Have you ever noticed the great changes which happened to our daily menu in recent decades? Of course, we still eat a lot of casual foods like meat, veggies, fruits, cereals, or greenery. But we also add some new useful products recently as the popularity of healthy lifestyle grows each day.
These new products also known in media and HLS as superfoods are various seeds like chia seeds for example, tropical fruits, meat substitutes, and even sprouts of various plants which are known as green sprouts. The last product is recommended to add to your meals by various healthcare specialists. And that is not just a trend to follow. The diversity of microgreens helps to administer lots of useful nutrients. So, it is time to look closer at green sprouts and learn about this superfood a bit more.
Microgreens: What Is It? A New Superfood for Your Well-Being
What are microgreens? This name is commonly used for numerous sprouts of edible vegetables, herbs, legumes, or root vegetables. Typically, green sprouts are harvested 7–14 days after germination (when two leaves appear) and used raw in cooking. Sprouts are added to fish and meat, salads, soups, toasts, and green smoothies. Also, microgreens are a great decoration for different dishes.
Sprouts are consumed only fresh as due to heat treatment, useful properties are lost. Microgreens are best eaten immediately after purchase. If this is not possible, store the product in the refrigerator for no longer than one to two days.
People often mistake green sprouts for germs. But these are different products. Germs are harvested just 2–3 days after germination, and they are typically consumed as-is, including roots. Green sprouts are edible in the form of stems and leaves. But both germs and green sprouts are great sources of vitamins and microelements.
Types of Microgreens: Various Plants Are Great for a Diet
There are almost countless plants you can use as microgreens. Among herbs, the most popular are as follows:
Root vegetables are also popular:
Also, lots of taste and use are provided by sunflower sprouts, wheat, various legumes, and arugula. All of them can be used separately or in a great combo, as the taste of each type of green sprout differs.
Why Are Green Sprouts So Useful?
American chefs began using sprouted greens in their dishes in the late 80s, mainly as decoration. The impetus for the spread of the trend for microgreens around the world was scientific research that proved their high nutritional value. Since then, it has become popular not only in the professional culinary community but also among people leading a healthy lifestyle. It has become fashionable not only to eat, but also to grow microgreens at home.
This is a kind of concentrate of vitamins and minerals. The smaller the size of the greens, the more useful substances there are. Most of them are contained in the plant at the start of growth, in the first 7–14 days. The value of this product lies in the fact that in a short period of growth, the sprouts do not have time to absorb harmful substances from the environment. They are environmentally friendly, and therefore, the positive effect on the body is maximum.
The main property of microgreens, for which it is so appreciated by fans of a healthy diet, is antioxidants. The substances contained in such plants remove free radicals from the body, which damage the cell membrane, DNA, and cartilage components. Besides, they are full of polyphenols, and thus, they prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases. However, each type of microgreens has its own characteristics and beneficial properties.
Let’s consider a couple of them.
- Peas sprouts relieve swelling and normalize the functioning of the kidneys, thanks to a mild diuretic effect. It has a beneficial effect on the immune system, fights anemia and vascular and heart diseases, and reduces the risk of blood clots. It also removes waste and toxins.
- Radish microgreens normalize digestion and have a positive effect on metabolic processes in the body. They also reduce cholesterol levels, counteract the appearance of atherosclerosis of blood vessels, and stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Sunflower sprouts contain a lot of folic acid, so it is recommended to consume it for pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy. It normalizes the work of the thyroid gland and the cardiovascular system.
- Onion greens are a powerful source of vitamin C, which helps to strengthen the immune system and counteract viral diseases. Selenium, which is part of such microgreens, has a positive effect on the immune system.
- Sorrel microgreens help with vitamin deficiency, as they are rich in nutrients.
- Alfalfa. Due to the large amount of vitamin K, it accelerates tissue regeneration, which is very important during the rehabilitation period after injuries. Fights anemia, as it contains a lot of iron.
What Green Sprouts Are the Most Delicious
The taste of this superfood also matters! In terms of deliciousness, the most attractive types of green sprouts are plants with a rich aroma, color, and pronounced taste. Firstly, it is arugula, mustard, basil, radish, red cabbage, white radish (daikon), and kohlrabi cabbage.
But truly, it depends on individual tastes and habits, so, it is better to try various green sprouts to understand which of them tastes the best to you.
How to Incorporate Green Sprouts in Your Daily Menu
As we have said, microgreens are a universal product. The best idea is to add it to your salad. It will provide a richer taste to the dish. Besides, you can use green sprouts as a part of garnish and eat your protein with them. And try to make a smoothie with it, as it tastes great.
We hope that you are persuaded now that green sprouts can be useful for you.