Alfalfa sprouts is obtained from the alfalfa seed. Other names of alfalfa sprouts are Medicago sativa, Lucerne, Buffalo herb, California clover, Purple clover, and Spanish clover. Alfalfa plant belongs to the pea family. It is originated in the eastern Mediterranean and western Asian areas, where it has been cultivated for more than a millennium. Alfalfa is also called as “the father of all foods” as it is very versatile and contains high content of bioactive plant compounds.
Alfalfa sprouts is very nutritious and has many health benefits. Health benefits includes ensuring fast wound healing, preventing iron deficiency, helps maintain health skin, helps build stronger bones, support weight loss, regulates cholesterol levels, removes toxins and prevent blood poisoning, aids in proper digestion, strengthening immunity, treats menopausal symptoms and prevents irritability, prevents UTIs and Rheumatism, provides relief from heartburn and acid reflux, and strengthens hair and prevent hair loss.
Helps Prevent Iron Deficiency Anemia with alfalfa sprouts
Alfalfa sprouts contain iron, vitamin K and chlorophyll which is used to treat nosebleeds, bleeding gums and improves the production of blood and prevents anemia.
Removes Toxins and Prevents Blood Poisoning with alfalfa sprouts
Alfalfa sprouts contains detoxification properties and anti-microbial properties which helps to purify blood, prevent morid conditions and is used asa a traditional medicine to treat acne, chicken pox, eczema, and psoriasis.
Aids in Proper Digestion with alfalfa sprouts
Alfalfa sprouts contain high amounts of digestive enzymes which prevents excess gas, indigestion, reduces swelling caused by water retention, prevents tooth decay and inflammation. It promotes digestive regularity and prevents chronic constipation.
Strengthens Immunity with alfalfa sprouts
Alfalfa sprouts contain phytonutrients which boosts immune system, detoxify the body, prevent free radicals that damage DNA and increases the body’s resistance to infections.
Treats Menopausal Symptoms and Prevents Irritability with alfalfa sprouts
Alfalfa sprouts contain phytoestrogens that treats the symptoms of menopause such as vaginal dryness, hot flushes, mood swings and decreased libido. It also reduces stress and anxiety, calms body and promotes sound sleep.
Prevents UTIs and Rheumatism with alfalfa sprouts
Alfalfa sprouts is a natural diuretic which increases urine flow and eliminates UTI-causing bacteria. It provides relief and speeds up bacterial clearance from the bladder or urinary tract.
Provides Relief from Heartburn and Acid Reflux with alfalfa sprouts
Alfalfa sprouts are alkaline foods, which can help to regulate your stomach’s pH levels. It decreases the stomach’s acidity, optimize its pH and provides relief from gastric ulcer.
Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer with alfalfa sprouts
Alfalfa sprouts contain isoflavones and phytoestrogens which reduces the risk of breast cancer.
Minimize Menopause Symptoms and Excessive Menstruation with alfalfa sprouts
Alfalfa sprouts contain vitamin K and phytoestrogens which provides relief from excessive bleeding, and related to menopause, menstruation and PMS.
Prevent Osteoporosis with alfalfa sprouts
Alfalfa sprouts contains manganese which prevents osteoporosis and inflammation.
Lower Blood Glucose Levels and Treat Diabetes with alfalfa sprouts
Alfalfa sprouts regulates blood sugar levels and controls diabetes.
Chock-Full of Antioxidants and Other Anti-Aging Agents with alfalfa sprouts
Alfalfa sprouts contain lots of antioxidants which prevents cancer, heart disease,osteoporosis. It also protects the cells from the damage caused by free radicals.
Combat Cholesterol with alfalfa sprouts
Alfalfa sprouts are an antihyperlipidemic, which means they help reduce the levels of lipids in the blood. It reduces the symptoms of coronary heart disease and reduces high cholesterol levels.
Alfalfa sprouts can help you heal from open wounds.
Alfalfa sprouts helps to heal wounds faster as it contains vitamin K.
Alfalfa sprouts can help you build strong bones.
The vitamin K found in alfalfa sprouts acts as a modifier of bone matrix proteins, improves calcium absorption, preventing bone loss and osteoporosis.
Alfalfa sprouts are perfect to fill your stomach and aid in weight loss.
Alfalfa sprouts contains low calories which helps in weight loss.
Alfalfa sprouts are helpful for pregnant women and their babies.
Alfalfa Sprouts are a good source of the B-vitamin complex, such as folate. It helps in neural tube formation and red blood cell formation in prenatal babies.
Alfalfa sprouts can help fight cold sores.
The amino acid lysine found in alfalfa sprouts can help inhibit the growth of cold sores and treats the condition.
Alfalfa sprouts can help keep your hair shiny and vibrant.
Alfalfa sprouts contain omega-3 fatty acids, which provide nourishment for hair follicles.It adds shine, elasticity, and luster to the hair. Alfalfa sprouts combats dry and brittle hair, flaky scale and reverses hair loss.
Alfalfa sprouts should be taken in between the evening snacks time and dinner time that ensures the proper assimilation of the enzymes inside the body rather than the dinner time. Another Good time to take sprouts is in the morning.
Alfalfa sprouts go well with tomato, onion, cucumber, avocado,carrot, radish, spinach and provolone cheese.
Ways to use alfalfa sprouts
- Alfalfa sprouts can be used to add texture, moisture and crunch to a variety of culinary preparations.
- Add to green and grain salads or to sandwiches, quesadillas and wraps. Sprinkle atop omelets and other egg preparations.
- Combine with fresh herbs and add to soft cheeses, yogurt or butter to add texture and flavor to spreads and dips.
- Add to green drinks or smoothies for a nutritional boost.
How to buy and store Alfalfa Sprouts
While buying alfalfa sprouts make sure that they smell fresh, clean and their roots are fresh. Store alfalfa sprouts in the refrigerator.
Seasons in which alfalfa sprouts are available
Alfalfa sprouts are available year-round.
How to make Alfalfa Sprout Salad
- 2 tbsp Alfalfa seeds sprouted
- 2 cups Rocket leaves
- 3 tbsp Corn kernels
- 1 Red capsicum
- 1/3 cup Mixed berries (chopped)
- 2 tsp Black pepper
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tbsp Maple syrup
- 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- Salt to taste
- Mix seasoning in a bowl with all the ingredients to make the dressing.
- Mix alfalfa sprouts, berries, capsicum, corn, and rocket leaves in a bowl.
- Drizzle dressing over salad and toss gently. Serve chilled.
Safety profile for using alfalfa sprouts
Alfalfa sprouts can cause food borne disease. Individuals who have weak immune system, suffering from diabetes, using medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight, immunosuppressants and those who suffer from estrogen- sensitive conditions should are not advised to consume alfalfa sprouts. It can increase the symptoms of autoimmune disease.
Fun facts about alfalfa sprouts
- Alfalfa sprouts’ are also known as ‘lucerne sprouts’ and their scientific name is Medicago sativa.
- Alfalfa sprouts belong to the family Fabaceae, which is the family of legumes, beans and peas, and are thought to be native to Iran.
- Alfalfa sprouts start as brown seeds that germinate, within 1-2 days after watering, and the shoots, white with tiny green leaves, are ready to eat after 3 to 5 days.
- Alfalfa sprouts are sprouted alfalfa or lucerne seeds and are easily grown at home in a jar, or special sprout grower.
- Alfalfa sprouts are high in vitamin K and also contain other beneficial nutrients.
- In 2006, the total world production of alfalfa was 395 million tonnes (436 million tons) in weight.
- Traditionally, alfalfa was used medicinally, although no significant medical properties have been discovered, although consuming significant quantities of alfalfa sprouts may lead to autoimmune type disorders in some people.
- Alfalfa is the most common legume grown in the world, mostly grown as stock feed.
- Raw alfalfa sprouts can contain bad bacteria, particularly salmonella, although this can generally be avoided if they are kept in the fridge and thoroughly washed before eating.
- Alfalfa sprouts are commonly used as a sandwich filling or salad addition.
- It is also known as “The Queen of all Forages” the alfalfa plant today is grown predominantly as a feed for cattle known as hay. Today the sprouts of the alfalfa seed are popularly harvested when very young and used in culinary preparations for both their taste, texture and nutritional properties.