Nutritional Difference between Sprouts and Microgreens

HomeBenefitsNutritional Difference between Sprouts and Microgreens

Quick Answer:
While both sprouts and microgreens are nutrient-dense, there are some nutritional differences between the two. Sprouts are germinated seeds that are eaten whole, including the root, while microgreens are harvested once the first true leaves have emerged. Microgreens are typically more nutrient-dense than sprouts and contain higher levels of vitamins and minerals per unit weight.

Have you ever heard of sprouts and microgreens? If so, then you’re probably aware that they offer many nutritional benefits. But have you ever wondered what the difference is between them nutritionally? Well, I know I certainly have! After researching this topic extensively, I’m here to tell you all about the nutritional differences between these two superfoods.

The first thing we need to do is define what a sprout and a microgreen are. A sprout is simply any edible seed or grain which has been allowed to germinate in water until it produces a shoot with leaves and roots. Microgreens on the other hand are small, young plants harvested before they reach maturity – usually 7-14 days after sowing. Now let’s take a look at how their nutrition differs.

It turns out that both sprouts and microgreens contain high levels of vitamins and minerals – including iron, zinc, vitamin C, folate and more! However when it comes to their protein content there can be quite dramatic differences; with some types of sprouts containing up to 20 times more protein than an equivalent weight of microgreens! In this article I’ll discuss why this might be the case as well as exploring other key differences between these two healthy foods. So read on if you want to learn more about the nutritional difference between sprouts and microgreens!

Definition Of Sprouts And Microgreens

Sprouts and microgreens are both forms of edible plants, but they differ in terms of nutrition. To understand the nutritional differences between them, let’s first define what sprouts and microgreens are. Sprouts are germinated seeds that have just begun to grow. They can be grown from a variety of plant sources such as grains, legumes or nuts. You may recognize bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts or sunflower sprouts. Microgreens on the other hand are young vegetable greens harvested when their cotyledons (the embryonic leaves) emerge above the soil surface with true leaves beginning to form. Examples include radish greens, beet greens, kale or cabbage.

Now that we know what these two types of edible plants mean, let’s take a look at how they’re grown differently.

RELATED:  Microgreens vs Kale: Contrasting Green Superfoods

Growing Conditions

Sprouts and microgreens are both quick-growing plants that can be grown either indoors or outdoors. However, the growing conditions for sprouts and microgreens vary significantly. When it comes to soil nutrients, sprouts don’t need any because they’re typically germinated in water alone. Microgreens, on the other hand, require a nutrient-rich soil mix for successful growth. Light requirements also differ between the two types of greens; while sprout seeds only need indirect light to germinate, microgreens require direct sunlight to grow properly. Additionally, sprouts need more frequent watering than microgreens since their shallow roots take up moisture quickly when planted in moist soil. The temperature range needed for each type of green is quite different too: sprouts thrive best at lower temperatures (around 55°F) compared to microgreens which prefer warmer climates (between 65° and 75°). Lastly, humidity levels have an impact on how well these plants will develop; high humidity helps keep the leaves from wilting too soon with sprouts whereas mid-level humidity works better for microgreens as higher humidities may lead to mold formation.

When it comes to nutritional content, there’s no denying that both sprouts and microgreens offer health benefits…

Nutritional Content

Sprouts and microgreens are both great sources of nutrition, but there are differences in their nutritional composition. Sprouts have higher nutrient density than microgreens because they are harvested at an earlier stage of development. Microgreens, however, contain a greater variety of vitamins and minerals than sprouts due to their longer growth period.

The major difference between the two is that sprouts have more concentrated levels of nutrients such as:

Vitamin C

  • – Sprouts: up to five times more vitamin C than mature plants
  • – Microgreens: twice as much vitamin C as mature plants


  • Sprouts: contains high amounts of calcium
  • Microgreens: contains lower amount of calcium compared to sprout varieties

Protein Content:

  • Sprouts: typically has a higher protein content compared to microgreens
  • Microgreens: generally contains less protein per serving size when compared to sprouts

In addition, microgreens tend to provide more fiber, carotenoids and antioxidants than sprouts. The mineral content also varies depending on the type of seed used for each crop. Therefore it’s important to research which crops will offer you the most beneficial quantity and quality of vitamins and minerals for your dietary needs.

When comparing these two types of produce side by side, one can see that although both offer plenty of essential elements needed for good health, some variations exist between them in terms of their nutritional value. With this knowledge in mind, it’s easier to decide which one is best suited for individual dietary requirements. Now let’s look into how these greens can be used in culinary dishes.

RELATED:  Can You Eat Too Many Microgreens? Side Effects of Overconsumption

Culinary Uses

Sprouts and microgreens are both incredibly versatile when it comes to meal planning. They can be used in various dishes, from salads to garnishes on main courses or side dishes. Both have unique flavor combinations that can add a special twist to recipes.

Sprouts Microgreens
Salads Sandwiches
Soups Garnishing Dishes
Stir Fries Smoothies

For example, sprouts can easily be added into salad recipes for an extra crunchy texture and nutty taste. They’re also great in soups, stir fries, and sandwiches. On the other hand, microgreens offer more delicate flavors making them ideal for garnishing meals with different colors and textures as well as adding a zing to smoothies. With their many uses, they make excellent additions to any dish!

When using these two ingredients separately or together in cooking ideas, there is no limit how creative you can get with your dinner combos. Experimenting with different flavor combinations opens up endless possibilities of delicious food experiences!

Health Benefits

Sprouts and microgreens have some amazing health benefits. Sprouts are known to be a powerhouse of nutrition, as they contain Vitamins A, B complex, C, E, K and many minerals like calcium, iron and magnesium. They also boast powerful antioxidant properties that can help protect our bodies from the effects of free radicals. Additionally, sprouts can benefit heart health by reducing cholesterol levels in the body.

Microgreens are not far behind when it comes to nutritional value; they offer much more than just good looks! Rich in vitamins A, C and K as well as fiber, these miniature greens provide us with essential nutrients that promote a healthy immune system. In addition to boosting immunity, microgreens are now being studied for their potential role in brain development and gut health.

When eaten regularly as part of a balanced diet, both sprouts and microgreens can contribute significantly towards achieving optimal health. As we move on to safety considerations about consuming these nutrient-packed powerhouses, let’s take a moment to appreciate all the wonderful ways this food group can support our wellbeing.

Safety Considerations

The previous section discussed the health benefits of sprouts and microgreens, but it is important to consider safety measures when consuming these foods. As with any food item, there is a risk of contamination from pathogens such as bacteria or viruses that can cause food-borne illness. This is especially true for eating raw sprouts or microgreens since cooking them would reduce the risk. Like a tightrope walker on a high wire, one must take the necessary precautions before partaking in this culinary adventure.

RELATED:  Can Bunnies Eat Microgreens? A Nutritious Treat for Your Pet

When shopping for either sprouts or microgreens, look for ones grown through organic farming methods as they are more likely to be free from pesticide residues that could harm your body over time. Additionally, make sure you purchase only fresh produce from reputable vendors whose sanitation practices have been verified. It’s also advisable to store them properly and use them within two days of purchasing them so that their nutritional values remain intact.

To further ensure safety while enjoying these nutrient powerhouse foods, wash them thoroughly under running water to remove dirt and debris prior to consumption. Finally, if you find any mold present on the greens, discard immediately as it may contain toxins harmful to humans. With proper care and attention taken at each step in the process, you can reap all the nutritious benefits of sprouts and microgreens without worrying about potential risks associated with them


In conclusion, sprouts and microgreens are both incredibly nutritious additions to any diet. Not only do they offer a variety of vitamins and minerals, but their freshness can be hard to beat! Sprouts provide an intense burst of flavor that packs a punch in salads or sandwiches, while microgreens bring delicate notes and visual flair to the plate. Plus, these easy-to-grow foods provide countless health benefits from reducing inflammation to improving gut health.

When it comes to incorporating either sprouts or microgreens into your meals, safety should always come first. Make sure you’re buying your food from reputable sources and taking extra care when handling raw produce like these. With some precautions taken, you’ll have no problem enjoying all the delicious nutrition that sprouts and microgreens have to offer.

We often think of big changes when we look for ways to improve our diets – yet sometimes it’s those little extras that make all the difference. By adding just a sprinkle of sprouts or a handful of microgreens here and there, you can give yourself an enjoyable nutritional boost without too much effort – so why not give it a try?

Kathy Turner
Kathy Turner
Kathy Turner is the founder of, a popular blog dedicated to helping people become master microgreen growers. Kathy is passionate about helping others learn how to grow the healthiest, most nutrient-rich microgreens. She believes that with the right knowledge and resources, anyone can become a successful microgreen grower. Learn more about Kathy by viewing her full Author Profile.

Popular posts

My favorites

I'm social