The short, uncomplicated answer is that you can eat as many as you’d like. There is, however, a difference between how many microgreens you can eat, and how many microgreens you should eat. While you would have to eat an extreme volume daily to run into any serious trouble, consuming certain microgreens in excess can have potential undesirable side effects, particularly if you are taking vitamin supplements.
This article will cover how many microgreens you can and should eat, as well as their nutritional benefits and whether or not you can eat too many of them. You will also learn about the potential side effects of excessive consumption and any potential toxic microgreens.
Can I eat microgreens every day?
Yes, you can. The fact that microgreens pack so much nutrition into every serving makes it an easy way to quickly add more vitamins and minerals into your everyday diet. Microgreens are a particularly great way for people who aren’t crazy about salads or vegetables to ensure that their bodies get some essential vitamins and minerals from plant matter.
Even if you eat a lot of vegetables every day, a handful or two of microgreens in almost any dish can quickly boost its nutritious value. Add them to everything from soups, smoothies and juices to sandwiches, pizza and pasta for taste and health benefits.
How many microgreens should I eat each day?
Nutritional guidelines set forth by the USDA state that everyone should consume a bare minimum of five servings of vegetables each day. One serving of microgreens is equivalent to twenty-five grams or ¾ an ounce, but a serving of microgreens does not necessarily constitute a full serving of vegetables. Therefore, you can and should eat as many as you’d like, unless you have sensitivity to certain nutrients or minerals.
Are microgreens good for you?
Absolutely! Microgreens provide you with an excellent source of protein, iron and antioxidants, plus most varieties are also packed with valuable minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, zinc and copper.
Microgreens are very dense nutritionally speaking, so you get a huge benefit per bite with practically zero calories or carbohydrates. This makes them not only beneficial to your waistline but to your health as well, as they supply the body with everything from vitamins C, E and K to beta carotene and cancer-fighting polyphenols.
Are microgreens more nutritious than the full-grown plant?
Yes, they are. In fact, on average, microgreens have up to four to six times the amount of nutrients as a mature plant of the same variety. This means that when you are talking in terms of bite for bite, microgreens definitely pack a more nutritious punch. This has merited them the whimsical nickname ‘vegetable confetti,’ as you can truly just throw a handful into many dishes to easily reap the benefits.
Can I replace eating vegetables with eating microgreens?
You absolutely can, but there’s a few reasons why you shouldn’t.
First of all, it isn’t cost- effective. Pound for pound, microgreens are considerably more expensive than their mature vegetable counterparts, unless you’re going to grow them at home.
Secondly, it just isn’t practical. The number of microgreens that you would have to eat in order to get five full servings isn’t realistic for most people. A full serving on its own is much larger than the typical quantities they are consumed in.
Are microgreens okay for children to eat every day?
Yes, kids over the age of one year old are totally fine to eat a serving or two of microgreens each day. It does bear mentioning that too many can cause tiny digestive systems to become upset, so moderation here is key.
Of course, you always want to wash your microgreens thoroughly before consuming them. This is especially important if you are going to serve them to young children, as their bodies can be more sensitive to bacteria.
What if I don’t like the way microgreens taste?
Microgreens tend to have a stronger, more pungent flavor than their full-grown vegetable counterparts. If you want to reap their nutritional benefits, but aren’t crazy about the taste, there’s a few things you can do.
First, go for a microgreen with a milder taste, like mustard, basil or radish. Second, try to mix a few sprinkles in with flavors that you already know you like. One of the best ways to do this is by disguising your microgreens in a smoothie or juice, but soups, dips and spreads work well too.
Can you eat too many microgreens?
While microgreens are certainly good for you, they can be upsetting to the stomach if eaten in excess, particularly when consumed raw.
The real risk in regards to extreme consumption of microgreens is the possibility of taking in too many vitamins or minerals. This is a particular possibility in instances where people are taking vitamin supplements. For instance, too much beta carotene or Vitamin A can result in skin discoloration, while excess amounts of iron can cause constipation.
Can you overdose on microgreens?
Yes, you can, but it’s pretty unlikely that you will. Microgreens are super rich in fiber, which also means they’re relatively filling. The number of microgreens that you would need to eat before you’d be in any life-threatening danger is very unlikely. In fact, you would have to eat over twenty pounds each day for a week before anything serious occurred.
Are there any dangerous or toxic microgreens?
While they aren’t necessarily toxic, there are three different microgreens that can cause unwanted health problems if consumed in large quantities. These are:
- Alfalfa, which contains saponins, which can cause stomach upsets, as well as lectins and canavanine, which can be toxic in very, very large doses.
- Buckwheat has fagopyrin, which is a pigment that reacts with ultraviolet light and causes photosensitivity. While small amounts of buckwheat microgreens are totally fine, they shouldn’t be consumed in excess.
- Quinoa also contains saponins, so eating a lot of it can cause stomach and digestive issues.