While at a restaurant with a colleague recently, I ordered a chicken salad sandwich. My friend, who knew I loved microgreens, pointed out that my sandwich looked like it had microgreens in it. My friend couldn’t help but wonder what those microgreens were, and I told him they were spinach microgreens. We had a long chat about spinach microgreens nutrition.
Spinach microgreens are filled with lots of nutrients such as Vitamins A, C, E, and K, minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, folate, oxidants, and essential plant compounds such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and nitrates. Spinach microgreens are also a good fiber and protein source, containing about 21 calories, adding to your daily calorie needs.
I explained to my friend how important it was for him to consider incorporating spinach and other microgreens into his diet.
A small but mighty green hero emerges in a world of scarce nutritional powerhouses. Despite their size, spinach microgreens hold the potential to revolutionize how we approach our dietary choices.
In this post, I explore the allure of spinach microgreens that have captured the imagination of health enthusiasts and food lovers alike.
"Are microgreens healthier than spinach?" by Miracle Herbs
Spinach microgreens are miniature versions of the well-known leafy green we adore. You harvest them early, just a few weeks after germination, when they exhibit their characteristic small leaves. With their delicate textures and vibrant green hues, spinach microgreens are as visually appealing as they are nutritionally dense.
Spinach microgreens are one of the most sensitive to biofortification. Through fertilization or other methods, crop biofortification includes boosting the accumulation of certain nutrients in edible plant tissues.
They are nothing short of a powerhouse. Despite their diminutive size, these microgreens pack a punch, providing an array of vitamins and minerals that can benefit your overall well-being.
Below are some of the nutrients found in spinach microgreens:
|Vitamins and Other Components:|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||26.5||mg|
|Vitamin A, RAE||283||µg|
|Lutein + zeaxanthin||6020||µg|
Spinach Microgreens Nutritional Profile
Spinach microgreens are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and various bioactive compounds, including carotenoids, flavonoids, and tocopherols. Based on earlier studies, spinach microgreens contain more significant amounts of carotenoids, vitamins, or α-tocopherol and less oxalic acid (read Can Microgreens Make You Sick?) than mature plants.
Moreover, based on the research, spinach microgreens have 2.5–3.0 times higher Nutritional Quality Score (NQS) than mature spinach, further highlighting their importance in a healthy diet.
Read my article, “Eat to Meet Your RDA: The 12 Microgreens Vitamins You Need,” for an in-depth analysis.
Promoting digestive health and preventing constipation
The fiber content in spinach microgreens promotes healthy digestion by adding bulk to the stool and preventing constipation. Adequate fiber intake supports regular bowel movements and helps maintain a healthy gut microbiota.
Controlling blood sugar levels and aiding weight management
Fiber is essential for controlling blood sugar levels, slowing down glucose absorption. It benefits individuals with diabetes or those looking to manage their weight, as it helps control appetite and promote satiety.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are two carotenoids found abundantly in spinach microgreens. These compounds play a vital role in maintaining eye health and protecting against age-related vision loss, such as macular degeneration. Acting as antioxidants, lutein, and zeaxanthin help filter harmful blue light and reduce the risk of eye-related ailments.
Anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular benefits
Spinach microgreens contain a variety of flavonoids, a group of phytochemicals known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Researchers have associated flavonoids with a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular conditions, by promoting cardiovascular health and reducing inflammation.
Potential cancer-fighting properties
Sulforaphane is a potent phytochemical found in cruciferous vegetables, including spinach microgreens. This compound has attracted considerable attention for its potential anti-cancer properties. Studies suggest that sulforaphane may help constrain cancer cell growth and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
Low blood pressure and reduction of risk of cardiovascular diseases
Spinach microgreens, with their potassium content and nitrate compounds, contribute to regulating blood pressure. Potassium helps relax blood vessels, promoting healthy blood flow and reducing the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.
Incorporating spinach microgreens into a balanced diet can contribute to weight loss efforts. Their high nutrient density and low-calorie content make them a perfect choice for those seeking to shed excess pounds while nourishing their bodies with essential vitamins and minerals.
Fresh consumption in salads, sandwiches, and wraps
One of the simplest ways to incorporate spinach microgreens into your diet is by adding them to fresh salads, sandwiches, and wraps. Their vibrant color and delicate texture make them an aesthetically pleasing and nutritious addition to any dish. Try my Ravioli with Spinach, Garlic, and Tomatoes.
Adding to smoothies and juices
Add spinach microgreens to your favorite smoothie or juice recipes to boost nutrients and give a hint of freshness. Their mild flavor blends seamlessly with other ingredients, enhancing the nutritional value of your beverage.
Using as a garnish for various dishes
Sprinkle spinach microgreens on top of cooked dishes, such as soups, stir-fries, or roasted vegetables, to add a touch of visual appeal and nutritional goodness. Their tender leaves make them an ideal garnish that complements various flavors.
Incorporating into omelets and quiches
Add flavor and color to your breakfast or brunch by incorporating spinach microgreens into omelets or quiches. These greens pair well with eggs and provide extra vitamins and minerals to start your day healthily.
Growing Spinach Microgreens in Five Days | Timelapse
Growing spinach microgreens at home require minimal materials and equipment, all available on Amazon. You’ll need:
- a shallow container or tray,
- organic soil or a growing medium,
- spinach microgreen seeds,
- water, and
- access to natural or a grow light.
Head over to microgreens growing tools to get a review of everything you need.
Steps to Grow Spinach Microgreens
- Prepare the container: Fill it with a thin layer of organic soil or a growing medium, ensuring it is evenly spread.
- Sow the seeds: Scatter spinach microgreen seeds evenly across the soil surface, aiming for a dense but not overcrowded distribution.
- Cover and water: Press the seeds into the earth and cover them with a thin layer of soil. Water the seeds using a spray bottle or a gentle stream to avoid displacing them.
- Provide light and moisture: Place the container where it can receive indirect sunlight or use a grow light. Keep the soil moist but avoid overwatering, which can cause mold or fungal growth.
- Watch them grow: Within a few days, you’ll begin to see the sprouts emerge. Continue to provide light and moisture as the microgreens grow.
Harvesting and Storing Spinach Microgreens
Harvest the microgreens when they have developed their first true leaves, usually around 10-14 days after sowing. Use clean scissors to snip the greens just above the soil level.
Once harvested, you consume spinach microgreens immediately to retain their freshness and nutritional value. If necessary, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a few days. However, harvest only the amount you intend to use to maximize their flavor and nutritional content.
Spinach microgreens are a powerhouse of nutrition, offering a wide range of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and phytochemicals. Their rich nutritional profile contributes to overall health and well-being.
With their vibrant color, delicate texture, and exceptional nutritional value, spinach microgreens are a fantastic addition to any healthy diet. Whether raw in salads or incorporated into various dishes, these microgreens offer a flavorful and nutrient-packed boost.
So, embrace the nutritional magic of spinach microgreens and let these vibrant greens elevate your meals and health.
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