Skip to main content

Surprising Effects of Eating Microgreens

Microgreens have been around for quite some time, but they've just recently started gaining more popularity as flavor-filled salad toppers or a yummy addition to your favorite avocado toast. And although many people mistake microgreens for sprouts, they're actually not the same at all.

According to Healthline, microgreens are more developed than sprouts but not quite a baby green. These greens are harvested as soon as they start to grow their leaves, which is usually anywhere from seven to 21 days after the seeds are germinated.

Many different types of seeds can yield microgreens, with some of the most popular ones being from the seeds of radishes, broccoli, arugula, and even sunflowers.

These tiny greens not only pack a punch of flavor, but they come with a ton of health benefits, too. While the specific benefits often vary based on the type of seed the microgreen originates from, a recent report from the Journal of Future Foods found that microgreens can have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-bacterial properties to them.

More research is being done on microgreen nutrition as it continues to grow in popularity, but read on to learn what dietitians and researchers have to say about this nutrient-dense food. Then for more healthy eating tips, check out Major Effects Bananas Have on Your Health.


They contain plenty of plant compounds.


According to Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook and member of our Medical Expert Board, a major benefit of eating more microgreens is their high levels of antioxidants.

"Microgreens contain antioxidants, which help fight disease and sickness by protecting your cells," says Goodson, "and research suggests that they actually have more of the antioxidant polyphenols than most mature greens."

This often depends on the type of seed, too. According to Frontiers in Nutrition, broccoli microgreens have higher levels of many antioxidants and minerals than their adult counterparts.


Some types may be a good source of potassium.

bowl of microgreens

Goodson adds that many types of microgreens come loaded with potassium, which can help meet your recommended daily amounts.

"One cup of microgreens provides 10-11% of your dietary potassium needs, making them an official 'good source' of potassium," says Goodson. "In fact, most Americans don't get enough potassium at all, so adding a cup of microgreens to a salad or omelet can be a great way to boost your intake."


Microgreens contain prebiotics.

microgreens up close

All vegetables contain certain levels of prebiotics, which are types of fibers that are essential for your gut health. According to Morgyn Clair, MS, RDN, author at Fit Healthy Momma, this is another great reason to add microgreens to your diet.

"There are high levels of prebiotics in many types of microgreens, which help promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut," says Clair, "and the best way to ensure high levels of these nutrients is to eat them raw as a meal topper or salad additive."

RELATED: 20 Vegetables Ranked by Protein


The also contain high levels of helpful plant pigments.

microgreens on toast

Many plants contain natural pigments that not only give them their fun, vibrant colors, but also provide a handful of health benefits. For example, carotenoids are what give veggies like carrots or bell peppers their orange and red coloring, and have been known to aid in eye health, cardiovascular health, and even helping to reduce the risk of certain cancers.

According to a report in Foods, microgreens contain high levels of pigments like carotenoids, as well as other common plant pigments like chlorophyll and anthocyanin, all of which contain helpful benefits.


They may contain trace metals.


While microgreens are mainly beneficial to our overall health, there is one thing that researchers want us to be aware of. According to the Foods report, some microgreens have been found to have trace metals and potentially high amounts of nitrate in them.

The report states that the reasoning behind this has to do with the growing sites of many microgreens, like weeded farmlands, the bordered areas of roads or paths, and other areas with heavier human traffic, which often contain soil that is higher in nitrates.

This doesn't mean you should avoid microgreens altogether, but it's a necessary risk to be aware of.

The post Surprising Effects of Eating Microgreens appeared first on Eat This Not That.

Eat This Not That

Popular posts from this blog

These 5 Grocery Items Are Cheaper Than Ever Right Now

The grocery industry has been facing major disruptions. The combined effects of the pandemic, climate change, and economic uncertainty over the past couple of years have culminated in a series of supply chain breakdowns. For the consumer, this means supply shortages , shipping delays , and temporary store closures are becoming more commonplace – and all of the added production cost to suppliers is driving up food prices . The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index report for January 2022 was released on Feb. 9, and it tells the story of cost trends for every spending category over the past year. Now the numbers are in, and since January 2021, "food at home" spending has increased 7.4%. Consumers should use this number as a benchmark, Phil Lempert, the consumer behavior analyst and founder behind Supermarket Guru , told Eat This, Not That! "Anything that's substantially less [than the 7.4% increase] is a deal," said Lempert. "When you

When Should I Take Creatine?

Creatine is probably the most well-researched supplement on the market today. Numerous studies have found positive adaptations in strength, power and muscle mass thanks to creatine supplementation—especially when it's combined with resistance training. Although the benefits of creatine are well-known to lifters, the best time to take it isn't common knowledge. Which leads us to some important questions:     Does an optimal time for consuming creatine exist?     If it does, should you take it before or after your workout? According to a new study published in the Journal of Exercise and Nutrition, the timing of creatine ingestion does indeed play a role in getting bigger and stronger. Creatine supplementation before resistance training increases muscular strength and lean muscle mass. Interestingly, taking creatine immediately after lifting weights results in greater muscle growth than taking it immediately before. However, in terms of strength gains, no difference betw

Best Smoothie Habits for Weight Loss, According to Dietitians

When it comes to trying to lose weight , most of us are rather poor math students. We mess up the addition and subtraction all the time. We'll try to subtract calories by skipping meals only to become ravenous later on and undercalculate how much food we've eaten to satisfy that gnawing hunger . That's where smoothies can shine as effective weight-loss tools. Research has found that meal replacement shakes, such as protein and fruit/vegetable smoothies, can help people reduce overall daily calorie consumption if used regularly in place of calorie-dense meals and snacks. Getting into the smoothie habit works for weight loss if you follow the right approach. We asked dietitians for the best strategies for getting the most benefit from your smoothie habit . After you read through these tips, try out our recipes for the 25 Best-Ever Weight Loss Smoothies . 1 Make weight loss your 'why' Don't assume a new smoothie recipe is right for you simply because i