Do microgreens have more nutrition?


What about microgreens?

vetstud  / Originally Posted in Antioxidants Sprouting Up


USDA researchers recently published a study assessing the nutrition content of 25 commercially available microgreens, seedlings of vegetables and herbs that have gained popularity in upscale markets and restaurants. Just a few inches tall, they boast intense flavors and vivid colors, but what about their nutritional content? No one knew until this new study came out.

We’ve known that baby spinach, for example, have higher levels of phytonutrients than mature spinach leaves, but what about really baby spinach, just a week or two old?

Microgreens won hands down (leaves down?), possessing significantly higher nutrient densities than mature leaves. For example, red cabbage microgreens have a 6-fold higher vitamin C concentration than mature red cabbage, and 69 times the vitamin K.

Microgreens are definitively more nutrient dense, but are often eaten in small quantities. Even the healthiest garnish isn’t going to make much of a difference to one’s health. And microgreens may go for $30 a pound! But BYOM—birth your own! You can have rotating trays of salad you can snip off with scissors. It’s like gardening for the impatient—fully grown in just 7 to 14 days! If that’s too long, what about sprouting? See my video Antioxidants Sprouting Up.

Homemade sprouts are probably the most nutrition-per-unit-cost we can get for our money. See Biggest Nutrition Bang for Your Buck, where they beat out the previous champ, purple cabbage (Superfood Bargains). Broccoli sprouts are probably the best—see for example The Best Detox and Sulforaphane From Broccoli to Breast. I would recommend against alfalfa sprouts (even when home sprouted) as fecal bacteria from manure can hide in the seed’s nooks and crannies and cause illness: Don’t Eat Raw Alfalfa Sprouts.

image credit: ilovemypit / Flickr

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  • BCB, MD

    I have recently heard both positives and negatives about using Maca powder. Are there really any solid benefits of its use?


  • John

    I would also like to know your stance on Maca Root powder. Some online sources say it’s a great “adaptogen” and so I’ve been adding it to my morning smoothies. Are there any real studies/research on this? Or is Maca another internet cure-all scam ala coconut oil?

  • Roberta Peck

    Is sprouted wheat healthier than regular ground wheat? That is after the small root begins to appear and when it is no longer than the grain itself,does the wheat grain develop added benefits when sprouted?

  • jenne

    What is your opinion on juicing?

  • jenne

    Dr Greger I hepatitis C so I am trying to decide if eating my vegetables is better then juicing them for the the detox effect of them.

    • Toxins

      Eating the whole vegetable will always be preferable. Juicing throws out the fiber and much of the antioxidants.

  • Shelley

    Is there any link between being vegan and sciatica or nerve issues with a lack of B12?

    • Don Forrester MD

      Not as long as you have an adequate intake of Vitamin B12. Check out the series of video’s that Dr. Greger posted in February 2012. There however an indirect connection to lower back issues and diet that goes beyond Vitamin B12. Check out the video on arterial disease and back pain… Since the disc’s between the vertebrae get their nutrition by diffusion any interference with the blood supply to the lower vertebrae will result in more likelihood of disc narrowing and rupture with subsequent sciatica. Arterial disease starts in childhood… see and the PDAY study showed aortic disease by age 19 and much worse at age 35. Obviously the earlier you begin the correct diet with adequate vitamin B-12 intake the better.