Microgreens, the tiny young greens, have gained popularity lately in recent years. As a result a number of research works are ongoing in terms of their health benefits, nutritions, different growing methods etc.
Studies revealed that the microgreens contain vitamins, minerals, iron, phytoconstituents and many more nutrients in higher concentrations.
Microgreen contains nutrients 40% higher than that of their matured counterparts. They are functional foods and can cure cancer, diabetes in some cases.
But are they safe??
Are They Safe If Eaten Raw??
Chances Of Food Poisoning:
Though our body is capable of inhibiting the diseases through the immune system, there will be some restrictions in some cases.
Sprouts when eaten uncooked may cause food poisoning in people with low immune power. Hence better to cook the sprouts before eating.
But in case of microgreens, cooking can result in degradation of the nutrients present.
Microgreens are safe to eat raw as only the upper part above the roots are harvested but not the roots.
So by avoiding the root parts, food poisoning can be avoided as the roots are more prone to infections.
It is always better to rinse the microgreens before consuming to avoid dust or any worms.
Seeds should be Healthy and from a reputed company as the quality of the seeds play an important role in the health of microgreens.
Sanitize the seeds before growing the microgreens to avoid mold. A teaspoon of food-grade hydrogen peroxide can be added to water in which seeds are soaked for an hour or two. It is important to wash the seeds after soaking.
Choosing a right growing media is also important when growing the microgreens. The media should be able to retain the perfect amount of moisture and also enhance the ventilation.
Microgreens That Make You Sick If Eaten Improperly:
Microgreens, if eaten in smaller amounts, are absolutely safe. Use them as a snack or a part of a meal. But if eaten in larger quantities, it may result in weight gain or any other health problems as they possess nutrients in higher concentration.
Examples of microgreens that make you sick if consumed improperly:
Alfalfa contains saponins, lectins and canavanine which may result in inflammation, bloating or diarrhea when consumed in higher amounts.
Buckwheat contains fagopyrin which results in burning sensation on the skin when consumed in large quantities.
How To Avoid Falling Sick Because Of The Microgreens By Growing Them Properly?
Maintain an ideal humidity level to avoid the contamination or growth of pathogens.
The density of the seeding must be ideal and there should not be moisture trapped and induce sufficient airflow. It is also important not to water continuously.
It is always better to avoid soil as growing media as it induces bacterial growth. Better follow hydroponic method. If soil is used as a growing media, avoid getting soil in the tools during the harvest.
Rinse the microgreens under clean running water to wash out the surface microorganism if present and to store in the refrigerator under 40ºF after harvesting and they must be consumed within 3 to 4 days.
Do not wash the microgreens right after the harvest which might harm the protective lining. Wash if there is soil present on them. Hence it is better to avoid soil getting into the microgreens during harvesting and washing it before consumption.
Though microgreens have health benefits and boosts the immunity, it is always better to consume it in adequate quantities and should not be over consumed as it may lead to health problems.