Why This Doctor Thinks You Should Add Microgreens To Your Diet

mbg Editorial Assistant By Christina Coughlin
mbg Editorial Assistant
Christina Coughlin is an editorial assistant at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2019 with a degree in psychology and music.
Overhead Photo of Spinach and Microgreens

Image by Pixel Stories / Stocksy

We recently spoke with women's health expert Wendie Trubow, M.D., about health trends for the new year and what her typical advice looks like. When asked what grocery item she would tell a patient to add to their shopping lists this year, she gave a simple answer: microgreens.

"They've got tremendous micronutrient concentration," Trubow tells us, so we had to dig in to see for ourselves.

What are microgreens & how can you use them?

Microgreens are a type of vegetable greens that are harvested right after the leaves of the veggie have developed. Considered a mix between sprouts and baby greens, microgreens are typically used as a garnish for different dishes (think soups, salads, and sandwiches). But there is more to these greens besides being a topping to your favorite dish.

In addition to their great taste, microgreens have an unusually high nutritional value. They are chock-full of all sorts of vitamins like C, E, and K, along with the phytonutrient carotenoid, which has been shown to support immune function.

A 2014 study conducted by the USDA looked at 25 varieties of microgreens, testing to see how their nutrients compared to that of typical vegetables. According to their report, "In general, microgreens contained considerably higher levels of vitamins and carotenoids—about five times greater—than their mature plant counterparts, an indication that microgreens may be worth the trouble of delivering them fresh during their short lives."

Along with adding a delicious garnish to any meal, microgreens can also be tossed in a juice or smoothie, used as a side to an entree, or even as a substitute to lettuce. They add flavor, color, and nutritional value in one quick touch. Check out these 12 recipes that incorporate the food into all sorts of meals.

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Can you grow them yourself?

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Microgreens can be easily grown at home, giving you the chance to boost your health without even heading to the store. According to neurologist Ilene Ruhoy, M.D., "All it takes is a container, seeds, and water—and it's incredibly cost-effective, as you can buy a large bag of seeds for very little money and sprout those seeds for months." Check out our guide on all things sprouting to learn more.

The last tip from Trubow? The more veggies, the better. "I am a huge fan of 'crowding out' the unhealthy foods with more vegetables," she says. Either way, you can't go wrong with greens!

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