"Fresh microgreens aren’t just pretty, they’re healthy too"

“We instinctively know that eating micro-leaves has to be good for us”, says Yael Mandel of 2BFresh. This Israeli company, which is a subsidiary of Teshuva Agricultural Projects Ltd. (TAP), produces a wide variety of fresh micro-leaves and herbs for local and international markets.
In order to prove this, they commissioned Dr Uri Mayer-Chissick (Ph.D) to prepare a research document about the nutritional value of micro-leaves. Dr. Mayer-Chissick is an accomplished researcher of the history of food and nutrition. He also gives academic lectures all around Israel and abroad.

The most important finding in his research, says Yael, is that micro-leaves, because of their high concentration of essential nutrients, have higher levels of vitamins and minerals when compared to a fully mature plant (per weight). “They are important for all of us because of their concentration in essential nutrients that are vital for a healthy body”, writes Dr Mayer-Chissick.
The report says a study of 25 different types of micro-leaves found that they can be a good source of vitamin K1, vitamin C and various types of carotenoids, and vitamin E. Vitamin K1 is necessary for blood clotting in the human body, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that plays an essential role in the production of collagen protein responsible for the stability of bones, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. Vitamin E is also a powerful antioxidant, which is vital in preventing the oxidation of cell membranes. “Sulforaphane is an antioxidant that is considered to play an anticancer role. Sulforaphane in cruciferous plants is formed during chewing. Tests revealed that its concentration in broccoli microgreens was 10 times higher than in the adult plant".

All 2BFresh micro-leaves, which are fresh micro-leaves, are grown in light. Wasabi, opal (purple) basil, tendrils of peas and amaranth micro-leaves have the same concentrations of beta-carotene as mature carrots and sweet potatoes. The concentration of lutein / zeaxanthin, both types of carotenoids, in coriander micro-leaves is 11 times higher than their concentration in mature leaves. “Tests found that micro-leaves grown in light contained 90-200% of the recommended daily dose of beta-carotene per 100 g of the product”, writes Dr Mayer-Chissick in his report.

"Ginseng and micro-leaves also have the same kind of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that the body needs on a daily basis," says Yael.
Micro-leaves can be added to a wide variety of foods. “Try adding it to salads, replacing the lettuce in a sandwich, making a pesto-like paste, seasoning for vegetable omelettes and more”, writes Dr Mayer-Chissick. “Many of us start our day with delicious fruit smoothies. Adding a handful of microgreens to the shake will increase its nutritional value.”

Dr Mayer-Chissick advises in his report that cooking micro-leaves for a long time may damage some of their antioxidants. “Therefore, micro-leaves are better consumed fresh”, he writes. “It is important to remember that most of the vitamins and phenols listed in this report are oil-soluble and better absorbed in the digestive system in the presence of fats. Combine high quality olive oil or nuts and almonds with your meal to get the most out of your micro-leaves.”
“When choosing micro-leaves, we recommend diversifying. “A wide variety of leaves will allow us to enjoy the various benefits that each micro-leaves has to offer and make it easier to include them frequently in our diet. In any case, microgreens should be fresh-looking and have a strong and attractive colour”, concludes Dr Mayer-Chissick.

For more information:
Yael Mandel

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