Growing microgreens has come a long way. Not only have they been proven to be low in toxins, but they are also very nutritious. But how do you know if they are better than vegetables?
With the onset of supermarket produce, we are all slowly realizing that our fresh vegetables don’t always have to be grown in the field. They can also be grown in pots or a small grow room in your home. While some people argue that microgreens have less nutrients, experts say it is really a matter of finding the perfect balance of nutrients.
In the wild, plant life doesn’t just consume what it needs. It scavenges for its own food and just as important, the vitamins and minerals it needs. Microgreens are not scavengers. They are grown in soil that has been enriched with the necessary nutrients and vitamins to keep them healthy.
Microgreens also benefit from the extra time it takes to grow than other types of crops. By getting their roots in the ground, they get the benefit of being near their water source, which is pretty cool.
Plants naturally have an emergency source of water. This can sometimes cause a problem when the soil gets too wet and it has to use its resources much faster than it normally would.
As plants dry out and become weak, they will cut off the water supply by turning to the soil in order to remain alive. However, this water goes away too quickly, and without water in the roots, it becomes harder for the plants to survive.
Microgreens receive the necessary nutrition by spending most of their day deep in the soil, so they have plenty of nutrients within the soil. Since the roots can soak up water more efficiently, the plants have the ability to live through dry spells much longer than other types of crop.
Today’s microgreens are also being bred in a way that they retain even more vitamins and minerals than their ancestors. With biotechnology, scientists have created seeds that contain higher levels of phytonutrients, which are plant chemicals that produce health benefits. These phytonutrients are similar to the beneficial chemicals in our bodies.
Before today’s plants were bred, the amount of vitamins and minerals in the soil was lost very quickly. For example, the soil in the area where the original microgreens were created contained very little phosphorus. Phosphorus is a mineral needed by the plants for the cell walls in their roots to protect themselves from decay.
Soil with the proper amounts of phytonutrients would actually be detrimental to the plants, because the phytonutrients would form a strong bond with bacteria that could make the plants more susceptible to infections. Therefore, farmers were careful to leave a little bit of phosphorus in the soil because they didn’t want to take the chance of releasing harmful bacteria into the soil.
Today’s microgreens have even been bred with a balanced mix of phytonutrients and phytochemicals. The added benefit of this is that phytonutrients absorb into the plants much quicker than the rest of the soil.
So how do you know if growing microgreens is right for you? Keep in mind that it is not a bad idea to start with small amounts of microgreens in a few of your containers, to see how they would fare in the garden.