What’s all the buzz about microgreens? They may have started out as attractive garnishes in trendy restaurants, but they’ve since come a long way!
Microgreens are a nutrient dense food packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and even proteins. See links, below, for recent scientific research that is confirming it.
Microgreens are an easy way to get a lot of goodness in a small, tasty package. Most nutritionists agree that the average adult needs to eat four to five cups of vegetables daily. Some of us do manage to eat our quota of vegetables but most of those are pre-packed, pre-cooked, filled with preservatives and grown using copious amounts of fertilizers and pesticides.
Very few people get the necessary benefits that come from wholesome, organic, fresh picked produce. Even farmer’s markets may bring produce in from hundreds of miles away. Our pick, pack and sell the same day policy means you’re getting the freshest product with the most nutrients available.
Why is that important? Studies have long shown the critical importance of nutrients in a balanced diet.
A Definitive U.S. Government/university Study
In July/August of 2012 The U.S. Department of Agriculture in collaboration with University of Maryland published a study on microgreens nutrition. Here is the journal abstract. And here is the USDA’s AgResearch article summarizing the study: “Specialty Greens Pack A Nutritional Punch.”
WebMD quoted a lead scientist: “The microgreens were four- to 40-fold more concentrated with nutrients than their mature counterparts,” says researcher Qin Wang, PhD, assistant professor at the University of Maryland in College Park. “When we first got the results we had to rush to double and triple check them.” As of this writing in December, 2013 it’s one of only two formal studies of microgreen nutrition that have been done. After studying twenty-five different microgreens they found that for four groups of vitamins including vitamins C, E and beta carotene, the microgreens had four to six times the nutrients than mature leaves of the same plant.
NPR featured a blog article about microgreens and cited the study. They quoted Texas A&M professor Bhimu Patil as agreeing that “microgreens may potentially have higher levels of nutrients than mature vegetables.” But he says more studies are needed to compare the two side by side. “This is a very good start, but there can be a lot of variation in nutrients depending on where you grow it, when you harvest, and the soil medium” Well, of course! The same holds for growing any vegetable, as soil characteristics, sunlight and water are universal deciding factors in its nutrition. But at last, a controlled experiment by government and academic scientists has demonstrated the value of these little plants.
We will continue to bring you the latest information on nutritional studies as we find them. Check back with us often!
US Department of Agriculture’s AgResearch Magazine article summarizes their joint study with The University of Maryland: “Specialty Greens Pack A Nutritional Punch” Or download the magazine-style PDF version here.
Abstract from The Journal of Agricultural and Food Industry: Assessment of Vitamin and Carotenoid Concentrations of Emerging Food Products: Edible Microgreens. Web publication date 7/18/2012. Journal publication date 8/8/2012.
Abstract from The Journal of Agricultural and Food Industry: Profiling Polyphenols in Five Brassica Species Microgreens by UHPLC-PDA-ESI/HRMS. Web publication date 7/18/2012. Journal publication date 11/20/2013.
WebMD: What Are Phytonutrients?