USDA Nutritional Research On Broccoli Microgreens
According to research done at the Agricultural Research Service’s Food Quality Laboratory, broccoli microgreens host a wealth of beneficial nutrients. Broccoli is known as a powerful dark green vegetable, but its microgreen stage of growth actually boasts 4 times the cancer-fighting antioxidants as found at maturity. This is due to phytonutrients such as glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are a natural component that “reduce the development and growth of various diseases, including prostate, breast, colon, skin, bladder, and oral cancers.”
“As proof that good things can come in small packages, baby broccoli — one type of "microgreen" — packs as much as four times the number of cancer-fighting antioxidants as its adult counterpart. On top of that, you can grow them easily and rapidly to ensure that you have a ready supply.”
-- U.S. Department of Agriculture Research Service
It’s no secret around here that we love microgreens. Now you have a reason to love them too. Microgreens are one of the easiest things you can grow, making them perfect for gardeners of any skill level. Depending on the seed you are growing, they are ready in only 7-21 days. They don’t need a lot of space, require no fertilizer, and come in a variety of flavors. Broccoli microgreens, in particular, are ready in only 8-12 days. Because they have a mild cabbage-like flavor, broccoli microgreens can be added to a variety of dishes for a boost in nutrients and color. Their tender, dark green leaves can be added to salads and smoothies, eaten fresh, or used as a garnish.
Try growing your own broccoli microgreen seeds today. New to growing microgreens? No problem, all you need are seeds, a container, growing media, and water. While additional grow lights can help some microgreens, it is not necessary. Place them right on your kitchen counters for convenience and the joy of watching your microgreens grow.
To help boost the nutrient density of glucosinolates in your broccoli microgreens, follow these two recommendations given by the USDA:
- Add calcium salt to hydroponic solutions, or apply as a spray
- Put the sprouts under ultraviolet B (UVB) light for 1-2 hours per day
Remember, glucosinolates are the antioxidant found to help fight diseases and cancer. Help your body and immune system by fueling it with foods that heal. While we know microgreens hold a wealth of potential for healing and feeding the world, we know very little of their power so far. Just think, with the right research, we may be able to satisfy the exact needs of our bodies and reduce the impacts of disease and illness around the world. One day it may be possible to eliminate the effects of chronic illness and disease by prescribing a diet tailored to natural nutrients found in the plants around us.
About the Author
I'm Ashleigh Smith, a native to Northern Utah. I first gained a love of gardening with my grandmother as I helped her each summer. I decided to make a career of it and have recently graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Horticulture from Brigham Young University - Idaho. My studies have focused on plant production while I also have experience in Nursery & Garden Center Operations.
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