower Cholesterol
Furthermore, watercress may help lower cholesterol, which can improve heart health.
In a 10-day study in rats with high cholesterol, treatment with watercress extract lowered total cholesterol by 34% and “bad” LDL cholesterol by 53% (23Trusted Source).
Watercress has many potential benefits for heart health, including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Diets high in cruciferous vegetables are linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
A balanced diet high in nutrient-dense vegetables is correlated with a positive effect on bone health (24Trusted Source).
Additionally, one cup (34 grams) of watercress provides more than 100% of the RDI for vitamin K (3).
In one study, people with the highest intake of vitamin K were 35% less likely to experience a hip fracture than people with the lowest intake (26Trusted Source).
Watercress contains many nutrients important for bone health, including over 100% of the RDI for vitamin K.
Watercress contains 15 mg of vitamin C per cup (34 grams), which is 20% of the RDI for women and 17% for men (3).
Vitamin C boosts your immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells that fight infections (28Trusted Source).
Watercress is a good source of vitamin C, which promotes a healthy immune system and reduces your risk of infection.
Though it hasn’t been studied specifically, watercress may have benefits for weight management as well.
It’s an extremely nutrient-dense food — one cup (34 grams) contains only four calories but provides several important nutrients (3).
If you’re trying to lose weight, adding this nutritious, low-calorie vegetable to your diet is certainly worth a try.
Watercress is a highly nutritious vegetable that can help fill you up for very few calories, which may aid weight loss.
Vegetables in the Brassicaceae family contain high levels of dietary nitrates (30Trusted Source).
They relax your blood vessels and increase the amount of nitric oxide in your blood, which may improve exercise performance (31Trusted Source).
What’s more, dietary nitrate lowers resting blood pressure and reduces the amount of oxygen needed during exercise, which may increase exercise tolerance (32Trusted Source).
Several studies on dietary nitrates from beets and other vegetables have demonstrated improved exercise performance in athletes (31Trusted Source).
However, a small study in healthy individuals taking 100 grams of watercress daily for seven days found that watercress increased carbon dioxide production during exercise, which may have a negative impact on performance (33Trusted Source).
While a considerable amount of research indicates that dietary nitrates may enhance exercise performance, conclusive evidence that watercress improves athletic performance is lacking.
Watercress is a source of dietary nitrates, which have been linked to improved athletic performance. However, there are currently no studies on watercress that confirm these beneficial effects.
Watercress contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidant compounds in the carotenoid family.
Lutein and zeaxanthin have also been linked to a lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts (34Trusted Source).
Furthermore, the vitamin C in watercress is associated with a lower risk of developing cataracts as well (35Trusted Source).
Watercress contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are essential for eye health. Watercress is also a good source of vitamin C, which may protect against cataracts.
Watercress can be used in a wide variety of dishes.
However, to get the most benefits from its active antioxidant compounds, it’s best eaten raw or lightly steamed (36Trusted Source).
Here are some easy ways to add watercress to your diet:
• Sprinkle it on your salad.
• Stir it into your soup near the end of cooking.
• Use it to replace lettuce in a sandwich.
• Turn it into pesto by blending it with garlic and olive oil.
• Serve it with eggs.
• Use it to top any dish.
Watercress is a versatile addition to your meal routine. Eat it in a salad, soup or sandwich or use it to garnish any dish.
The Bottom Line
Watercress is a powerhouse vegetable that packs several important nutrients but is extremely low in calories.
It contains a plethora of antioxidants, which may lower your risk of heart disease and several types of cancer.
It’s also a good source of minerals that protect your bones.
Additionally, watercress makes a delicious addition to any meal and is a nice change from the usual lettuce or spinach.
Though watercress is hardly one of the most popular vegetables, its nutrition profile makes it a stellar addition to your diet.