What is so special about microgreens?

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What is so special about microgreens?

Key Takeaways

  • Microgreens have a concentrated nutrient content, with higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants compared to mature greens.
  • Microgreens have potential health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, improving diabetes management, and offering protection against certain types of cancer.
  • Microgreens can be easily grown at home by following a step-by-step guide, allowing for fresh microgreens to be readily available.

Microgreens have gained popularity in recent years as a superfood due to their impressive nutrient profile and potential health benefits. These tiny, young plants are harvested when they are just a few inches tall, after the cotyledon leaves have sprouted. Despite their small size, microgreens pack a powerful punch when it comes to nutrition.

Microgreens are known for their high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a valuable addition to a healthy diet. They are rich in potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and copper, which are essential minerals for various bodily functions. Additionally, microgreens contain beneficial plant compounds like polyphenols and antioxidants, which have been linked to numerous health benefits.

Concentrated Nutrients

One of the key reasons microgreens are special is their concentrated nutrient content. Research has shown that microgreens often have higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants compared to their mature counterparts. In fact, some studies have found that microgreens can have up to nine times higher nutrient levels than mature greens.

This means that by consuming a small amount of microgreens, you can get a significant boost of essential nutrients. These concentrated nutrients can support overall health and well-being, and may help fill nutrient gaps in the diet.

Potential Health Benefits

The nutrient density of microgreens contributes to their potential health benefits. While more research is needed to make strong conclusions, studies have shown promising results regarding the positive effects of microgreens on various health conditions:

1. Heart Health

Microgreens may help reduce the risk of heart disease. They contain polyphenols, which are plant compounds that have been associated with improved cardiovascular health. These polyphenols can lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and improve cholesterol levels, all of which contribute to a healthier heart.

2. Diabetes Management

Managing type 2 diabetes can be challenging, but microgreens may offer some assistance. Research suggests that microgreens can improve insulin resistance, a key factor in type 2 diabetes. By consuming microgreens regularly, individuals with diabetes may experience better blood sugar control.

3. Cancer Prevention

Certain microgreens, such as those from the Brassicaceae family, have been found to have cancer-fighting properties. These microgreens contain compounds known as glucosinolates, which have been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. While more research is needed, incorporating microgreens into your diet may offer some protection against certain types of cancer.

4. Eye Health

Microgreens rich in lutein, such as spinach and broccoli microgreens, can support vision and prevent age-related macular degeneration. Lutein is a carotenoid that acts as an antioxidant in the eyes, protecting them from damage caused by free radicals.

5. Anemia Prevention

Many microgreens are rich in iron, making them a valuable addition to the diet for individuals at risk of anemia. Iron is an essential mineral for the production of red blood cells, and consuming iron-rich foods can help prevent iron deficiency anemia.

Growing Microgreens at Home

If you’re interested in enjoying the benefits of microgreens, you can even grow them at home. It’s a simple and rewarding process that allows you to have fresh microgreens at your fingertips. Here’s a step-by-step guide to growing microgreens:

  1. Choose the right container: Use shallow trays or containers with drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.
  2. Select the right soil: Use a lightweight and sterile potting mix or seed-starting mix for optimal growth.
  3. Sow the seeds: Scatter the seeds evenly over the soil surface, ensuring they are not too crowded.
  4. Cover the seeds: Lightly sprinkle a thin layer of soil or vermiculite over the seeds to provide moisture and darkness for germination.
  5. Water gently: Water the soil evenly using a spray bottle or a watering can with a fine rose attachment to avoid dislodging the seeds.
  6. Provide the right conditions: Place the container in a warm location with indirect sunlight or under grow lights. Maintain a temperature between 60-75°F (15-24°C).
  7. Keep the soil moist: Check the moisture level regularly and mist the soil if it starts to dry out. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to fungal diseases.
  8. Wait for germination: Depending on the variety, microgreens usually germinate within 2-7 days. Keep them covered until the seeds have sprouted.
  9. Uncover and expose to light: Once the seeds have sprouted, remove the cover and place the container in a location with bright, indirect sunlight or under grow lights.
  10. Harvest at the right time: Microgreens are typically ready to harvest when they have developed their first set of true leaves. This usually takes around 7-21 days, depending on the variety.
  11. Harvest and enjoy: Use scissors to cut the microgreens just above the soil surface. Rinse and pat them dry before consuming. Enjoy them in salads, sandwiches, or as a garnish.

Remember to practice good hygiene and cleanliness throughout the growing process to prevent contamination and ensure food safety.


Microgreens are not only visually appealing and flavorful, but they also offer a wide range of health benefits. With their concentrated nutrient content and potential protective properties against heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other conditions, microgreens are truly special. Whether you choose to grow them at home or purchase them from a store, incorporating microgreens into your diet can be a simple and effective way to enhance your overall health and well-being.


Q: What makes microgreens so special?

Microgreens are packed with concentrated nutrients, offer a wide range of flavors and textures, have numerous culinary applications, and are environmentally friendly to cultivate.

Q: What nutritional value do microgreens have?

Microgreens contain high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They often have higher nutrient levels compared to mature vegetables, making them a nutritious addition to any diet.

Q: How can microgreens be incorporated into meals?

Microgreens offer a variety of flavors and textures that can enhance salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and more. They can be used as a garnish, mixed into dishes, or even used as a base for creative culinary presentations.

Q: What are the environmental advantages of microgreens?

Microgreens require less water, space, and resources compared to traditional farming methods. Cultivating microgreens can contribute to reducing the carbon footprint and promote sustainable food production.

Q: How easy is it to grow microgreens at home?

Growing microgreens at home is simple and convenient. They have a short growing cycle and can be grown in minimal space, making it accessible for beginners. Tips for starting your own microgreen garden can be found online or through gardening resources.