DIVINE PROVIDENCE HAS SPREAD HER TABLE EVERYWHERE, NOT WITH A JUICELESS GREEN CARPET, BUT WITH SUCCULENT HERBAGE AND NOURISHING GRASS, UPON WHICH MOST BEASTS FEED. – THOMAS MORE (1478–1535)
HEAVEN OR HELL?
What aligns our consciousness with our habitual lifestyle? Is it natural food? What is nature and natural? How great do we feel inside? What is the purpose of greens? What is the scientific reasoning behind the inclusion of vegetables in our diet? What is its impact on us – physically and mentally? What is the holistic approach towards our leafy cravings? Is building a robust immune system so important in taking us back to that wonderful way of life? All these questions tinkle the words of the great French philosopher René Descartes, in my mind – “‘I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am.’ It’s high time we learn that when it comes to what rules our immunity, pleasing our tastebuds and palate isn’t in primacy – it’s the knowledge of understanding the science of nature. Explore within to recognize the wrongs we’re chasing and embrace the rights our bodies are built naturally for. Wild greens beckon us to consume their sublime compounds and cleanse our systems as well as the environment. Turning green is the key to save ourselves and our future. A blind eye towards the toxic energies today will cost us tomorrow. Therefore, resolving towards a new dawn full of health and vitality, we must place microgreens on the top of our list.
SAVE OUR SOIL
The oldest soil on Mother Earth will connect us to our roots, to our lives as humans, to our kinship with the earth. We will eventually go back to the soil that created us. In the quest for our destination in the heavens after a peaceful life, the Hindu culture contains the divine ‘Mahamrityunjaya Mantra’ called the ‘moksha (heaven)’ mantra!
We worship the three-eyed One, who is fragrant and who nourishes all.
Like the fruit falls off from the bondage of the stem, may we be liberated from death, from mortality. Back to the soil we came from.
Chanting this mantra helps in healing all realms of human existence: the human body, mind, and soul. The fact that it is a ‘moksha’ mantra makes it a powerful mantra for longevity and healthy life.
The life we live urges us to be responsible for our body’s and soul’s needs. Eating more greens helps us live clean, and growing them helps our planet stay uncontaminated. Healthy soil will nourish healthy plants, animals, and humans, eventually ridding the planet of chronic pollution. Planting a seed into the soil is the first step to alter all elements. The only way out is way deep within.
I have sensed my calling to go back to the roots since I was a child who grew amidst farmlands, hailing from a small countryside in Western India, my heart belongs to agricultural norms. It’s time to reinforce the practices I grew up observing in my effort to reinstate the environment from decades ago. Spending my childhood in western India’s largest agro-terra, and growing up in a cosmopolitan like Mumbai, I truly had the best of both worlds. Now, I’m all geared up to get my fingers green and earthy and adapt the same organic lifestyle that the ‘little me’ enjoyed, looking up towards the foliage of tall palm trees. I staunchly believe in winning this battle by cooperating with nature, instead of the detrimental practices we have done in the last few years. But, how would I do this in a bustling city?
I recently ordered a vertical garden set from Amazon and learned all about cultivating my own microgreens. With the lack of space and luxury for farming, a rack in the wall or windows can help harness healthy little greens. Being totally free of chemicals, there can be no better alternatives to consume green vegetables, ergo gaining pure nutrients, harmonizing our body and lifestyle with good health. And this is becoming widespread all over. Gisele Bundchen, one of the highest-paid models in the world, whose breakthrough on the modelling stage for Victoria’s Secret was dubbed as ‘The Return of the Sexy Model, took an initiative to plant 40,000 trees on her 40th birthday. This is a perfect example of not confusing being modern and educated with being ignorant about the significance of healthy existence. Like her, many philanthropists and public figures have started spreading awareness for environmental benefits and organic choices in life. Living greener and more holistically is actually the coolest thing one can do today. And looking back at last year, I’d say surrendering ourselves to these healthy greens will result in us finding great joy in the new year.
“I have a lot of fruit trees and my own little vegetable garden and chickens. And every time I eat, I bless my food; I say I’m grateful for it and let it nourish every part of my body.” – Gisele Bundchen
Understanding the element ‘carbon’ is the first step to grasp basic ecological principles. We’re made up of carbon, and soil microbes are run by carbon. It is the driver that runs the thriving of plants. We emit carbon, as do fossil fuels, which plants absorb. Humans are 16% carbon, consisting of eating vegetation and things that eat vegetation. Sunlight acts as the energy for plants to absorb CO2 and turn it into fuel for themselves. As per ‘Kiss The Earth’ – a documentary on Netflix, 40% of this carbon-fuel is sent down to the plant’s roots. This is then leaked out strategically for microorganisms in the soil who feed on carbon and in-turn expel mineral nutrients for plants. These microorganisms create a carbon glue, forming a miniature habitat in little pockets of soil to allow air and water flow. In a nutshell, this extraordinary mechanism of the ecosystem where soil sequesters CO2 from the atmosphere sending it underground in nature’s amazing little laboratory where an entire universe of life exists is the ultimate tool to cleanse the planet. The soil has more organisms than the number of people who’ve ever lived on Earth. These organisms process organic matter in the soil and put nutrients into a form that plants need. Comparing the soil’s microbial diversity to the microbial diversity of humans, we have more bacterial cells in our body than human cells. As per Mark Hyman, Director – Cleveland Centre for Functional Medicine, we are 1% human and 99% microbes. Our food gets broken down in our gut by good bacteria. Therefore, when we eat greens, the bacteria use them as an energy source to work harder in solidifying our digestive systems. The bugs in our belly just love greens, so you better feed them that unless you want to be served as the peace offering.
BENEFITS OF MICROGREENS
Benefits of Sprouting – Just like the plants, different sprouts of microgreens have different health benefits, but there are some common ones:
Lower Anti-Nutrients & Phytic Acid
Sprouting microgreens helps in breaking down naturally occurring anti-nutrients in nuts, grains, and seeds that make them difficult to digest.
Anti-nutrients like phytic acid bind to magnesium, zinc, calcium, and iron, thus not making them easily digestible. Soaking and sprouting microgreens for even one day can reduce the anti-nutrient content by 90% or more. At the same time, microgreens increase the content of many beneficial nutrients and amino acids by making them more available to the body.
Ever gotten gas from consuming beans? Consume properly soaked and sprouted legumes; the compounds that cause digestive disturbances and gas get broken down.
More Beneficial Enzymes
It is said that there are around a 100 times more beneficial enzymes in microsprouts than in raw vegetables. Microgreens are also a wonderful source of enzyme-inducers that protect us against chemical carcinogens.
More Vitamins & Minerals
Microgreens increase the vitamin and mineral content of nuts and seeds and also the nutrient absorption of these foods. Sprouting greatly improves the content of B-vitamins, carotene, and vitamin C.
Creates Protective Compounds
When you consume sprouts, you essentially consume all the benefits of that plant. Microgreens contain antioxidants and enzymes that support healthy cell regeneration and protect against free radical damage. Different sprouts help the body in many ways:
Broccoli sprouts contain 10-100x as much sulforaphane, a cancer-fighting compound that has been extensively studied, than adult broccoli plants.
Alfalfa sprouts grow very quickly and are a good source of vitamins C and K, as well as B-vitamins. They are also a source of saponins, which help balance cholesterol.
Most sprouts house quite a lot of hydrolytic enzymes that help the body assimilate food like clover sprouts are a good source of isoflavones, sunflower sprouts are high in protein, phytosterols, essential fatty acids, and fibre, and lentil sprouts are an excellent source of protein.
GARDEN OF EDEN
Our peace and health are deeply connected with the health and peace of the planet. Our choice of a healthy, happy lifestyle will manifest into nature giving us more of it back. Plants, animals, and us, we’re all creatures of the same creator who made the sparkling night sky, the crimson sunrise, the glow of morning dew, and the mystical reefs in the silent blue ocean. Our ancestors preserved this soil, this paradise to pass on to us. Through hardships and adversities, they made it easy for us to carry the treasure of this green and blue, beautiful planet, Mother Earth. It is far more precious than plastic-coated, shiny objects, rotten chemicals, and artificial food. It’s time to combat devastation with biodiversity. Being a fashionista who cooks, cleans, and loves to plant trees, making my own micro-greens, I’m certain you all can do your bit too. Going agro is therapeutical – believe me, more so than any retail shopping we splurge on. We’re all in this together; every step we take forward will affect the other person living among us, like a ripple in the pond. So, let’s make decisions that are fruitful for this beautiful planet, and our body and mind. Let’s consume what we were made to consume before we retreat back into this earth. Let’s plant and harvest within for coming generations, to pass on the fortune as we got from our previous inhabitants, so that our children can play under the old oak and banyan trees and swing under the open sky, swim in crystal-clear, deep blue water and be able to gulp in purity while swimming. The habits we evince today will be what our children exhibit tomorrow. Let’s toughen our role in deciding the food we eat. Eating can’t be about religion or politics or cast and race. It’s only about love, peace, and harmony. Let’s straighten the approach to give back the love that we’ve got from nature. Let’s protect what has protected us! From the tiny microbes to the most ripped fruits and bloomed flowers, our garden pulses with flavours, colours, and nourishment; for millions of years, vegetation has self-bloomed and self-balanced. Let it harness the regenerative beauty itself and let’s go back to the earth we were born from. So, in the new year of 2021, with new hopes, aspirations, and positivity, let’s give microgreens a hearty welcome into our lives!