Microgreens pack a potent nutritional punch

MicroGreensNutritionalPunchIt turns out that those baby lettuce leaves and greens that are so popular and convenient today are also more nutrient-rich than the ‘grownups.’

Acres USA reports that the first scientific analysis of nutrient levels in edible microgreens has found that many of those trendy seedlings of green vegetables and herbs have more vitamins and healthful nutrients than their fully-grown counterparts. A report on the research was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Researchers found that microgreens, like living sprouts, generally have higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals and carotenoids (antioxidants important for vitamin A formation) than mature plants.

The difference between sprouts and microgreens is that sprouts are consumed with roots and seeds after about 5 days, and microgreens are leaves and stems grown to around three inches and harvested approximately 14 days from germination.

Researchers also found wide variations in nutrient levels in the plants tested in the study.

Red cabbage microgreens, for instance, had the highest concentration of vitamin C, while green daikon radish microgreens had the most vitamin E. Favorite nutritional microgreens include chard, mustard, kale and beet greens, countless varieties of lettuce, cilantro, parsley, arugula, amaranth, basil, celery and many others. Just about any baby vegetable–especially eaten raw– can give you a mini-powerhouse of nutritional food.

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