Tiny Microgreens Packed With Nutrients
Microgreens Have Up to 40 Times More Vital Nutrients Than Mature Plants
Researchers found microgreens like red cabbage, cilantro, and daikon radish contain up to 40 times higher levels of vital nutrients than their mature counterparts.
Microgreens are young seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs harvested less than 14 days after germination. They are usually about 1-3 inches long and come in a rainbow of colors, which has made them popular in recent years as garnishes with chefs.
Although nutritional claims about microgreens abound on the Internet, this study is the first scientific evaluation of their nutritional content. Researchers say they were astonished by the results.
“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.”
Microgreens Pack Nutritional Punch
Researchers evaluated levels of four groups of vital nutrients, including vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and beta-carotene, in 25 different commercially grown microgreens. The results are published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin E levels were highest among red cabbage, garnet amaranth, and green daikon radish microgreens.
Cilantro microgreens were richest in terms of lutein and beta-carotene.