Nutritional information for microgreens and at the bottom, some other, perhaps surprising ways we can boost our immune systems.
Microgreens are an excellent way to help boost your immune system as they contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, polyphenols, antioxidants, phytonutrients and dietry fibre all of which help to keep your body's systems and defences running in optimal condition as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
While their nutrient content varies slightly, most varieties tend to be rich in vitamins C, K and B complexes, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium, manganese, calcium, copper and zinc. They also contain beneficial plant compounds like enzymes, fibre, protiens, phytonutrients and flavonoids like lutein and zeaxanthin, which provide antioxidants.
What’s more, their nutrient content is concentrated, which means that they often contain higher vitamin, mineral and antioxidant levels than the same quantity of mature greens.
Dietary fibre intake is an excellent way to maintain bowel and gut health, (which in turn boosts our immune system) lowers cholesterol levels, lowers the risk of cardiovascular problems and cancers and helps control blood sugar levels. Fibre also keeps you fuller for longer which helps us maintain a healthy weight.
Enzymes from plant foods helps beneficial gut bacteria to thrive and promotes better digestion and nutrient absorbtion.
Polyphenols are a class of antioxidant shown to lower the risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that microgreens may lower triglyceride and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.
Antioxidant rich foods have been linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease
as they protect the grey matter from free radical damage.
Antioxidant rich foods, especially those rich in polyphenols, may lower the risk of various types of cancer. Polyphenol-rich microgreens may be expected to have similar effects.
Vitamin A supports bone health, can protect your eyes from night blindness and age-related decline and may help protect you from certain cancers.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can strengthen your body's natural defenses by protecting cells from oxidative stress and encouraging white blood cell production. Vit C may also help manage high blood pressure and reduce inflammation.
Vitamin K is not normally one that we are deficient in but it helps us to maintain bone, heart and cognitive health.
Sulforaphane is well studied to be anticancer, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and may even protect against aging and diabetes. It is found in most microgreen varieties but most especially in cruciferous vegetables and they are found in especially high quantities in broccoli, kale and cabbage microgreens.
Iron promotes the production of red blood cells and increases blood oxygen levels which in turn can lead to increased energy levels, increased cognitive function, a strong immune system, better sleep, faster metabolism and can also contribute to better neurotransmitter production and treat restless leg syndrome.
Magnesium has been shown to be deficient in about 50% of people in Europe and the US and is essential in keeping inflammation at bay. Chronic inflammation is responsible for a plethora of health problems including chronic disease, obesity and aging. Magnesium can prevent migraines, reduce insulin resistance, improve PMS symptoms as well as improve brain function and mood.
More ways to stay healthy and boost your immune system:
As you can see, we don’t always need fancy suppliments to get these important substances into our diet, we just need to eat nutrient rich foods like microgreens.
Some other excellent ways we can help keep our immune systems in optimal condition include not drinking too much alcohol, taking regular, moderate amounts of exercise, getting a decent amount of good quality sleep each night, getting plenty of sunshine on our skin or taking vitamin D suppliments in the winter, treating ourselves to massage also boosts the immune system, as can experiencing short bursts of stress such as facing our fears, getting out of our comfort zones every once in a while or turning the water to cold for 30 seconds at the end of our daily shower.
Socialising also has been proven to boost our immune system and of course so has laughter!
Here is a link to an excellent documentary about boosting our immune systems: