Health benefits of the small wonders called "microgreens"
Microgreens--tiny yet potent urban superfood, with its high nutritional value, medicinal properties and ability to add an extra crunchy punch to everyday food, have taken the food world by storm. And of late, these "small wonders" have credibly seeped into the meals of a growing tribe of health-conscious Guwahatians.
Rahul Sharma, a local entrepreneur, has pioneered the art of cultivating a variety of fresh and nutritious microgreens in the city’s only vertical, indoor farm - Guwahati Microgreens.
"In today's fast-paced life, a nutritional imbalance is affecting a larger chunk of the working population. And when a well-wisher suggested microgreens as an answer to my dietary issues, I jumped on the idea," says Sharma.
After a couple of months of research and experiments, he soon started growing a few varieties for self-consumption at home. Realising its health benefits, he started growing them for a commercial purpose in a controlled environment.
What are microgreens?
For the uninitiated, microgreens are nutritious seedlings of green vegetables, herbs, and pulses harvested just after the cotyledon or the matured leaves have developed.
They are an entirely plant-based superfood that boasts of high levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre, and enzymes.
According to Sharma, microgreens also consume 90 per cent less water to grow than regular green vegetables. They are also space-saving and can be cultivated without soil and pesticides. One can grow them both indoors and outdoors and needs about 10 to 14 days to germinate.
Health experts opine that consuming it can reduce the risk of heart diseases by lowering the triglyceride and bad ‘LDL’ cholesterol levels.
For diabetic patients, it can help prevent blood sugar abnormalities and improve glucose intake in cells. Certain varieties are said to contain anti-cancer compounds and are an ideal food for weight loss due to their high fibre content.
"Today, microgreens are a must for a balanced diet. They are not just loaded with nutrients but also have high levels of vitamins, minerals, dietary fibres, and antioxidants than their matured counterparts," says city-based dietitian, Manisha Gautam.
How to consume this superfood?
There are many ways to incorporate microgreens into your meal. While many add these miniature plants into their salads, sandwiches, and wraps for some extra crunch, others use them to garnish and colour up their everyday food.
Due to their distinctive flavours – nutty, earthy, sweet, and sour – microgreens go well with varied palates and preferences and thus, easily strike a chord with the kids.
Rinmayee Kalita, homemaker and a mother of two-year-old, says, "It’s very important to inculcate healthy habits in a child from an early age, and are microgreens are the best way to do that. Microgreens are the answer to the parents' eternal question - how to make children eat their greens."
Foodies can order this magic superfood by logging into www.guwahatimicrogreen.com.
TNT-The Northeast Today is now on WhatsApp. CLICK HERE to receive more updates on your phone