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HEALTH BENEFITS OF MICROGREENS

Extensive research has been conducted within the last few years regarding the nutritional components of microgreens. A study in 2012 found that 25 varieties of microgreens all "possessed higher nutritional densities compared to the nutritional concentrations of mature leaves". This team of researchers studied 25 types of microgreens and the individual phytonutrients in each variety. While each type of microgreen had varying concentrations of Vitamin A, K, E, and K1, they were all significantly higher than what was found in the mature counterpart (Lester et al.2012). 

 

 It is known that contemporary agricultural practices deplete the environment and soil due to the heavy use of pesticides, chemicals, and water. As a result, the produce created is depleted of vitamins and minerals. One specific nutritional problem that needs to be addressed even in well-developed countries such as the U.S is mineral and vitamin deficiency. A research team in Maryland focused on the mineral content of 30 different microgreens from the Brassica family such as arugula, kale, broccoli, radish, and red cabbage. They concluded that the most common abundant elements found were potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and sodium. Once again all mineral contents of each microgreen were more nutrient dense than their adult counterpart. This evidence makes Brassica microgreens like broccoli the potential to be a rich source of minerals requiring 200 times less water and 93-95% less time than it takes to grow a nutritionally equivalent mature crop (Weber 2017). 

References

1. Zhenlei Xiao, Gene E. Lester, Yaguang Luo, and Qin Wang. "Assessment of Vitamin and Carotenoid Concentrations of Emerging Food Products: Edible         

 Microgreens Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2012 60 (31), 7644-7651​. 

2. Weber, Carolyn F. “Broccoli Microgreens: A Mineral-Rich Crop That Can Diversify Food Systems.” Frontiers in nutrition vol. 4 7. 23 Mar. 2017.

3. Durham, Sharon. “Which Minerals Are in Microgreens?” Hortidaily, 6 Apr. 2017, www.hortidaily.com/article/6033675/which-minerals-are-in-microgreens/.