Saturday, May 16, 2015

Grow Microgreens for a Powerful Vitamin Boost

We all know it is good for us to take our vitamins, especially in a world where our store bought food is nutrient deficient.  Our food lacks vitamins and minerals because our soil is not as healthy as it used to be, and because our food is irradiated before it is delivered to the grocery store.  Irradiation is a process  that zaps our food in a big microwave.  The process makes our food last longer by killing beneficial enzymes, but it also kills our vitamins and minerals. 

For these reasons, and many more, it is best to grow your own fruits and veggies.  This way, you are in control of creating rich, healthy soil which in turn creates nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables.  It also allows you to guarantee the food you're eating is truly organic, free of chemicals and pesticides, and not genetically modified. 

These homegrown foods will in turn create abundant health in your body.  In fact, many doctors and scientists now believe many of our illnesses and diseases can be attributed to nutrient deficiencies in the body.  Gardeners know this is true of the plants we grow, so it is logical to believe this would be true of the human body as well.

Summer has ended and fall has arrived, which means our summer garden harvest is soon to be over.  This doesn't mean you can't enjoy fresh produce year round, though.  There are many ways to garden year round.  You can grow in a greenhouse or use a cold frame outdoors in your garden.  You can even use indoor grow lights to grow indoors during the coldest months of winter. 

One very quick and easy way to get your vitamins and minerals year round is to grow microgreens indoors.  Microgreens are basically the seedling of any plant.  They only take 7-14 days to grow.  You can use any seed and they will give you a concentrated dose of vitamins and minerals.  The vitamins and minerals provided will be specific to the seeds you are growing. 

Scientific studies have been done recently confirming how beneficial microgreens truly are.  Gene Lester, a researcher with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and his colleagues at the University of Maryland, College Park, have conducted the first scientific analysis of nutrients in microgreens.

The researchers looked at four groups of vitamins and other phytochemicals – including vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene — in 25 varieties of microgreens. They found that leaves from almost all of the microgreens had four to six times more nutrients than the mature leaves of the same plant. But there was variation among them.  Red cabbage, for example, was highest in vitamin C, while the green daikon radish microgreens had the most vitamin E.
It is easy to grow microgreens at home year round.  All you need is an indoor grow light, a flat try, a little bit of soil, seeds and water.  In your tray, layer about an inch of soil.  Scatter whatever seed you choose over the soil and use a piece of cardboard to flatten them into the soil.  Now layer another 1/8" of soil over the seeds and gently press again with the cardboard.  Use a watering can to lightly soak the soil with water.  Optionally, you can cover the tray with plastic wrap to hold in the moisture and help the seeds sprout more quickly.  Put the tray under your grow light and keep the soil moist until the seeds sprout.  Once the seedlings are about 2-3 inches tall and have 2-3 leaves, you can begin to harvest them.  Use scissors to cut the seedlings right above the soil line.
You can use your microgreens in salads, wraps and sandwiches, in stir fries, or by juicing them.  Give microgreens a try and reap the benefits of concentrated doses of vitamins and minerals year round!  Your body and mind will thank you.

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