Most afternoons, I prepare a vibrant, colorful salad for lunch in my kitchen. You’ve got all the usual suspects – crisp lettuce, chopped kale, juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and cabbage. But then, today, I reached for something different.
A small container filled with delicate, feathery greens. They’re not your typical salad addition, but you’ve heard about their nutritional prowess. I sprinkle a handful of these carrot microgreens onto my salad, and suddenly, it’s transformed. Not only does it look more appealing with the added pop of color, but it also just becomes a lot more nutritious.
Carrot microgreens are nutrient-dense, especially rich in vitamins A (835 mg, 92.8%) and K (13.2, 10.8%), and along with lutein + zeaxanthin (256 mg), the amino acids threonine (0.191 g), leucine (0.102 g), alanine (0.113 g), and glutamic acid (0.366 g) support eye, bone, and brain health, blood clotting, and the immune system. The high antioxidant content makes them a valuable addition to a health-conscious diet.
Welcome to the world of carrot microgreens nutrition! These tiny powerhouses are not just a garnish or a pretty addition to your plate. They are a superfood with dozens of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to enhance your health.
Carrot microgreens, the young, tender shoots of carrot plants, are gaining popularity among health-conscious consumers, home gardeners, urban dwellers, gourmet chefs, food enthusiasts, and parents alike. And for a good reason. They offer a concentrated source of nutrients, including vitamins A and K, essential for eye health, blood clotting, and bone health.
In this post, we’ll delve into the potent nutrients in carrot microgreens and their most important health benefits. We’ll also explore incorporating them into your diet to reap their health benefits.
So, if you’re ready to elevate your nutrition game, read on!
The Roots of Carrot Microgreens: An Insight into Their Origin and Varieties | Carrot Microgreens: Nutritional Analysis | Health Benefits of Eating Carrot Microgreens | Cooking with Carrot Microgreens: A Burst of Flavor and Nutrition | Carrot Microgreens: Special Growing Conditions | Key Takeaways: Carrot Microgreens Nutrition | Related Questions | Share the Guide | References
Carrots have been cultivated for over a thousand years. Initially, they were purple or yellow, with a thin, forked root. The familiar, thickened orange root we associate with modern carrots was developed in the Netherlands in the 17th century. Today, carrots are grown worldwide and are a staple in many diets.
Carrots, scientifically known as Daucus carota, are a root vegetable from the Apiaceae family. ‘Carrot’ is derived from the Greek word ‘karōton.’ The plant’s wild ancestors are thought to have originated in Persia (regions of which are now Iran and Afghanistan), where they were grown for their leaves and seeds rather than their roots.
|Scientific Name||The scientific name of the carrot is *Daucus carota* subsp. *sativus*¹.|
|Common Name||The common name of this plant is carrot¹.|
|Plant Family||Carrots belong to the Apiaceae family, also known as the parsley or carrot family¹.|
|Etymology||The word “carrot” comes from the Middle French word “carotte,” which was borrowed from the Late Latin word “carōta,” from the ancient Greek word “καρωτόν” (karōtón), originally from the Proto-Indo-European root “*ker-” (‘horn’), due to its horn-like shape¹.|
Carrot microgreens are the young seedlings of carrot plants harvested when they are just a few weeks old. These microgreens are packed with nutrients and have a sweet, earthy flavor like mature carrots. They are used in salads, smoothies, and garnish for various dishes.
There are several varieties of carrots, each with its unique characteristics. Some popular types include:
- ‘Chantenay’ and
- ‘Ball (or Globe).’
Each variety has a unique taste, size, and color, ranging from deep orange to purple, red, and white.
In the world of microgreens, carrots are a popular choice due to their rich nutritional profile and versatility in culinary applications. They bring a touch of sweetness and a hint of carrot flavor to any dish, making them a favorite among chefs and home cooks.
There are hundreds of plants, herbs, roots, and fruits you can grow and eat as microgreens. Explore my post “Top 30 Microgreens You Can Easily Grow Indoors.”
Based on the USDA Food Database, carrot microgreens are a low-calorie, low-carb, high-nutrient food option. The small amount of fat present is essential for absorbing fat-soluble vitamins.
Ash is the inorganic residue after a food sample has been burned, and all the organic matter has been removed. It represents the total mineral content of the food, including essential minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
But it differs significantly from one factor to another, e.g., cultivated soil, treatment methods employed, and presence of reinforcing agents. Based on 0.97 grams of ash, we could take that as a common occurrence.
The table below from the USDA database has detailed nutrition information on carrot microgreens:
|Name||Amount||Daily Value||% Value|
|Protein||0.93 g||50 g||1.9%|
|Total lipid (fat)||0.24 g||78 g||0.3%|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||9.58 g||275 g||3.5%|
|Fiber, total dietary||2.8 g||28 g||10.0%|
|Sugars, total including NLEA||4.74 g||50 g||9.5%|
|Calcium, Ca||33 mg||1300 mg||2.5%|
|Iron, Fe||0.3 mg||18 mg||1.7%|
|Magnesium, Mg||12 mg||420 mg||2.9%|
|Phosphorus, P||35 mg||1250 mg||2.8%|
|Potassium, K||320 mg||4700 mg||6.8%|
|Sodium, Na||69 mg||2300 mg||3.0%|
|Zinc, Zn||0.24 mg||11 mg||2.2%|
|Copper, Cu||0.045 mg||0.9 mg||5.0%|
|Manganese, Mn||0.143 mg||2.3 mg||6.2%|
|Selenium, Se||0.1 µg||55 mcg||0.2%|
|Fluoride, F||3.2 µg||700 mcg||0.5%|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||5.9 mg||90 mg||6.6%|
|Thiamin||0.066 mg||1.2 mg||5.5%|
|Riboflavin||0.058 mg||1.3 mg||4.5%|
|Niacin||0.983 mg||16 mg||6.1%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.273 mg||5 mg||5.5%|
|Vitamin B-6||0.138 mg||1.7 mg||8.1%|
|Folate, total||19 µg||400 mcg||4.8%|
|Choline, total||8.8 mg||550 mg||1.6%|
|Vitamin A, RAE||835 µg||900 mcg||92.8%|
|Carotene, beta||8280 µg|
|Carotene, alpha||3480 µg|
|Vitamin A, IU||16700 IU|
|Lutein + zeaxanthin||256 µg||6000 mcg||4.3%|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||0.66 mg||15 mg||4.0%|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)||13.2 µg||120 mcg||10.8%|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||0.032 g|
|Fatty acids, total monounsaturated||0.012 g|
|Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated||0.102 g|
|Aspartic acid||0.19 g|
|Glutamic acid||0.366 g|
Table: Carrot microgreens nutrition facts
Nutrients Found in Carrot Microgreens
Carrot microgreens are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, contributing to overall health in various ways. The essential nutrients are discussed below:
Vitamin A (835 mg, 92.8%)
Carrot microgreens are very high in carotenes (beta-carotene 8280 mcg, alpha-carotene 3480 mcg), which the body converts into Vitamin A, 16700 IU. This vitamin is essential for good vision, immune function, and cell growth.
Vitamin K (13.2mcg, 10.8%)
This vitamin is crucial for blood clotting and can promote bone health.
Dietary Fiber (2.8g, 10.0%)
Carrot microgreens are a good source of dietary fiber that may help maintain healthy digestive function, lower cholesterol levels, control blood sugar, and assist in achieving a healthy weight, as with other plant-based foods.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin (256 µg)
These two carotenoids have pigments that give fruits and vegetables bright colors. They’re heavily concentrating on the macula, a part of the eye responsible for Central vision.
Remember, while carrot microgreens can contribute to a healthy diet, they shouldn’t be the sole source of nutrients. It’s essential to consume a variety of foods to meet all nutritional needs.
Various antioxidants, including carotenoids and polyphenols, are present in carrot microgreens that can help protect you from chronic diseases like heart disease or cancer.
|All amino acids form the protein building blocks, threonine, leucine, alanine, and glutamine. Proteins are chains of amino acids, and different proteins have different amino acid compositions.
These numbers can determine food’s protein quality, as different amino acids have different bodily roles, and some are more essential than others.
|Threonine (0.191 g)||Threonine is an indispensable amino acid, so the body cannot synthesize it, and has to be obtained from a diet. It has a role to play in protein synthesis and is crucial for the correct functioning of the immune system.|
|Leucine (0.102 g)||Another major amino acid needed to synthesize protein and repair muscle is leucine. Besides controlling blood sugar levels and energy metabolism, they also play an important role.|
|Alanine (0.113 g)||Alanine’s not a critical amino acid. Thus the body can synthesize it. This plays a vital role in glucose production and can be converted to glucose if it is required for energy.|
|Glutamic acid (0.366 g)||Also, glutamic acid is not a crucial amino acid that forms part of several metabolic processes. In the brain, it functions as a neurotransmitter and plays a vital role in cognitive function.|
This is a general analysis. The precise content of nutrients can vary depending on crop conditions and a particular variety of carrot microgreens. For a more comprehensive understanding of the nutritional value of carrot microgreens, further research and analysis are required. (See the References)
Carrot microgreens are a powerhouse of nutrition and offer many health benefits. Here are some of the critical health benefits of consuming carrot microgreens:
Supports Eye Health
The high vitamin A content derived from beta-carotene is essential for good eye health. Combined with lutein and Zeaxanthin, they help protect the eyes from conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts.
Studies have shown that people with higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in their diet are less likely to develop AMD. The risk of cataracts, another common eye condition, may also be lower.
Explore these two vision detoxifiers of an eye-damaging kind of oxygenation called reactive oxygenated species or ROS toxins in my post, “Marigold Microgreens: The Vision-Boosting Powers of This Orange Autumn Flower.”
Boosts Immune System
Vitamins A combined with C in carrot microgreens strengthen the immune system. Ensuring that the skin and mucosal membranes are intact, which are our crucial defense in combating pathogens, is an essential role for vitamin A. White blood cells, which help against infections, are stimulated by vitamin C.
Promotes Healthy Skin
The antioxidants and vitamins in carrot microgreens help maintain healthy skin. Vitamin A is known for its role in cell growth and regeneration, essential for maintaining skin health.
Try Eminence Organic Skin Care. Based in Hungary, Eminence has over 55 years in the organic cosmetic industry. They are known worldwide for the quality of their products. They introduced their microgreens line in 2017.
Carrot microgreens are a good source of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion by adding bulk to the stool, preventing constipation, and promoting regular bowel movements.
Rich in Antioxidants
Carrot microgreens are rich with antioxidants such as alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene, which, in the body, convert to vitamin A. Antioxidants contribute to the removal of unwanted free radicals from our bodies, reduce oxidative stress and risk for some chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
Remember, while carrot microgreens are a nutritious addition to your diet, they should be consumed as part of a balanced diet, not as a substitute for medical treatment. Always consult your primary healthcare professional before significantly changing your diet or health routine.
Carrot microgreens, with their subtly sweet flavor and vibrant color, can be a delightful addition to your meals. They are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, both savory and sweet. Here are some ways you can incorporate carrot microgreens into your diet:
Toss carrot microgreens into your favorite salad for an added crunch and a boost of nutrients. They pair well with citrus fruits, nuts, and a light vinaigrette.
Try my BUDDHA BOWL ASIAN SALAD WITH TOFU recipe. Just add the carrot microgreens.
Sandwiches and Wraps
Use carrot microgreens as a nutritious substitute for lettuce in your sandwiches and wraps. They add a unique flavor and elevate the nutritional profile of your meal.
Juices and Smoothies
Blend carrot microgreens with fruits like bananas and oranges for a nutrient-packed smoothie. The microgreens add a refreshing twist without overpowering the taste of the fruits.
Carrot Microgreen and Ginger Soup
Puree carrot microgreens with cooked potatoes and onions to make a creamy, nutritious soup. Add grated ginger. It’s a comforting dish that’s perfect for a chilly day.
Want more ideas on using carrot and other microgreens in your daily meals? Read my post, “Mastering the Art – How Chefs Pair Microgreens with Proteins for a Nutritional Boost.“
Carrot microgreens, like all microgreens, follow a specific lifecycle, but they have some unique growing conditions that set them apart.
Carrot microgreen seeds are typically sourced from reputable suppliers specializing in high-quality, non-GMO seeds. It’s essential to choose a variety suitable for microgreen cultivation, such as the Nantes or Chantenay varieties.
Carrot microgreen seeds are sown densely on a growing medium, such as coconut coir or peat moss. They don’t require any pre-soaking, which simplifies the planting process.
Carrot microgreens have a slightly more extended germination period than other microgreens, typically taking 7-10 days. They prefer a warm, humid environment for optimal germination.
Carrot microgreens are usually ready to harvest in about 14-21 days. They are harvested just above the soil line using a sharp pair of scissors.
Following these general tips and the unique needs and concerns mentioned earlier, you can grow healthy and delicious carrot microgreens at home. Explore more in my post, “The 9 Most Nutritious Microgreens You Can Grow at Home.”
Carrot microgreens are a nutritional powerhouse, offering a wealth of health benefits. They are rich in vitamins A and K and amino acids. Their high antioxidant content, particularly beta-carotene, supports eye health, boosts the immune system, and aids in detoxification.
These microgreens are not just nutritious but also versatile in the kitchen. They can be used in various dishes, from salads and sandwiches to smoothies and stir-fries. Our unique recipe suggestion, Carrot Microgreen and Ginger Soup is a delicious way to incorporate these microgreens into your diet.
Growing carrot microgreens at home is a rewarding process. They have a slightly longer germination period than other microgreens, but their vibrant flavor and nutritional benefits make them worth the wait.
In conclusion, carrot microgreens are a fantastic addition to any diet. They offer a simple and delicious way to boost your nutrient intake and add a pop of color to your meals. So why not start growing your own carrot microgreens today? You’ll be reaping the benefits in no time.
Remember, your health is your wealth. Make carrot microgreens a part of your journey to a healthier you.
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Are microgreens 40 times more nutritious?
With two-to-forty times more nutrient content than mature vegetables, your incredible microgreens are cheaper for getting your vitamins and minerals. And since you can grow some varieties at home easily and faster, you don’t have to buy large quantities of vegetables. Explore more in my post, “The Beginner’s Nutritional Guide to Incredible Microgreens.”
What microgreens have the most nutrients?
Broccoli microgreens are among the most researched of all microgreens. They contain a high amount of sulforaphane, which is known for its cancer-fighting properties. Discover even more in my post, “The Ultimate Guide to Broccoli Microgreens Nutrition including Nutrition Data, Facts, Info, and Recipes.”
Is Microgreen a Superfood?
Scientists have labeled microgreens as functional food, meaning they can practically provide critical nutrients. I call them superfoods. Want to know why? Explore more in my post, “Forty Times More: Microgreens, The Superfood of Superfoods.”
If you want more in-depth information, contact Andrew Neves at [email protected].
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- For a wealth of knowledge, read the post “The Beginner’s Nutritional Guide to Incredible Microgreens” to explore more about microgreens.
- Discover how to grow microgreens. Read this post, “Beyond the Windowsill: Growing Microgreens on Your Balcony or Patio.“
- Interested in the business side? “Harnessing Technology for a Greener Future: A Guide for Microgreens Entrepreneurs.”
- Wikipedia Contributors. “Carrot.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 6 Feb. 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrot.
- “Carrot | Etymology, Origin and Meaning of Carrot by Etymonline.” Www.etymonline.com, www.etymonline.com/word/Carrot. Accessed 13 July 2023.
- “FoodData Central.” Fdc.nal.usda.gov, https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170393/nutrients.
- Ghoora, Manjula D., et al. “Comparative Evaluation of Phytochemical Content, Antioxidant Capacities and Overall Antioxidant Potential of Select Culinary Microgreens.” Journal of Agriculture and Food Research, vol. 2, Dec. 2020, p. 100046, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jafr.2020.100046. Accessed 13 Oct. 2021.
- El-Nakhel, Christophe, et al. “Protein Hydrolysate Combined with Hydroponics Divergently Modifies Growth and Shuffles Pigments and Free Amino Acids of Carrot and Dill Microgreens.” Horticulturae, vol. 7, no. 9, 1 Sept. 2021, p. 279, www.mdpi.com/2311-7524/7/9/279, https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7090279. Accessed 8 May 2022.
- Dalal, Dipika, et al. “A STUDY of SELECTED MICROGREENS in SOIL-LESS MEDIA.” International Association of Biologicals and Computational Digest, vol. 1, no. 2, 5 Oct. 2022, pp. 228–230, https://doi.org/10.56588/iabcd.v1i2.74. Accessed 21 Dec. 2022
- Carrot Microgreen Nutrition Fact Sheet – Natural Yield. 2 May 2023, https://naturalyield.com.au/carrot-microgreen-nutrition-fact-sheet/. Accessed 13 July 2023.
- Ghoora, Manjula D., et al. “Nutrient Composition, Oxalate Content and Nutritional Ranking of Ten Culinary Microgreens.” Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, Apr. 2020, p. 103495, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfca.2020.103495.
- Wasana, Widanagamage Lasanthika Nishadini, et al. “Study the Presence of Tetramethylthiuram Disulfide Residue in Three Selected Microgreen Species.” South Florida Journal of Development, vol. 3, no. 6, 14 Nov. 2022, pp. 6612–6618, https://doi.org/10.46932/sfjdv3n6-018. Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.
- Cumming, R. G., et al. “Diet and Cataract: The Blue Mountains Eye Study.” Ophthalmology, vol. 107, no. 3, 1 Mar. 2000, pp. 450–456, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10711880/, https://doi.org/10.1016/s0161-6420(99)00024-x.