You don't need to eat MORE to get more nutrients.
Yep. You can eat less volume and get more protein and nutrients...
You know those little fancy itty bitty baby greens that come speckled across your entree, and those crazy looking sprouts you used to see only in those health food stores that smell like hippies and vitamins?
Well, they are nutritional powerhouses and you are better off eating them than a bushel of kale.
Why you want to eat Microgreens and Sunflower Sprouts--
“Hunger” can come in waves, and for different reasons, but feeling hungry and unsatisfied after eating, usually means one thing— you didn’t get enough of the nutrients your body needs to pay the bills.
In other words, every moment you are alive, the body is expending energy...
Your cells and organs are hard at play, often trying to overcompensate for the amount of stressors they are expected to manage, in addition to their normal duties.
Nutrients fuel the cells— powering the body.
We often lump nutrients into one large category and focus on “protein” as King.
But nutrients are far more than just “protein.”
There are 6 essential nutrients— protein, carbohydrates, water, vitamins, minerals, and fat. We need each of these nutrients to be able to perform optimally, and then some.
Fiber, is not a nutrient.
Let me say it again. Fiber is not a nutrient.
It is a bulking agent, or broom, helping to sweep the intestines of debris, undigested food particles, mucus, and to move food and waste forward for proper elimination.
Properly digested nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream and circulated throughout the body. It is only then that they can contribute to our overall well-being.
What goes undigested becomes un-useful waste. A cumbersome distraction and nuisance for the body.
If you are not properly chewing and digesting your food, you do not get to reap the benefits of the nutrients it holds.
SO where do we get these "nutrients"?
Where animal proteins are essentially just protein and fat— Greens, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds— AKA: PLANT LIFE, contain an incredible amount of essential nutrients— vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals… in addition to protein (amino acids), water, FIBER and beneficial properties we do not regularly discuss, like chlorophyll (the green plant pigment responsible for the absorption of light in the process of photosynthesis, which creates energy) and digestive ENZYMES (which help the body to breakdown food for proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients).
Let’s take a closer look…
KALE has received a wonderful reputation over the past several years due to the amount of nutrients it contains, relative to the amount of calories it has.
50 calories of fresh kale contains roughly:
- 200% of the RDA for Vitamin C.
- 300% of the RDA for Vitamin A (from beta-carotene).
- 1000% of the RDA for Vitamin K1.
- Large amounts of Vitamin B6, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Copper and Manganese.
- < 4 grams plant protein
- < 4 grams Fiber
On the contrary…
50 calories of cooked chicken breast contains:
- 0% of the RDA for Vitamin C.
- 0% of the RDA for Vitamin A
- 0% of the RDA for Vitamin K1.
- 0% of Vitamin B6, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Copper and Manganese.
- 11% selenium
- > 8 grams animal protein
- 0 grams Fiber
What does this have to do with the title of this article?
We often confuse HUNGER with how much we eat— aka: volume. When really it is about nutrients, and nutrient absorption.
Microgreens are the young seedlings of vegetables and herbs harvested less than 14 days after germination.
Kale microgreens contain enough nutrients in their little cell walls in order to fuel their own growth— meaning more nutrients for us.
Research shows that these little seedlings can be 4-40x more concentrated in nutrients than their mature.
In addition to microgreens, there are also what are commonly referred to as sunflower SPROUTS.
We all know what a sunflower is... and I am guessing the majority of people have eaten sunflower seeds before... shell and all. (Chew and spit.) #classy
But what about sunflower SPROUTS?
Made up of 25% protein (needed for future development aka: to become a sunflower) and packed with B vitamins and zinc, sunflower microgreens, commonly referred to as “sprouts,” are packed with nutritional benefits too— especially if one is looking to reproduce.
Sunflower sprouts support healthy reproduction, containing high amounts of zinc-- which supports healthy sperm production, in addition to enhancing the immune system.
Great for pregnant women, high levels of folate in these sprouts, helps to ensure the proper development of a child's nervous system.
B vitamins, in general, assist the body in the management of stress and help to support healthy circulation-- which, pregnant or not, is welcome in any body.
Antioxidants, like Vitamin E, help to reduce blood pressure, and reverse free radical damage, caused my internal and external stressors to the system. Which, can lead to premature aging and all sorts of discomfort and disease.
So you may be wondering how these little “babes” are supposed to help you feel fuller and more satisfied, and that is indeed fair— so let me explain.
Feeling “full” is part truth and part “illusion”.
While fiber (and volume) takes up more space in the stomach, nutrients are what the body SEEKS.
Adding these little microgreens to all of your meals will not only boost your nutrition… but make you feel fuller and more satisfied while helping you to reach your health goals more quickly, without “dieting” or hunger... or feeling bloated from eating tons of veggies.
So next time you go to dive into a salad... try adding more micros and less mature greens for more optimal health. You'll be eating less fiber, but gaining more nutrients. Nutrients that are also quicker to digest and more readily absorbed into the bloodstream.