How much microgreens to eat per day? This is a question that many people are wondering about these days. Microgreens are young vegetable greens that are harvested just after the first true leaves have developed, usually 1-3 weeks after germination. They are more nutritious and packed with higher concentrations of nutrients than their mature counterparts.
Microgreens contain up to 40 times more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than mature leaves. They provide a wide range of polyphenols, carotenoids, vitamins, and minerals in a small, edible package.
Some of the most popular microgreen varieties include broccoli, kale, arugula, basil, radish, cilantro, beets, chard and sunflower shoots. These microgreens provide intense flavor and vivid color to dishes while boosting nutritional value.
Microgreens bridge the gap between sprouts and baby greens, occupying their own unique culinary niche. They bring fresh flavors and crunch to salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and more.
Table 1: Microgreen Nutrition Compared to Mature Greens
|Microgreen Variety||Nutrient||Microgreen Amount||Mature Green Amount|
|Red Cabbage||Vitamin C||6x more||–|
|Arugula||Vitamin A||2x more||–|
Microgreen Health Benefits
Microgreens offer many benefits:
- High in antioxidants like vitamins C, E, and A which counter free radicals
- Excellent source of polyphenols that reduce inflammation
- Rich in carotenoids like beta carotene and lutein
- Packed with vitamins K, C, E, A and B-complex groups
- Provide minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium
- May help lower cholesterol and blood pressure
- Aid digestion and detoxification
- Low calorie but high in fiber
- More nutrient-dense than mature greens
Consuming just 1-2 ounces of microgreens per day can provide a major boost in essential vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds for improved health.
Microgreens make it easy to get the advantages of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. Their concentration and variety of nutrients offer protection against chronic diseases.
Adding these petite yet powerful greens to your diet provides a health kick in just a few bites!
- Microgreens are young vegetable greens packed with higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants compared to mature leaves.
- Aim for a daily microgreen serving size of around 1-2 ounces or 1-2 handfuls to start. Gradually increase intake as your body adjusts.
- Rotate between at least 3-5 different microgreen varieties to get a diversity of nutrients and flavors.
- Focus on quality over quantity when buying and storing microgreens. Seek out vibrant, fresh greens.
- Microgreens can be added raw to salads, smoothies, and sandwiches or used as flavorful garnishes for cooked dishes.
- Start slow with microgreens to allow your digestive system to acclimate. Increase servings steadily over a few weeks.
- Proper handling, washing, and storage help retain nutritional potency and prevent contamination.
- With just a small daily serving, microgreens provide concentrated amounts of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant compounds.
- Adding microgreens to your diet is an easy, delicious way to significantly boost your nutritional intake from whole foods.
- Discover new microgreen varieties, recipes, and creative ways to incorporate these nutritional powerhouses into your everyday meals.
How Much Microgreens to Eat Per Day
Determining the right daily amount of microgreens to eat depends on the variety and your personal nutritional needs. While there are no official recommended guidelines, most health experts suggest 1-2 ounces per day to start. The key is moderation and finding a comfortable quantity that provides health benefits without overdoing it. Gradually incorporate microgreens into your diet and find a daily dose that provides the nutrition you seek.
Table 2: Recommended Daily Intake of Microgreens
|Age Group||Daily Recommended Amount|
|Children||1 Tbsp to 1/4 cup|
|Teens||1-2 Tbsp to 1/2 cup|
|Adults||1-2 oz or 1/4 to 1/2 cup|
General Guidelines for Daily Consumption
When first adding microgreens to your diet, start with smaller amounts and gradually increase over time. This allows your body to adjust to the digestive effects. Here are some general daily microgreen consumption guidelines:
- 1-2 ounces or 1-2 handfuls per day
- Begin with 1 ounce (about 2 tablespoons) and build up from there
- Rotate between 3-5 varieties for maximum nutrition
The serving size of microgreens is about 1.5 – 2 tablespoons, which provides a hefty dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Since microgreens are more nutrient-dense than mature greens, some people can work up to 1/4 to 1/2 cup per day. But focus on quality over quantity when incorporating microgreens.
Servings Compared to Vegetables
The USDA recommends 1.5-2 cups of vegetables per day for adults. You can substitute some or all of these vegetable servings with microgreens.
- Replace lettuce in a salad or sandwich with 1-2 tablespoons of microgreens
- Mix microgreens into a morning smoothie for a serving
- Use microgreens as a pizza topping or stir-fry ingredient
Because of their concentration of nutrients, you may want to eat slightly more than the standard vegetable guidelines when enjoying microgreens. But start small and find the right daily amount for you.
Benefits of Variety
Rotating between a diversity of microgreens is important to get a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Aim to incorporate 3-5 different microgreen varieties each day. For example:
- Try a sunflower, broccoli, and radish microgreen blend over a salad
- Add pea shoots, basil, and arugula microgreens to a sandwich
- Garnish dinner with cilantro, amaranth, and cabbage microgreens
Mixing up your microgreens provides nutritional variety and exciting flavors.
Quality Over Quantity
When eating microgreens, focus on the quality and freshness rather than just volume. Properly stored microgreens retain maximum nutrition for up to 2 weeks. But the fresher, the better.
Prioritize getting high-quality microgreens, ideally locally grown. Seek out vibrant colors and crisp textures. Eating 1-2 ounces of fresh, nutritious microgreens daily is better than larger amounts of wilted greens with reduced nutritional value.
Aim for the highest quality greens and don’t worry about getting a certain quantity every day. High nutritional density makes microgreens a case where less can be more if the quality is top-notch.
Most Nutritious Microgreens to Eat
With hundreds of microgreens varieties available, which are the healthiest to add to your diet? Certain microgreens stand out for their exceptional nutritional content and high concentrations of beneficial compounds. Focusing on the most nutritious options ensures you get an effective dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in your 1-2 daily ounces. Here are some of the top nutritious microgreens to mix in each day.
Table 3: High Nutrient Microgreen Varieties
|Vitamin C||Red cabbage, cilantro, amaranth|
|Antioxidants||Amaranth, kale, broccoli|
|Vitamin A||Arugula, broccoli|
|Vitamin K||Broccoli, kale|
Highest in Vitamin C
Some microgreens contain exceptionally high levels of immune-boosting vitamin C. The top vitamin C-rich microgreen varieties include:
- Red cabbage: Contains up to 6 times more vitamin C than mature red cabbage
- Cilantro: Up to 3 times more vitamin C than mature cilantro
- Amaranth: Twice as much vitamin C as mature amaranth
- Radish greens: Concentrated doses of vitamin C
Incorporating these microgreens into your daily diet provides a major boost of antioxidant vitamin C to support immune function and collagen production. Just a tablespoon or two offers a huge health kick.
Best Vitamin Profile
Several microgreens offer broad nutritional profiles packed with essential vitamins:
- Broccoli: High in vitamins A, C, and K plus antioxidants like sulforaphane
- Kale: Excellent source of vitamins A, C, K, B6, manganese and calcium
- Arugula: Rich in vitamins A, C, K, folate, calcium, potassium and nitrates
- Pea shoots: Good amounts of vitamins A, C, K, folate, manganese
- Sunflower: High in vitamins E, A, C, B6, thiamin, folate and minerals
For a major infusion of top vitamins, focus on eating these vitamin-dense microgreen varieties daily in the recommended 1-2 ounce serving size.
Highest in Antioxidants
Antioxidants counter the damaging effects of oxidative stress and inflammation. Some top antioxidant-rich microgreens options include:
- Amaranth: The antioxidant superstar with high vitamin C, carotenoids and polyphenols
- Kale: Abundant antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol
- Broccoli: Rich in sulforaphane and other beneficial antioxidants
- Red cabbage: Packed with anthocyanins and polyphenols
Mixing up your high-antioxidant microgreens gives your body a diversity of free radical-fighting compounds for improved health.
Aim to include several portions of these potent antioxidant-rich microgreens in your daily diet. Just a small amount delivers concentrated nutritional protection.
How to Add Microgreens to Your Diet
Microgreens lend themselves to easy incorporation into a wide variety of everyday dishes. With their vibrant colors, tender crunch, and concentrated flavors, microgreens can level up both raw and cooked recipes. Just a small amount provides huge nutritional value. Try substituting microgreens in place of ordinary lettuce or spinach in your go-to meals. Or get creative with new microgreen recipe ideas across breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Here are some simple ways to start enjoying microgreens at every meal.
Add to Salads, Sandwiches, Smoothies
Microgreens make excellent additions to everyday meals. Here are some simple ways to incorporate them:
- Toss microgreens into fresh salads for flavor, texture, and nutrition. Just a tablespoon or two packs a punch.
- Mix microgreens into sandwiches in place of regular lettuce for next-level nutrition.
- Blend microgreens into smoothies, juices, and protein shakes to turn beverages into nutritious dynamos.
Adding just a small amount of microgreens to these common dishes provides a major boost of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds.
Use as Garnish for Soups, Meats
Microgreens aren’t just for salads – they also serve as beautiful, edible garnishes.
- Use microgreens as a colorful topper for soups and stews.
- Garnish cooked meat, fish, and poultry dishes with microgreens for visual appeal.
- Try unique microgreen varieties like amaranth as garnishes for height and texture.
Microgreen garnishes instantly improve presentation while adding fresh flavor and crunch.
Mix into Stir Fries, Rice, Omelets
When cooking, mix microgreens into:
- Stir fries: add just before the end for a burst of color and nutrition.
- Rice dishes: fold microgreens into rice pilafs, risottos, etc.
- Omelets and frittatas: incorporate into the egg mixture before cooking.
Cooking microgreens briefly helps retain nutrients while introducing new flavors and textures.
Ideas for Recipes
Some tasty ways to use microgreens:
- Breakfast: Microgreen omelet, smoothie with microgreens, goat cheese toast with microgreens
- Lunch: Microgreen salad with chickpeas and tahini dressing, microgreen turkey wrap
- Dinner: Microgreen risotto, microgreen tabbouleh, microgreen fried rice
- Snacks: Microgreen hummus, microgreen pesto dip
- Sides: Sauteed microgreens, microgreen couscous
Get creative with microgreens in both raw and cooked recipes across all your meals. Let flavor guide you in discovering winning combinations.
While microgreens are very low-risk, there are some special considerations to keep in mind when adding them to your diet. Being aware of food safety, potential medication interactions, and proper storage will allow you to enjoy microgreens safely. Take things slow when you first start eating microgreens and pay attention to how your body responds. With some simple precautions, microgreens can be an incredibly nutritious addition to your meals. Here are some tips for safely incorporating microgreens.
As with any raw produce, follow proper handling procedures for food safety. Before eating microgreens:
- Inspect greens carefully and discard any with signs of decay.
- Wash microgreens thoroughly under cool running water to remove any dirt or debris.
- Use clean utensils and cutting boards to avoid cross-contamination.
- Refrigerate microgreens promptly after purchasing or harvesting.
Proper washing helps remove potentially harmful bacteria from the surface of microgreens. Follow general food safety guidelines when incorporating raw microgreens into your diet.
Check for Medication Interactions
Most microgreens are safe for consumption, but certain varieties may interact with some medications. For example:
- Arugula, mustard, and radish microgreens contain glucosinolates which could amplify the effect of blood thinners.
- Spinach microgreens are high in vitamin K which can decrease the effectiveness of blood thinning medications.
Check with your doctor about potential microgreen interactions if you take prescription medications, especially blood thinners. They can recommend proper precautions.
Limit Intake if Thyroid Issues
People with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism should use caution when eating cruciferous microgreens like kale, cabbage, and broccoli. Their goitrogen content may impact thyroid function if consumed in large quantities.
Try limiting intake to a 1/2 ounce serving per meal if you have thyroid issues. Thiocyanate levels are much lower in microgreens versus mature cruciferous vegetables.
Gradually Increase Intake
When first adding microgreens to your diet, increase the amount slowly over 2-4 weeks. This allows your digestive system to adjust and minimizes gas or bloating.
Start with small 1/2 ounce servings with just 1 variety then work up to larger amounts and more diversity. Give your body time to adapt.
Store Properly to Preserve Freshness
To retain the most nutrients from microgreens:
- Refrigerate unwashed greens promptly in breathable containers.
- Do not crowd greens, which speeds up decay. Allow air circulation.
- Line containers with dry paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
- Use within 5 days for peak freshness, and up to 14 days when properly stored.
Proper post-harvest storage helps microgreens maintain nutritional quality. Handle with care.
Microgreens are young, tender greens that pack immense nutritional value in their miniature leaves and stems. These seedlings contain up to 40 times more vitamins, carotenoids, and antioxidants than their full-grown counterparts. Incorporating just 1-2 ounces of microgreens into your daily meals can provide a major infusion of essential micronutrients to optimize your health and help prevent disease.
When adding microgreens to your diet, start with small amounts like 1 tablespoon and gradually increase the volume every few days. This allows your body time to adjust to the digestive effects. Focus on rotating between a diversity of microgreen varieties rather than eating large quantities of one type. This ensures you get a broad spectrum of nutrients. Prioritize fresh, high-quality microgreens and proper storage to preserve nutritional potency.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to enjoying microgreens. Add them raw to salads, sandwiches, and smoothies. Use them as vibrant garnishes for soups, side dishes, and entrees. Mix them into omelets, stir fries, and grains for new flavors. Microgreens make it easy to eat more vegetables in delicious new ways. Just remember to start slow and find the daily microgreen intake that feels right for you.
Benefits of Adding Microgreens to Your Diet
Adding just 1-2 ounces of microgreens to your meals each day provides an array of health advantages:
- High concentrations of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
- Protection against chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes
- Anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting compounds
- An easy way to increase vegetable intake
- Exciting new flavors and textures for enhanced nutrition
- The joy and satisfaction of home gardening
Recommended Serving Size of 1-2 oz Daily
Our recommendation is to start with 1-2 tablespoons of microgreens daily, slowly increasing to 1-2 ounces per day over a few weeks. This provides a substantial dose of vitamins and minerals without overdoing it. Be sure to rotate the varieties you eat for maximum benefit. With microgreens, small amounts pack a big nutritional punch! Discover delicious new ways to add these supercharged greens into your diet.