Right out of college, I decided to start my own indoor vertical hydroponic farm.
I had become fascinated with healthy living and eating, specifically how superfoods were becoming a global trend—the entire “superfood” market growing by at least 2.5% year over year. One of those emerging superfoods were microgreens, which are young and tender leafy greens. They’ve been primarily used by restaurants and culinary chefs to enhance certain dishes, or be used as decorative garnishes, but studies have shown microgreens to have vitamin and mineral levels exceeding even full-grown vegetables—making them not just tasty, but extremely healthy.
Our business plan was to farm and sell microgreens directly to restaurants in the Philadelphia area—and within 8 months, we were supplying some of Philly’s best restaurants with fresh, hydroponic microgreens.
And then the COVID-19 pandemic began, and all of the customers of my startup closed their doors.
In the past few months, we have since pivoted the business to supply customers with microgreens at home. While restaurants typically use microgreens as beautiful garnishes, it’s the health benefits that have always been why customers love incorporating them into their dishes, diets, and everyday snacks. In fact, studies have shown that nutrient levels in microgreens can be up to nine times higher than fully grown, mature greens. They also contain a much wider variety of polyphenols and antioxidants.
Here are 4 incredible health benefits of microgreens—and why more and more people are eating them at home.
Microgreens Are Packed With Nutrients
Microgreens can be categorized under the group of “green vegetables” or plant-based foods.
Green vegetables have always been known to be healthy because of their high nutrient contents—and because these vegetables involve little to no risk to most healthy conditions. But what really makes microgreens powerful is the fact their vitamin and mineral levels can exceed full-grown vegetables by almost forty times.
Some of the most popular microgreens are: amaranth, kale, broccoli, basil, beet, parsley, carrot, cabbage, corn, radish, pea, and dozens more.
Microgreens Have More Vitamin C And Vitamin E Content
One of the biggest benefits of microgreens is their high vitamin C and vitamin E content.
For example, there is six times more vitamin C in red cabbage microgreens than in fully grown cabbage. According to EcoWatch, “Red cabbage also has 40 times more vitamin E than the bigger plants. Red cabbage, amaranth, and green daikon radish microgreens have the highest concentrations of vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin E.”
Supplementing your diet with Vitamin C tablets and multivitamins is one way of increasing your daily vitamin intake, but adding microgreens to your meals is a much easier, tastier, and even more cost-effective solution.
Microgreens Contain Higher Levels Of Beta-carotene
When people think about how to get more beta-carotene into their diet, the first food think they of is typically carrots.
What most people don’t know, however, is that microgreens actually provide far more beta-carotene. According to a combined study between the University of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “The highest beta-carotene levels were reported for red sorrel, cilantro, red cabbage, peppercress, green basil, amaranth, and wasabi microgreens—all of which contained more beta-carotene than raw carrots on a weight for weight basis.”
Microgreens Are Rich In Antioxidants
Antioxidants have become a staple in people’s nutrition because they are terrific at repairing damaged cells.
According to Medical News Today, “The exact types of antioxidants depend on the plant. Microgreens from the Brassica family, which include broccoli, contain high levels of vitamin E, a phenolic antioxidant. Asteraceae microgreens, such as chicory and lettuce, appear to be high in vitamin A or carotenoid antioxidants.”
However, in order for microgreens to retain the highest levels of their nutritional value, they need to be developed properly and consumed fresh—which is why restaurants require microgreens to be delivered daily or every 2-3 days. For at-home customers, the fresher you consume your microgreens, the higher the nutritional value.
With fresh microgreens, it becomes significantly easier to ensure all necessary nutrients are being consumed to live a healthy life. And by being grown hydroponically, no chemicals or pesticides are used, preserving the true benefits of microgreens and the impact they can have on the human body. To have fresh, tasty microgreens delivered straight to your door, order online at AGreen Farms.