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Best Microgreens to Eat for Healthy Aging [Dietitian Approved]

The Best Microgreens to eat pack a punch when it comes to Nutrition!

These tiny seedlings are high in Antioxidants which fight Inflammation and Chronic Disease. Read on to learn about these nutrient dense greens that support Healthy Aging!

Microgreens Explained

Microgreens are vegetables in their tiny sprout form. There are 60 different varieties! Popular examples include Broccoli, Arugula, and Sunflower.

They are ready to harvest after they get their first leaves. Because of this, they contain all the nutrients they need to grow into a mature plant!

Best Microgreens to Eat; picture of packaged Microgreens

Health Benefits

Microgreens are a great source of Vitamins and Minerals, including Antioxidants! Foods containing Antioxidants reduce Chronic Inflammation and decrease your risk of diseases like Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Dementia.

These rich sources of Vitamins and Minerals also benefit your immune system, which decreases your risk of getting sick.

Learn more about anti-inflammatory foods in the prevention of chronic disease in this previous Age-Defying Dietitian blog post.

More Nutrients than Vegetables!

Vegetables are heavy hitters when it comes to fighting Inflammation! As mentioned above, Microgreens are tiny versions of these Inflammation- fighting plants.

A 2018 literature review “The Science behind Microgreens as an Exciting New Food for the 21st Century” reported these tiny greens may contain up to 40 times the nutrients of “true leaves” on a mature vegetable plant!

A serving of Microgreens provides similar nutritional benefits than mature Vegetables!

Best Microgreens to Eat; pictured on top of salad

Risks

One concern is the risk of Foodborne Illness, however this is more associated with Sprouts. These two types of plants are often confused.

Sprouts are harvested underneath the soil. This type of harvesting increases the risk of contamination from bacteria. Microgreens are harvested above the soil.

Therefore, there is less of a risk of the greens being contaminated by bacteria and less of a chance for them to make you sick.  

Recommendation: Rinse with water prior to eating.

What are the Best Microgreens to eat?

Different varieties vary slightly in their nutritional content. The majority are rich in Vitamins and Minerals. Most contain potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium and copper, along with antioxidants. Pea, Radish, and Sunflower Shoots also contain amino acids, the building blocks of Protein.

Broccoli contains more than 550% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Antioxidants you need, which makes these greens the front runner when it comes to Nutrition.

Recommended Daily Allowances apply to vitamins and minerals from food and supplements. These guidelines inform you of how much of a specific nutrient your body needs per day. Following the Recommended Dietary Allowances ensures your body gets everything it needs.

The greens below are both nutritious and flavorful. They compliment many traditional dishes. Check out different varieties to determine which ones you enjoy!

  • Broccoli
  • Sunflower Shoots
  • Radish
  • Arugula
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Pea Shoots
  • Red Cabbage
Best Microgreens to Eat; Microgreens in Palm of hand

How to Add to your Diet

There are many ways to add these nutritious greens to your diet. Microgreens don’t just add extra nutrients to your meal.

They also add variety, texture, and a lot of flavor! The flavor can help decrease condiments and dressings that tend to be higher in Fat and Sodium.

  • Blend into your favorite smoothies or protein shakes
  • Garnish soup, pasta, and dips
  • Add to sandwiches and wraps for added texture
  • Jazz up your eggs or omelet
  • Toss them into salads; radishes
Woman eating foods topped with Microgreens

Food Pairings

Below are suggested food pairings from Jaquelyn Pelkey of First Leaves LLC:

  • Broccoli or Cauliflower Microgreens on Pizza
  • Sunflower Shoots mixed with Cottage Cheese
  • Arugla on Salads, Sandwiches, Eggs, Omelets, Avocado Toast, Tacos
  • Radish Microgreens for Salads, Wraps, Sandwiches
  • Cilantro on Tacos, Mexican dishes, Eggs
  • Basil on Pasta, Italian dishes

Pelkey advises not to cook with Microgreens since their flavor is more intense than their mature counterparts. In addition, cooking decreases their nutrients. She recommends using them liberally as a topping on your favorite foods!

Best Microgreens to Eat; picture of Omelet topped with Microgreens

Where to Purchase

You can typically find Microgreens at smaller health food stores. Find the freshest greens at your local Farmers’ Market!

Growers like First Leaves LLC offer subscription services to have them delivered right to your front door!

These growers typically deliver within a 20-25 mile radius to ensure freshness of their greens. First Leaves LLC is located in Edwardsville, Illinois.

Best Microgreens to Eat; picture of Microgreen Display at grocery store

Pricing

These tiny vegetable greens can be expensive since they are labor intensive to grow. Typically they range in price from $3 to $6 per ounce. I purchase about 3-4 ounces for my husband and I per week.

Learn to Grow your Own

Microgreens are easy to grow at home. They do well in most climates, and don’t require much space.

The best part of growing is that they have a fairly quick turnaround. Just a few weeks after planting the seeds, they can be harvested and enjoyed!

A Complete Step by Step How to Beginners Guide for Growing Microgreens is great resource for beginners!

Takeaways

Microgreens are nutritious and flavorful. They also contain Antioxidants that reduce Inflammation and Chronic Disease.

They offer similar dietary benefits, however broccoli appears to pack the most nutrients!

These tiny seedlings are a great way to improve your diet, and can be a good vegetable substitute for picky eaters.

In addition to their nutritional benefits, Microgreens also add more flavor and texture to foods.

Add Microgreens to your favorite dishes. They’ll supercharge your diet!

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