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How Microgreens Can Improve Your Health (Plus How To Grow Them Yourself)

by DailyHealthPost Editorial

microgreens

Microgreens are full of flavor and nutrients. They have a higher concentration of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than full sized vegetables. Impressive, considering you can grow them in a window sill.

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What Are Microgreens?

Microgreens are seedlings of regular vegetables, harvested and enjoyed before the plant grows into a mature “crop”. Microgreens have up to 40 times the nutrient density of their full-size counterparts. That includes important nutrients like folate, vitamin K and vitamin A. (1

Microgreens are easy to cultivate and inexpensive to grow because they are ready for harvest within 14 days of planting. Grow them from your favorite herbs and vegetables and use them as a garnish or in salads. 

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Meet Your Microgreen Varieties

Some of the most popular microgreen herbs include; 

  • Arugula
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Garden cress
  • Basil
  • Mustard greens
  • Fennel 
  • Watercress

If you prefer regular vegetables, try; 

  • Chard
  • Cabbage
  • Beets
  • Sunflower
  • Kale
  • Parsley
  • Dill
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Chia
  • Amaranth
  • Radish 
  • Broccoli 

Why Your Body Loves Microgreens

They’re Bursting with Polyphenols which protect against the harmful effects of free radicals. Research says they can lower your risk of Alzheimer’s, cancer, and heart disease. This is especially true for the Brassica family of microgreens (cabbage, kohlrabi and others). (2)

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Microgreens can boost heart health. Many people are able to stave off heart problems by adding microgreens to their plate. The effects of a unhealthy diet can be balanced out to some degree by adding some microgreens to your meals. (3)

Reduce Inflammation and the Risk of Chronic Illness. Many chronic diseases are linked to elevated inflammation levels in the body. Microgreens can reduce your chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and obesity. (4)

How to Incorporate Microgreens into Your Existing Diet 

There are many ways to enjoy microgreens – smoothies, salads, sandwich toppers, and as a side dish. You can dress them up with sweet and tangy sauces and make your microgreens the highlight of your meal.

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Many retailers also sell kits to help you grow your own. You can purchase a variety pack containing different microgreens or select your favorite single packs. 

How to Grow Your Own Microgreens

You will need seedling trays that provide you around an inch of depth – fill these trays with potting soil. Spread your seeds over the soil, keeping them close together.

  1. Gently bury the seeds and lightly spritz water using a spray bottle. Ensure your seedlings have enough sunlight – or purchase a grow lamp and place the trays under that. 
  2. Water your trays with the spray bottle daily. Ensure the soil is never soggy, but never dry. 
  3. After around 7 – 14 days, depending on your crop, your microgreens will be 1 – 3 inches in height, ready for harvest. 

Microgreens can be grown year-round, anywhere. They’re easy and inexpensive to incorporate into your diet, whether you are purchasing them or growing them. 

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