Q: Are microgreens more nutritious than mature plants?
A: People frequently ask us if microgreens are more nutritious than than the full-size leaves of their mature counterparts. This topic comes up just about every Saturday in our booth at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market. Until recently, our response has been that limited studies suggest that microgreens may have higher concentrations of phytonutrients than in their corresponding mature leaves. We then direct the conversation toward the benefits of diversity in our Sunshine Microgreen Mix, which usually contains at least ten different varieties of microgreens. What better way to supply your body with the various nourishing properties of a broad range of vegetables than in a compact side salad of delicious microgreens? And nutritionists have long agreed that the diversity of vegetables is equally as important as the quantity consumed.
Q: What are the experts saying?
A: Lucky for us, and for every microgreen lover, a recent study in the highly respected Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has provided definitive evidence in favor of the high nutritional value of microgreens. The 2012 article, written by Zhenlei Xiao, Gene Lester, Yaguang Luo, and Qin Wang is titled Assesment of Vitamin and Carotenoid Concentrations of Emerging Food Products: Edible Microgreens. The study concludes that, “in general, microgreens contain considerably higher concentrations of vitamins and carotenoids than their mature plant counterparts.” Furthermore, it determined that, “among the 25 microgreens assayed, red cabbage, cilantro, garnet amaranth, and green daikon radish had the highest concentrations of ascorbic acids, carotenoids, phylloquinone, and tocopherols, respectively.” Sunshine Cove Farm grows all of the most potent varieties assayed, and all but a few of the twenty-five varieties that were included in the study. So here’s to your health! Read the entire study here.
Other useful resources:
Microgreens: All you ever wanted to know
Are Microgreens Worth the Splurge?
What are Microgreens: 7 Benefits of Microgreens You Should Know
Microgreen Nutrition Varies by Vegetable
Q: Is there a difference between a microgreen and a sprout?
Yes, A microgreen is not the same as a sprout. The following video does a great job of explaining the difference between the two visually! Check it out: