Alfalfa sprouts, also known scientifically as Medicago sativa, are a legume plant. It is also known as lucerne. It is also called as Rijka in India. Alfalfa contains therapeutic characteristics and could be used as a natural supplement. Another common application is for cattle feed. As a result, it contains numerous nutritional qualities and health benefits.
It may benefit men’s heart, gastrointestinal, and liver health, as well as their immunity and testosterone levels. It also contains a variety of nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants that are beneficial to one’s health. As a result, it may be regarded a superfood, and you can consume it in the form of sprouts.
Alfalfa Sprouts’ Nutritional Value
One hundred grammes of alfalfa sprouts has the following nutrients:
- Calorie count: 23 kCal
- 2.1 g carbohydrate
- 4 g protein, 0.7 g fat
- 1.9 g of fibre
- 92.8 g water
- 32 mg calcium
- Magnesium: 27 milligrammes
- 79 mg potassium
- 70 mg phosphorus
- 8.2 mg vitamin C
The Health Advantages of Alfalfa Sprouts
Promotes Heart Health
In affluent countries, heart disease is one of the main causes of death. Today’s lifestyle and diet include more bad fats, such as LDL cholesterol, which build up in arteries and cause a variety of health problems such as atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
A study found that patients who ingested alfalfa seeds three times per day improved their health over the course of two months. Their LDL cholesterol levels were reduced as a result.
It is mostly due to saponins, a chemical found in alfalfa sprouts that can aid in cholesterol reduction. Lowering LDL cholesterol may also improve blood circulation and heart health.
Saponins act as fat neutralizers, reducing their effectiveness in the body. They also inhibit the activity of specific enzymes in the body that are involved in fat synthesis.
As a result, they aid in the reduction of extra fat in the body. Therefore, alfalfa sprouts can be used to treat and manage hypercholesterolemia, or elevated cholesterol. Similarly, it can be used to avoid serious heart diseases.
Enhances Liver Health
According to one study, alfalfa extracts aid in the healing of injured liver tissue. They aid in the repair of the liver’s fragile tissues, which aid in detoxification.
Furthermore, alfalfa extracts aid in the removal of excess fat deposits surrounding the liver. Furthermore, its anti-inflammatory properties may help to minimise excess inflammation in the liver. As a result, it promotes better liver function.
Promotes Gut Health
Alfalfa seed germination can boost its nutritional value. Furthermore, soaking these seeds in water may release and activate a variety of metabolites. These metabolites work in conjunction with gut microorganisms to produce health benefits. Consumption of alfalfa sprouts, for example, can lower the incidence of IBS and inflammatory bowel disease.
Alfalfa sprouts also include a variety of proteinaceous enzymes that our bodies require. Lipases, amylases, and invertases are examples of these enzymes. All of these enzymes contribute to biochemical processes in the body.
Lipase, for example, aids in fat digestion, while amylase aids in carbohydrate digestion and sugar digestion. Furthermore, these enzymes aid to strengthen the digestive system.
As a result, alfalfa seeds help improve bowel movement and prevent constipation. They also aid in the reduction of other disorders such as gas, bloating, acid reflux, and flatulence.
Alfalfa sprouts aid to neutralise stomach acidity, hence reducing acid reflux. Alfalfa is also high in dietary fibres. A study found that soluble and insoluble alfalfa fibres help in nutrient digestion.
Antibacterial and antiviral activities are found in alfalfa. This means that eating Alfalfa may help to reduce the number of harmful bacteria and viruses in the body. As a result, it has the potential to prevent serious infections and illnesses.
According to one study, saponins are responsible for Alfalfa’s antimicrobial properties. Furthermore, alfalfa sprouts are high in chlorophyll. According to research, chlorophyll is a green pigment that helps protect against bacterial infections.
Alfalfa also includes a lot of vitamin C. One serving of alfalfa sprouts can provide 15% of the daily requirement for vitamin C. Vitamin C is well-known for its immune-boosting properties.
Its significance became clear throughout the pandemic. Vitamin C has the ability to boost the synthesis of white blood cells and other immunological components.
Boosts Testosterone Levels
According to one study, regular eating of alfalfa may enhance testosterone levels.
Furthermore, the quercetin found in alfalfa sprouts may aid in the generation of testosterone in males. However, more research is needed to determine the specific mechanism.
Many cancer cells are cytotoxic when exposed to alfalfa sprouts. It means they cause cancer cells to die. A study shows that alfalfa extracts have anticancer properties against leukaemia cell lines.
Alfalfa is high in antioxidants and phytochemicals such as phytoestrogens, lutein, beta-carotene, and flavonoids. In addition, the presence of L-canavanine in Alfalfa improves its anticancer properties.
These chemicals inhibit cancer cell growth by interfering with their cell cycle. Furthermore, alfalfa sprouts are high in antioxidants. The role of antioxidants is to reduce the risk of cancer.
However, cancer can be caused by a variety of circumstances. Some of these include genetic mutations, radiation exposure, and malignancies that are inherited. Furthermore, free radicals may trigger genetic changes as a result of cell damage.
Many substances, foods, and the environment contain free radicals. They are reactive molecules capable of interacting with our DNA and cells. They induce damage, which results in mutations. As a result, antioxidants are critical for reducing the damage produced by free radicals.
Alfalfa’s anti-inflammatory qualities can help prevent and treat a variety of disorders, including arthritis. Alfalfa extracts are found in several alternative and natural arthritis treatments.
It can help reduce arthritis-related joint discomfort caused by inflammation. Furthermore, it may ease symptoms of other related disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Saponins, which are anti-inflammatory, are found in alfalfa. Other bioactive compounds, such as phytoestrogens and antioxidants, also aid in the reduction of inflammation. These molecules inhibit the synthesis of inflammatory chemicals such as prostaglandins.
Free radicals can be found in a wide range of chemicals, foods, and environments. They are dangerous reactive chemicals that can wreak havoc on our DNA and cells.
They have the potential to harm our cells and create mutations. As a result, taking antioxidants to decrease their damage would be beneficial.
Antioxidants reduce free radical reactivity, reducing cellular damage and oxidative stress in the body. Saponins, copper, manganese, and selenium are among antioxidants found in Alfalfa.
Vitamins are abundant in this food.
Alfalfa sprouts are high in vitamins. Vitamins present in abundance include vitamin B, B2, B9, vitamin C, and vitamin K. These vitamins have several health benefits.
Vitamin C, for example, helps to increase immunity. Vitamin K promotes healing and aids in the coagulation of blood. It can assist to speed up the healing process and minimises the risk of infection in the wound. It also aids in the healing process.
Furthermore, vitamin K, as well as calcium and magnesium found in alfalfa, aid with bone health. They can help to strengthen bones and prevent bone problems.
Osteoporosis, for example, is a common bone ailment that can result in holes and pores in the bones. It weakens them and makes them more prone to breaking. As a result, a steady supply of vitamin K, calcium, and magnesium is critical for bone strength.
The vitamin B complex aids in the stimulation of metabolism in the body. They also aid in enzymatic activities that occur within the body. These reactions are required for digestion to take place. As a result, it has the potential to improve digestion and metabolism. It may also provide you with additional energy.
Loss of Weight
Alfalfa sprouts have a low calorie count. They have only 7.6 kilocalories per cup portion. They also have a low glycemic index. It demonstrates how nutritious it is. It signifies that it is high in minerals, nutrients, and vitamins while being low in calories.
If you’re attempting to reduce weight, this is a terrific food to eat. It keeps you fuller for longer and contains a lot of nutrients. It is also high in protein and dietary fibre. As a result, it keeps you full, which can help you avoid overeating.
Sprouts high in fibre might also help you lose weight. This is because sprouts inhibit glucose and sugar absorption in the intestines. Furthermore, the vitamin B complex included in alfalfa sprouts aids in metabolism. As a result, it can help to prevent the accumulation of excess fat in the body, hence aiding weight loss.
Uses for Alfalfa
Alfalfa can be consumed in a variety of ways. It can be steeped in water for three to four days before eating as sprouts. The sprouts can be eaten fresh or added to salads, sandwiches, and dinners.
Alternatively, you can drink it as tea. Its dry seeds can be mixed into a teabag. Tea is healthy since it contains numerous vitamins and minerals. Dietary fibres and other nutrients, on the other hand, may be lost.
Alfalfa can also be used to feed livestock. It’s loaded with vitamins, proteins, and minerals. These are beneficial to the animals’ growth. Alfalfa is also used as an alternative herbal medication to treat a variety of diseases. For instance, arthritis, high cholesterol, and so on. Alfalfa is also available as a herbal supplement in the form of tablets and powders.
Alfalfa sprouts can be eaten at any time of day. Have them with a meal if you consume them late at night or early in the morning. During the day, you can have them as a salad.
Recipe for Alfalfa Sprouts
Alfalfa Sprouts Drink
Time to prepare: 78-80 hours
1 cup alfalfa seeds
4 cups water
- Add one cup of alfalfa seeds to a clean jar.
- Rinse the seeds a couple of times. The used water should be drained.
- Fill the jar with 4 glasses of drinking water.
- Cover the pot completely.
- Allow the jar to settle for 6 hours.
- After 6 hours, drain the water completely from the jar.
- Keep the jar in a cool area for 80 hours or 3-4 days.
- The shoots of alfalfa should be apparent.
- Remove the alfalfa sprouts and refrigerate them for 3-4 days.
Alfalfa Sprouts and Their Potential Side Effects
Some people may experience discomfort if they consume alfalfa sprouts. Excessive ingestion of raw alfalfa, for example, may result in gas, bloating, diarrhoea, or diarrhoea.
Furthermore, raw alfalfa may be contaminated with microorganisms. As a result, persons with weakened immune systems should avoid consuming it. Before eating sprouts, they must be thoroughly rinsed.
Alfalfa should be avoided by people who take blood thinners. It has a lot of vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting. As a result, it may interfere with blood thinners, making them less effective.
Alfalfa sprouts should not be consumed by people who have autoimmune illnesses or a damaged immune system. Because of the high concentration of vitamin C, it strengthens the immune system. However, it has the potential to aggravate the autoimmune illness.
Alfalfa sprouts are also not suggested if you have just had organ transplantation since they may trigger the immune system to fight the new organ. Consult your doctor before consuming alfalfa sprouts if you have a serious medical condition.
Alfalfa is a plant that can be fed to cattle, used as a herbal supplement, and sprouted. It has a number of health benefits, including improved heart, colon, and liver health, increased immunity, and increased testosterone in men.
It also contains a variety of nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants that are beneficial to one’s health. As a result, alfalfa sprouts are an excellent addition to your everyday diet for health advantages.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Are Lucerne and Alfalfa the same thing?
A. Yes, lucerne and alfalfa are interchangeable. The name is popular in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and New Zealand. It’s also popular in North America and Australia.
Q. What is the name of Alfalfa in India?
Alfalfa is also known as A. Lucerne. In India, it is called as alfalfa or rijka. The same name is also used in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and New Zealand.
Q. What is the distinction between clover and Alfalfa?
A. The soil conditions required for growing Alfalfa and clover differ. Furthermore, clover may provide more nutrients than Alfalfa.
Q. What are the health benefits of alfalfa sprouts?
A. Alfalfa sprouts may have a number of health benefits. It may, for example, benefit heart, gastrointestinal, and liver health, as well as raise immunity and testosterone in men.
Q. Are alfalfa sprouts considered a superfood?
A. Because of its great nutritional value, Alfalfa may be termed a superfood. It is high in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as choline, which is connected to vitamin B.
Q. Does Alfalfa have anti-inflammatory properties?
A. Alfalfa sprouts do include anti-inflammatory effects. They inhibit prostaglandin secretion, which causes inflammation.
Q. Is Alfalfa beneficial to the liver?
A. Alfalfa sprouts are good for the liver. They aid to mend the inner tissues of the liver by reducing excess fat buildup. It has the potential to improve the liver’s function and detoxification.
Q. Is Alfalfa beneficial to the thyroid?
A. Alfalfa may help with thyroid function. It may, for example, benefit patients who have low thyroid function. However, there hasn’t been enough research done to properly grasp its process.
Q. Is Alfalfa beneficial to arthritis?
A. Yes, alfalfa sprouts can assist with arthritis. They are anti-inflammatory in nature. It can aid in the relief of arthritis-related joint discomfort. Alfalfa sprouts may also help with pain from related disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Q. Is Alfalfa beneficial for acid reflux?
A. Of course. Alfalfa sprouts are high in proteinaceous enzymes, which our bodies require. These enzymes help with digestion. As a result, it may result in improved bowel movements and the prevention of acid reflux. Furthermore, alfalfa sprouts aid to neutralise gastric acidity, hence reducing acid reflux.
Q. Does Alfalfa thin the blood?
A. No, Alfalfa aids with blood coagulation. Alfalfa sprouts’ strong vitamin K content promotes faster blood coagulation in open wounds. As a result, if you are on blood thinners, you should avoid eating alfalfa sprouts.
Q. Can Alfalfa help with constipation?
A. Alfalfa sprouts do help with constipation by strengthening the digestive tract. They are high in proteinaceous enzymes, which our bodies require. These enzymes help with digestion. As a result, it may result in improved bowel movements and the prevention of constipation.
Q. Does Alfalfa boost testosterone levels?
A. Yes, many studies have found that eating alfalfa sprouts can boost testosterone levels in men. However, the difference is greater in the alfalfa sprouts group than in the broccoli group.
Q. Is it safe to consume alfalfa sprouts?
A. Yes, alfalfa sprouts are okay to eat. However, if you have autoimmune illnesses, a weakened immune system, or are pregnant, you should avoid eating alfalfa sprouts. They are capable of causing infections.
Q. Does Alfalfa cause weight gain?
A. No, although alfalfa eating may result in weight loss. Alfalfa is a low-calorie, high-nutritional-value food. It has a low glycemic index as well. As a result, it provides essential nutrients and vitamins while lowering calorie consumption. This can result in a healthy weight decrease.
Q: Can you eat alfalfa sprouts raw?
A. Alfalfa sprouts can be consumed raw. However, before consuming them, they must be well washed. Alfalfa sprouts are also not suggested if you have autoimmune illnesses, a weak immune system, or are pregnant. They are capable of causing infections.
Q: Do I need to rinse alfalfa sprouts?
A. Yes, it is necessary to thoroughly rinse the sprouts before consuming them. This is due to the possibility of microorganisms on the surface.
A: Can alfalfa induce lupus?
No, it does not. Although alfalfa does not cause lupus, it may aggravate its symptoms. Lupus patients should avoid eating Alfalfa. It may induce lupus-like symptoms such as kidney difficulties, decreased immunity, exhaustion, and so on.
Q. What happens if we consume alfalfa sprouts on a daily basis?
A. Eating 1-2 cups of alfalfa sprouts everyday may provide numerous health benefits. It may, for example, decrease cholesterol, improve digestion, boost metabolism, and raise testosterone in men. It also contains a lot of vitamins and antioxidants.