The best microgreens to eat are plentiful! These tiny seedlings are packed full of antioxidants that fight inflammation and chronic disease.
Read on to learn about the best microgreens for health and healthy aging!
What are Microgreens?
Microgreens are vegetables in their tiny sprout form. There are 60 different varieties! Popular examples include broccoli, arugula, and sunflowers.
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!
Microgreens are a great source of vitamins and minerals, including antioxidants!
Foods containing antioxidants reduce chronic inflammation and decrease your risk of chronic 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.
You can learn more about anti-inflammatory foods in this previous Age-Defying Dietitian blog post, “Best Anti-Inflammatory Salad Kits for Healthy Aging“.
More Nutrients than Vegetables!
Most of us know vegetables are super healthy, however, could microgreens be even healthier? Yes, microgreens are healthier than vegetables!
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!
Microgreens vs Sprouts
Sprouts and microgreens are often confused. The difference between the two lies in their growing methods
Sprouts are harvested underneath the soil which may increase the risk of contamination from bacteria. Foodborne illness is often associated with sprouts.
Microgreens are harvested above the soil. Therefore, there is less of a risk of contamination by bacteria and a low risk of illness.
To further minimize risk, you should rinse your microgreens prior to eating them.
What are the Best Microgreens to Eat?
Different varieties vary slightly in their nutritional content.
Most microgreens provide potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and copper, along with antioxidants.
Pea, radish, and sunflower shoots also contain amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
When it comes to nutrition, broccoli is the best microgreen! It contains more than 550% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of antioxidants!
In addition, broccoli microgreens provide high levels of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium, iron, and potassium.
10 Healthiest Microgreens
- Red Cabbage
Microgreens in 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. This added flavor may help decrease condiments and dressings that are higher in fat and sodium.
How to use Microgreens
- 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.
Check out this Age-Defying Dietitian recipe for a “Tropical Microgreens Smoothie“.
Suggested Microgreen Food Pairings
- Broccoli or cauliflower microgreens on pizza
- Sunflower shoots mixed with cottage cheese
- Arugula microgreens on salads, sandwiches, eggs, omelets, avocado toast, & tacos
- Radish microgreens for salads, wraps, & sandwiches
- Cilantro on tacos, Mexican dishes, & eggs
- Basil on pasta, pizza, and other Italian dishes
Can you Cook with Microgreens?
It isn’t recommended to cook with microgreens since their flavor is more intense than vegetables. In addition, cooking decreases their nutrients.
Enjoy microgreens liberally as a topping or garnish on your favorite foods!
How to Store Microgreens
After you purchase microgreens, they tend to last about 7-10 days in the refrigerator.
It is best to store your greens in a sealed container or plastic bag to ensure freshness.
Microgreens can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Where to Buy Microgreens
You can typically find microgreens at smaller health food stores. The freshest greens tend to be at your local farmers’ market!
Microgreen subscription services are also available for delivery. Growers typically deliver within a 20-25 mile radius to ensure the freshness of their greens.
Search online by entering “microgreens near me” in the search bar.
Growing microgreens is a labor-intensive process, which can make them expensive.
Your direct cost will vary, however, on average microgreens cost anywhere from 3 to 6 dollars per ounce. An ounce will provide about 4-5 servings.
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 a great book for beginners! See the Amazon link below.
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.
Microgreens will supercharge your diet!
Hungry for More?
Interested in more information on how your diet can support you in healthy aging?
Check out the Age-Defying Dietitian’s blog for more healthy aging content!
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*Please note this blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
Kathryn is a Registered Dietitian and a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. She is also certified through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Weight Management. She has 20+ years of nutrition experience working in a variety of healthcare settings. Her passion is to provide evidence-based nutrition information that supports vitality and longevity!