Alfalfa sprouts – what is it for, benefits and side effects!

Alfalfa sprouts are  packed with health benefits, all low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. In fact, studies show that Alfalfa sprouts  can fight health problems.

Most common in the world, particularly the US  cancer and diabetes . And these are just two of the problems that Alfalfa Sprouts  help in the treatment or prevention. Let’s find out how these sprouts are able to fight these chronic diseases. Along with all the other benefits provided.

Origin of alfalfa sprouts:

Alfalfa sprouts originated and were first cultivated in Asia Minor and Iran and are endemic throughout the Mediterranean region, the Middle East, North Africa, China, northern India, Siberia and much of Europe. It has been cultivated for over a millennium and has small violet flowers when the plant is mature.

Although originally these plants were grown primarily to feed cattle and livestock, they were later used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat digestive problems. After that, the alfalfa plant was not valued as anything but fodder until the 1960s and 1970s, when sprouts became associated with a cultural healthy eating movement.

The origin dates back 5,000 years, when Chinese doctors used the sprouts medicinally. In the 1700s, sailors discovered the bud’s ability to prevent scurvy, which was the most common cause of death on long voyages.

During World War II, a professor brought up the idea of ​​sprouts as a western food crop. During the war, the professor and his team of researchers determined that sprouts are an easy-to-grow nutritional source. It’s amazing to consider how valuable this discovery was for a time when resources were low and the need for nutritious food was high.

The Alfalfa Sprout  plant itself also has a long and rich history. We usually think of alfalfa as a plant used for animal feed, but it also has many benefits for humans. Alfalfa sprouts are high in vitamins and are sometimes used as a nutritional supplement.

What are?

Alfalfa Sprouts  come from a sprouted alfalfa seed and are a nutritious addition to many meals. When the seed germinates, it creates a sprout, which is then harvested before the plant fully matures. Commonly found in oriental dishes, it is often added to soups, on top of sandwiches and with salads.

Sprouts are filled with many of the great benefits found in seeds and are actually healthier because the sprouting process brings in a lot of enzymes. They also carry more protein, vitamins and minerals, as well as a lower proportion of starch, than uncultivated seeds. Starches are broken down into simple sugars and are therefore easier to digest.

Nutritional value:

Alfalfa sprouts are  very low in calories but provide a number of vitamins and minerals, which makes them a perfect complementary item to add to your favorite meals. A 100 gram serving of Alfalfa Sprouts  has (percent of daily value):

What is it for?

Alfalfa sprouts benefit the entire body as a system for you to achieve and maintain optimal health. Not only is it refreshing, but you feel the difference when you add this to your diet.

It can help in lowering blood pressure, but more research is needed in this area. Like anything, you need to consult your doctor before changing your diet. It increases breast milk production, treats arthritis, and helps eliminate and prevent kidney stones.

How to use?

Alfalfa sprouts are delicious both hot and cold. Put them on sandwiches instead of lettuce to add some greenery and crunch. They’re especially good in any sandwich involving avocado. Add them to fries or soups. Always wash your hands before handling the sprouts and rinse well.

Wash your hands again after handling them. If you’ve grown them at home and have a healthy immune system, you can add the sprouts at the end of the recipe’s cooking time. Otherwise, the sprouts must be fully cooked to kill any foodborne illnesses they may contain.

Check out the 7 Health Benefits of Alfalfa Sprouts below:


1. Reduces the risk of breast cancer:

Alfalfa sprouts are  a great source of isoflavones and other phytoestrogens, which are plant compounds that mimic human estrogen. Studies on the consumption of soy -based foods , which also have high concentrations of isoflavones, have shown positive results in decreasing the risk of death and recurrence in breast cancer patients .

2. Relieves menopausal symptoms:

Thanks to the high levels of Vitamin K and phytoestrogens, Alfalfa Sprouts  can help women to minimize symptoms related to Menopause and menstruation. Vitamin K is a blood clotting vitamin, so it can help with excessive bleeding. The combination of Vitamin K and phytoestrogens has an effect on estrogen regulation, which could minimize PMS and Menopause symptoms .

3. Prevent osteoporosis:

Vitamin K makes bones, which is why it is essential in preventing and even treating osteoporosis . The body needs Vitamin K to properly utilize calcium , which builds bones. Thanks to the growing understanding of Vitamin K ‘s bone health benefits and ongoing studies that show the connection.

Between bone health and increasing levels of Vitamin K , the recommended daily values ​​for the vitamin have increased by approximately 50%. Alfalfa sprouts also have  a remarkable amount of Manganese , which is also an essential nutrient in preventing osteoporosis and inflammation.

4. Control diabetes:

While there is no cure for diabetes , controlling the disease naturally can be achieved through diet. One study found alfalfa sprouts to  be successful as an anti-diabetic due to its ability to lower blood glucose levels. Regulating blood sugar levels is essential in the treatment of diabetes , and the use of foods such as Alfalfa Sprouts helps in decreasing insulin dependence.

5. Rich in antioxidants:

Alfalfa sprouts are  a proven, highly antioxidant food that helps protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants promote better health and can prevent various diseases and illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.

A study has shown that the levels of Vitamin K  in Alfalfa Sprouts  not only fight Vitamin K deficiency , but also help prevent diseases linked to aging ( osteoporosis , cancer, hardening of the arteries, etc.).

6. Fights cholesterol:

Alfalfa sprouts are  a successful anti-hyperlipidemic, which means they help in reducing blood lipid levels. Lowering the lipid count may have an effect on reducing the symptoms of coronary heart disease caused by high cholesterol levels.

A 1978 study done on monkeys showed that adding alfalfa to their diets reduced the negative effects of cholesterol, proving that alfalfa is one of the best cholesterol-lowering foods.

7. Rich in Vitamin C:

Alfalfa sprouts are  one of the best foods rich in Vitamin C. A serving of Alfalfa Sprouts  can provide 14% of your recommended daily value of Vitamin C , and as Vitamin C is water-soluble, we need to replenish our supply through our diets. Alfalfa sprouts are  an easy addition to meals.

It’s also a great way to supplement your Vitamin C needs – which is essential for many healthy bodily functions. Although more research is needed, many communities believe that Alfalfa Sprouts  can also increase milk supply in nursing mothers, help with kidney and bladder problems, and help relieve stomach problems, Asthma and Arthritis .

What are the types of alfalfa?

Whatever your preference, you can consume alfalfa in a variety of ways. Best known for the grown sprouts you’ll add to your salad or sandwich. Everyone has a different hormonal response to the foods they eat and the same way you consume these types of foods. Here is a list below:

  • Alfalfa sprouts ;
  • Alfalfa powder;
  • Alfalfa capsule;
  • Germinated Alfalfa;
  • Alfalfa juice.

See what you like and what hormonal effect you get from the different types of prepared Alfalfa Sprouts . You can have Alfalfa Sprouts growing in your kitchen, backyard, or buy them fresh, sprouted, or powdered in supplement form.

How many alfalfa sprouts should I consume per day?

You don’t need much as it’s a sprouted food, so it’s very micronutrient dense. A small amount can make a huge impact on your condition and maintaining good health. In powder, you will only need 5-20g per day. If you’re eating kale, it’s good to add a small handful to your salad or sandwich.

Alfalfa sprouts help you lose weight?

Alfalfa sprouts contain only 8 calories per serving, making this crunchy food an ideal choice for people who are trying to lose weight. Self magazine gives alfalfa a five-star rating as a weight loss aid, noting that it is low in calories, sugar, fat and saturated fat. Also, as alfalfa sprouts are rich in fiber and protein, they can help facilitate feelings of fullness for people who tend to overeat.

Where to buy alfalfa sprouts:

Alfalfa sprouts are  readily available in most supermarkets and food markets. When choosing them, look for fresh roots and stems. You should smell fresh and clean. Wash thoroughly when you return home and keep the sprouts properly refrigerated. If they start to smell musty, do not consume.

How to make?

Alfalfa sprouts can be added to almost any meal, but here are some of my favorite recipes:

  • Artichoke, Avocado and Alfalfa Sprouts Salad ;
  • Homemade tortillas with guacamole, cucumber and kale;
  • Alfalfa sprout omelet.

Side effects and precautions:

Although Alfalfa Sprouts  are nutritious and provide many health benefits, there are some precautions that go with these sprouts. Sprouts have a reputation related to foodborne illness. As they are eaten raw or lightly cooked, they carry a risk. Sprouts need a warm, moist environment to grow, which is also an ideal environment for bacterial growth.

Shoots contaminated with Salmonella and E. coli have caused at least 30 outbreaks since 1996. The bacterial problem with sprouts usually starts with the seed. There are a number of techniques to kill harmful elements present in alfalfa seeds, but nothing is proven to eliminate all bacteria. Growing sprouts at home also does not guarantee that they are safer, as the problem lies in the seed.

The US Food and Drug Administration has recommended that children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems avoid eating raw sprouts. Also, due to the high levels of Vitamin K , individuals taking blood thinners should avoid Alfalfa Sprouts  This can be an important interaction, so check with your doctor before consuming Alfalfa Sprouts .

There are concerns about how the levels of canavanine found in alfalfa sprouts  affect the human body, specifically the immune system. Some institutions warn about Alfalfa Sprouts  and those suffering from autoimmune diseases: Alfalfa can cause the immune system to become more active, and this can increase symptoms of autoimmune diseases.

There are two case reports of SLE patients suffering from disease flare after taking long-term alfalfa seed products. If you have an autoimmune problem, it’s best to avoid using alfalfa until more is known.”

More studies are needed to determine exactly how and why certain disorders are affected by Alfalfa Sprouts , but the following individuals should avoid Alfalfa Sprouts  until more is known:

  • Diabetics using other herbal supplements and medications known to lower blood sugar.
  • People using medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight.
  • People using immunosuppressants.
  • Estrogen sensitive individuals.

Other precautions:

Raw sprouts such as Alfalfa sprouts carry the risk of foodborne illness (as do other fresh produce and other foods we can eat such as meat and dairy). However, “Unlike other fresh produce, seeds and grains need warm, humid conditions to sprout and grow. These conditions are also ideal for the growth of bacteria, including Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli.

This is why it is recommended that children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems avoid eating Alfalfa Sprouts . If you don’t fall into either of these groups, it may be safe to buy Alfalfa Sprouts at the supermarket and eat them. To be proactive, you can also check out food information and alerts here.

Final considerations:

Alfalfa Sprouts have  a funny name, but they should definitely be taken seriously. They are linked to fighting aging, cancer, osteoporosis , diabetes , high cholesterol and Menopause symptoms , as well as providing high levels of vitamins and minerals.

Useful links: 

They are also easy to create at home, but keep in mind that you should take precautions. However, as long as you keep these precautions in mind, Alfalfa Sprouts  are a great addition to many recipes and provide a delicious, low-calorie, nutrient-dense option for your diet.

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