Microgreen Fact Sheets

Microgreens: Summary of Nutritional Properties and Health Benefits

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Microgreens: Summary of Nutritional Properties and Health Benefits

Overview


Microgreens are small immature plants that are harvested at an early stage of growth, usually between 7 and 21 days after germination. These tiny vegetables and herbs are a growing trend in the culinary and nutrition industry due to their intense flavors and impressive concentration of nutrients.

There are several genera of microgreens, each with its own range of benefits. Below, we will describe some of the most common ones:

Brassicaceae (Cruciferae): This genus includes microgreens such as broccoli, radish and mustard. They are rich in antioxidant compounds, such as sulforaphane, which can help prevent cancer and strengthen the immune system.

Apiaceae (Umbelliferae): Here we find microgreens such as coriander and fennel. These plants are excellent sources of fiber, vitamin K and antioxidants that promote bone and digestive health.

Asteraceae (Compositae): This genus includes microgreens such as lettuce and chicory. They are low in calories and high in fiber, making them an ideal choice for those looking to control their weight.

Amaryllidaceae (Amaryllidaceae): Microgreens in this family, such as chives, garlic and onions, contain compounds that can help lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health.

Lamiaceae (Lamiaceae): Here we find herbs such as basil and oregano. These microgreens add intense flavor to dishes and have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

The general benefits of microgreens include their high content of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, making them an excellent source of nutrients. In addition, they are easy to grow at home, making them an affordable and sustainable option.

Microgreens can be incorporated into a wide variety of recipes, from salads and sandwiches to main dishes and smoothies. Their versatility and health benefits make them a valuable addition to a balanced diet.

 

Nutritional Properties

Legend: Contains ✔      |     Contains higher than normal ✅

Microgreen

Ascorbic acid – Vit C

Carotenoids – Pro Vit A

B group vitamins

Phylloquinone – Vit K

Tocopherols- Vit E

Vitamin D

Polyphenols

Glucosinolates

Flavonoids

Anthocyanins

Sulforaphane

Zeaxanthin/ lutein

Ca

Mg

K

Fe

Zn

Mn

Mb

Se

Na

Cu

P

Chard

 

 

      

     

Pea

   

 

   

  

       

Carrot

 

 

       

  

       

Buckwheat

 

    

   

 

 

 

   

Beetroot

 

       

 

   

 

Amaranth

  

   

 

     

Red cabbage

    

 

  

 

       

Radish

 

 

  

       

Broccoli

 

  

 

   

Sunflower

  

        

       

Basil

 

  

 

   

       

Mesclun

    

 

   

 

       

Cos

  

           

       

Mustard

 

     

  

 

       

Kale

 

        

 

 

     

Coriander

 

         

  

   

 

Fenugreek

 

       

 

       

Spinach

       

       

Rocket

          

       

Cauliflower

            

      

 

kale 

 

 

        

          

Cress

 

     

   

           

Buckwheat

 

        

  

 

   

Sunflower

  

 

       

 

       



Health Benefits

Microgreens are a concentrated source of nutrients and bioactive compounds that can provide a wide range of health benefits. Here are the benefits of some of the most important nutrients found in microgreens:


Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C): Ascorbic acid is essential for the immune system, as it stimulates the production of white blood cells and acts as an antioxidant, fighting oxidative stress and protecting cells against damage. It is also necessary for collagen formation, which keeps skin, joints and blood vessels healthy.

Carotenoids: Carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, are precursors to vitamin A. They play a vital role in eye health, strengthening vision and reducing the risk of eye diseases, such as macular degeneration.

Vitamin K: Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting, which prevents excessive bleeding. It is also crucial for bone health, as it helps fix calcium in the bones and prevents calcification of the arteries.

Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage. It can also help maintain healthy skin and prevent premature aging.

B Vitamins: B vitamins, such as B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid) and B12 (cobalamin), play a crucial role in energy production, nervous system function and DNA synthesis. They are also essential for heart health and brain function.

Polyphenols: Polyphenols are bioactive compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They can protect against chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease and promote brain health.

Glucosinolates: Glucosinolates are compounds present in cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli and radish) and have been associated with cancer prevention. They can stimulate the body's detoxification and reduce inflammation.

Flavonoids: Flavonoids are antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables and herbs. They contribute to cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure and improving blood vessel function.

Anthocyanins: Anthocyanins are compounds that give foods their purple or blue color, such as berries and purple cabbage. They have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may protect against chronic diseases and improve memory and brain health.

Minerals (Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Selenium, Iron, Calcium): These minerals are critical for a variety of bodily functions. Magnesium and potassium are essential for cardiovascular health and muscle function. Zinc and selenium are vital for the immune system and skin health. Iron is necessary to prevent anemia, and calcium is essential for bone health and blood clotting.

In summary, microgreens are a rich and concentrated source of essential nutrients and bioactive compounds that can have a significant impact on health. By incorporating a variety of microgreens into your diet, you can take advantage of a wide range of health benefits, ranging from protection against chronic diseases to strengthening the immune system and improving overall health.

 

Microgreen

Weight management

Cardiovascular health

Bone and joint health

Anti-inflammatory properties

Immune health

Antioxidant properties

Antitumoral properties

Eye health

Skin health

Antidiabetic properties

Digestive health

Nervous system health

Chard

 

  

  

 

Pea

 

 

  

Carrot

   

 

Buckwheat

 

 

   

 

Beetroot

 

  

 

 

Amaranth

 

 

 

   

Red cabbage

 

 

 

Radish

 

  

   

Broccoli

 

   

  

 

Sunflower

 

 

    

Basil

 

    

 

Mesclun

 

  

   

Cos

 

 

 

     

Mustard

       

Kale

 

 

 

  

Coriander

 

 

 

Fenugreek

       

 

Spinach

 

  

 

 

Rocket

  

   

   

Cauliflower

    

  

   

Kale

  

   

    

Cress

 

 

 

     

Buckwheat

            

Sunflower

            

 

Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The author and publisher of this article are not responsible for any adverse effects or consequences resulting from the use of any suggestions, preparations, or procedures described in this article.

 

References

Lester, Gene & Xiao, Zhenlei & Luo, Yaguang & Wang, Qin. (2013). Microgreens: Assessment of Nutrient Concentrations. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267354000_Microgreens_Assessment_of_Nutrient_Concentrations 

Bhaswant, M., Shanmugam, D. K., Miyazawa, T., Abe, C., & Miyazawa, T. (2023). Microgreens—A comprehensive review of bioactive molecules and health benefits. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 28(2), 867. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28020867 

Choe, U., Yu, L. L., & Wang, T. T. Y. (2018). The science behind microgreens as an exciting new food for the 21st century. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 66(44), 11519–11530. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.8b03096 

Reddy, M., Vadlamudi, K., & Ganesh, B. (n.d.). Role of microgreens and their potential health benefits: A review. Jetir.org. Retrieved October 27, 2023, from https://www.jetir.org/papers/JETIR2105366.pdf 

Renna, M., & Paradiso, V. M. (2020). Ongoing research on microgreens: Nutritional properties, shelf-life, sustainable production, innovative growing and processing approaches. Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 9(6), 826. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9060826 

Xiao, Z., Lester, G. E., Luo, Y., & Wang, Q. (2012). Assessment of vitamin and carotenoid concentrations of emerging food products: Edible microgreens. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 60(31), 7644–7651. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf300459b 

Xiao, Z., Rausch, S. R., Luo, Y., Sun, J., Yu, L., Wang, Q., Chen, P., Yu, L., & Stommel, J. R. (2019). Microgreens of Brassicaceae: Genetic diversity of phytochemical concentrations and antioxidant capacity. Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft Und Technologie [Food Science and Technology], 101, 731–737. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lwt.2018.10.076 

Zhang, Y., Xiao, Z., Ager, E., Kong, L., & Tan, L. (2021). Nutritional quality and health benefits of microgreens, a crop of modern agriculture. Journal of Future Foods, 1(1), 58–66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfutfo.2021.07.001