April 12, 2024

What is green, bite-sized and worth its weight in vitamins and minerals?

Survey says … microgreens! These baby plants are full of vitamins, minerals and other goodies that everyone should have in their diets.

Alyssa Oceguera, nutrition and food science senior and the nutrition club vice president, described microgreens as “small but densely packed sprout(s) with a concentrated source of vitamins and minerals that would normally go into other parts of the plant. Microgreens are like superplants that allow you to eat nutritiously with only a small amount.”

Dr. Lindsay Fahnestock, associate professor of public health sciences, said microgreens can be beneficial even for students who are not “vegetable people,” as they add more layers of flavor to any dish.

“Microgreens have become a more recent fad within the last few years,” Fahnestock said. “They are relatively easy for a person to cultivate in their own home and can allow an individual to consume an added amount of vitamins and phytochemicals in their diet.”

Oceguera, who is an avid microgreen gardener, outlined a couple key tips for growing microgreens.
She explained that in order to grow microgreens, no machinery or complicated setups are needed as microgreens can be grown in an environment as simple as a warm, sunny window.

“The seeds I buy usually come with a lot, so you have a good amount to work with,” Oceguera said. “I have grown them in small containers like pie pans with only a couple inches of dirt, and it works perfectly. They don’t require a ton of care after setting up, just a little sun and some misting [and] they can be ready in as fast as 10 days.”

Fahnestock encourages students who are interested in adding microgreens to their diet to do so, citing the various health benefits of microgreens, as well as explaining the best way to find the perfect type of microgreen based on the person.

“(Look) into the flavor profiles of the various microgreens and [see] which ones will suit your palate most,” Fahnestock said. “That way you will not waste any crop you do end up growing.”

Sarah Lopez, senior international business and psychology double major, said that even though she prefers sweets, she does try to keep her body healthy and finds that microgreens are the perfect compromise.

“I think it’s important to take care of our bodies by fueling it with healthy and organic foods and products,” Lopez said.

One of Lopez’s tips for adding microgreens to your diet is through smoothies.

“Smoothies are great to still get nutrients while being able to add things you like,” Lopez said. “Then you can add a handful of microgreens and the smoothie would still be flavorful.”

Microgreens add a pop of variety to the often less-than-ideal diet of a college student. With many options, microgreens offer another way to add greens to one’s diet.

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