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US Department of Agriculture



Microgreens May Provide More Nutrition Than Mature Vegetables

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and University of Maryland conducted a study to determine the level of nutrients in microgreens, specifically compared to more mature vegetables. Microgreens are tiny versions of vegetables, herbs, and other plants and are about one to two inches long with the stem and leaves still attached. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

As reported by NPR, researchers looked for large doses of vitamins and other phytochemicals, such as vitamin C, E, and beta carotene. Gene Lester, a researcher with the USDA, said the findings “totally knocked me over.”

The team found that all 25 varieties of microgreens had four to 40 times more nutrients than their matured counterparts. Lester said the findings give us a new insight into plants, “because these are little tiny seeds barely exposed to much light at all. And yet those compounds [nutrients] are there ready to go.”

Diets In Review’s resident dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD, wasn’t surprised by the results of the study. “The findings make sense because the young plant is rapidly accumulating nutrients during its period of rapid growth, and it is also still releasing nutrients stored in the seed,” she said. “I’ll bet microgreens are high in protein and very digestible, too.”
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Blog Action Day 2008: Poverty Poses Diet Problems

People in poverty or in the lower income brackets get the short end of the stick in so many ways. Besides living in neighborhoods that are infested with crime and drugs, it’s hard to afford things like health care and nutritious food.

The health care part is pretty obvious, especially for anyone remotely aware of what it costs. But the idea of being at a disadvantage when trying to stay thin and eating a healthy diet may not be so obvious.

I’ve expressed my views here before on what I see as the unfortunate side effect of cheaper items that can be bought via mega-stores, like Wal-Mart. The “big box” stores, as they are called, give us the ability to buy many different items for much less since they buy in massive quantities. But the problem is, much of that food is processed and prepackaged, which is invariably high in sodium, preservatives, starch, refined sugar, and ultimately calories.
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