- What Is An Alfalfa Plant?
- What Are Alfalfa Sprouts?
- What Is The Chemical Composition Of Alfalfa?
- How To Use Alfalfa?
- Who Should Not Consume Alfalfa?
- Health Benefits Of Alfalfa Sprouts
- 1. Prevent Breast Cancer
- 2. Reduce Premenopause
- 3. Provide Antioxidants
- 4. Lower Blood Glucose Levels
- 5. Prevent Osteoporosis
Alfalfa is a popular bonsai. For the past few years, nutritionists have been studying more about this plant and have come up with surprising results. According to them, alfalfa has a lot of medical values because it is capable of supporting the treatment of some diseases. Since this has not been known by many people, the value of alfalfa has not been fully utilized. What a waste! That is why we write this article to introduce you to the benefits of alfalfa. However, first of all, let’s find out more about this plant. Thereby, you will have a basis to learn the next important information.
What Is An Alfalfa Plant?
Alfalfa’s scientific name is Polyscias fruticosa. It is a small plant species of the Araliaceae. This plant is grown as an ornamental or medicinal plant in traditional medicine. Alfalfa has about 114-150 species (depending on classification), mainly distributed in Madagascar. They have feather-like leaves. According to APG, alfalfa is a sub-sector and may be split (or merged) with some others. The alfalfa stems are usually very small, which are only 1-2 meters high. Flowers of alfalfa are light green or grayish green. Its fruit is silvery white. Alfalfa is a species suitable for moisture and high light. It has good drought tolerance. According to a recent research by scientists, alfalfa has many uses which are similar to ginseng. Therefore, alfalfa is considered as “the ginseng of the poor”.
What Are Alfalfa Sprouts?
In essence, alfalfa sprouts come from the germinated alfalfa seeds. They are nutritious and could be added to a lot of dishes, such as soups, salads or sandwiches.
Alfalfa sprouts are comprised of various benefits found in the seeds. Moreover, they are considered healthier as the sprouting process creates many beneficial enzymes. Also, they carry more vitamins and minerals, proteins and a lower rate of starch in compared with unsprouted seeds.
What Is The Chemical Composition Of Alfalfa?
There are eight kinds of oleanane saponins analyzed from alfalfa. The roots of alfalfa contain many saponins like ginseng; vitamins B1, B2, B6, and C; 20 essential amino acids; and non-replaceable amino acids such as lysine, cysteine, and methionine. Therefore, this plant has many benefits to the human health. More specifically, researchers have found that:
- The roots of alfalfa contain about 4% of saccharose – an unidentified crystalline substance. Saccharose melts at 158-161 degrees Celsius. It dissolves in chloroform and acetone.
- The roots, stems and leaves of alfalfa contain glucosides, alkaloids, tannins, vitamins B1 and 20 other amino acids, such as arginine, alanine, glutamic acid, lysine, and tyrosine.
- The main components of alfalfa essential oils are beta element, alpha bergamoten, germacren, and gamma bisabolen.
How To Use Alfalfa?
You can add alfalfa to most dishes in your meals. Here are some recipes that work well with this herb:
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- Make a salad with alfalfa, artichoke and avocado
- Make tortillas with alfalfa and cucumber
- Alfalfa omelette
In addition, you can also make your homemade alfalfa tea by following the instructions below:
- Prepare 2 grams of alfalfa sprouts and 20 ml of water
- Rinse alfalfa sprouts by water, then dry it
- Put alfalfa sprouts in water and boil for about 5-7 minutes
- Let the tea cool and drink it
- Take this tea two to three times a day.
Who Should Not Consume Alfalfa?
The following people are advised not to consume alfalfa:
- The old
- People with a weakened immune system
- People with hemophilia
After reading some basic information about alfalfa, it is the time to find out the best effect of alfalfa. Take a look at TrueRemedies.com!
Top 16 Health And Beauty Benefits Of Alfalfa Sprouts
1. Prevent Breast Cancer
Preventing breast cancer is the first one in this list of health benefits of alfalfa sprouts.
Breast cancer is a malignancy that is common in women over 50 years of age. Breast cancer is a condition in which malignant tumors develop in breast cells. Melanoma is a collection of cancer cells that can grow rapidly in surrounding tissues, or may spread to other parts of the body. Breast cancer is most common in women. However, in rare cases, men may also develop this disease. In the early stages, breast cancer usually does not cause any pain or symptoms. About 10% of patients do not have pain, tumors or any signs of the disease. However, if the breast tumor develops, the disease can cause symptoms, such as swelling of the breast, changes in breast size and breast fluids. If not treated early, the patient might not be able to get rid of the condition completely.
Alfalfa is rich in isoflavones and other phytoestrogens which are closely related to the estrogen of the human body. Recent studies have shown that consuming foods rich in phytoestrogens such as alfalfa and soy products is associated with positive results in preventing and reducing the risk of breast cancer recurrence   . Recently, Nutrition Journal has also shown ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer, including the use of alfalfa.
2. Reduce Symptoms Of Premenopause And Excessive Menstruation
This is one of little – known benefit in among health benefits of alfalfa. Premenopause is the period during which the body initiates the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of reproductive age. Premenopause is also referred to as the menopause transition. Women start menopause at different ages, usually at the age of 40. However, in some people, this change occurs quite early when they are only 30 years old. The level of female hormones (estrogen) in the body increases unevenly during premenopause. The menstrual cycle can last or shorten. When you have not had your menstrual period for a year, you have officially reached menopause and the menopause is over.
Symptoms of premenopause such as irregular menstruation, dry skin and itching often make women uncomfortable. Experts advise that when you suffer from these conditions, using alfalfa will give you a natural relief. Thanks to the high levels of vitamin K and phytoestrogens, alfalfa balances the hormone levels in the body. These two components combine together, creating positive changes for the body. Not only that, vitamin K in alfalfa is a blood-clotting vitamin, so it can help control excessive menstruation. Therefore, do not forget to use alfalfa whenever you notice any symptoms of premenopause to achieve the best results .
3. Provide Antioxidants And Other Anti-Aging Agents
The origin of free radicals (OH., O2.-, NO., …) is UV, ionizing radiation, air pollution, smoking, metabolism, and stress. Free radicals cause damage to cells, proteins, nucleic acids, and DNA. This leads to dangerous diseases like cancer, aging, diabetes, and heart disease. In order to avoiding the damage of free radicals, it is necessary to remove them by using antioxidants, such as vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, and carotenoids.
Antioxidants are chemicals that help prevent or slow down oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction in which electrons are converted to oxidants, which are capable of generating free radicals that produce chain reactions to destroy organisms. Antioxidants prevent this process by removing free radicals, inhibiting oxidation by oxidizing them.
Alfalfa is a very good antioxidant food. Many studies have concluded that alfalfa protects the body's cells from the effects of free radicals. Antioxidants help cells in the body stay healthy and help prevent certain cellular diseases such as cancer and heart disease. A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has also shown that high levels of vitamin K in alfalfa prevents vitamin K deficiency and prevents age-related diseases such as osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis.
4. Lower Blood Glucose Levels
The next one in regard to health benefits of alfalfa sprouts is lowering blood glucose levels and treating diabetes.
Blood sugar level describes the amount of sugar in the blood. Sugar in the body is the main source of energy. It is also an important source of material for the nervous and organizational systems of the brain. If sugar levels increase or decrease too much, the body will experience health problems.
Diabetes is a hormone-related disease caused by a metabolic disorder in the blood. The disease is usually caused by the failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin. Insulin is an inactive hormone that transports color sugar to the cells, allowing the body to use sugar. As a rule, when we eat, food and substances are converted to glucose, a form of starch. In order for the body to use glucose, the pancreas produces insulin, an endocrine hormone that transports glucose into cells in the body to produce energy. But when the process is not working properly, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to convert glucose to the cells, resulting in high levels of glucose in the blood, leading to diabetes. When you have diabetes, blood sugar levels are always high. People with diabetes often feel thirsty and dry in the mouth.
As we all know, nowadays, scientists have not found a cure for diabetes. All we can do is regulate the amount of sugar in the body naturally through the diet. A study published in the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences concluded that alfalfa was capable of significantly reducing blood sugar levels. This is what patients with diabetes need. In addition, regular use of alfalfa helps the body reduce its reliance on insulin, which is the only protein in the body that has the effect of lowering blood sugar  .
5. Prevent Osteoporosis
The next one in this list of health benefits of alfalfa sprouts is preventing osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a disease in which your bones are thinning and the density of substances in your bones becomes smaller. This disease can make your bones brittle and susceptible to be broken even with minor injuries. Common signs of osteoporosis are weight loss and back pain. This disease is the main cause of fractures in postmenopausal women and the elderly. Osteoporosis fractures occur most frequently in the hip, spine, and wrist. Some broken bones may impossible to heal, especially when they occur in the hip.
The main cause of osteoporosis is aging which leads to the decline of estrogen in postmenopausal women and testosterone (male hormone) in men. Osteoporosis often occurs in the elderly. However, many people now suffer from this disease when they are young. This is because they do not regularly exercise and do not provide adequate nutrition for the body. Once you have this disease, you will experience a lot of pain and difficulty in carrying out your daily activities. It is difficult to treat osteoporosis completely, so you should take precautionary measures early to prevent this disease.
As we said above, alfalfa is rich in vitamin K. This is a very essential vitamin for the skeletal system. It builds the bones and strengthens the bones. Many people still think that bone only needs calcium, but recent studies have shown that our bone also needs vitamin K to stay healthy. The reason is because the body needs vitamin K to adequately utilize the calcium. Alfalfa is also a rich source of manganese which is an essential nutrient for preventing osteoporosis and inflammation. With the growing awareness of the role of vitamin K towards bone health, nutritionists recommend that you should boost your intake of vitamin K-rich foods including alfalfa to prevent osteoporosis  .
6. Supplement Vitamin C For The Body
This is among little – known health benefits of alfalfa sprouts you should not skip.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is important for bone, connective tissue, muscles and blood vessels. The effect of vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron, contributing to the production of red blood cells. This vitamin is essential for the health of the skin, hair and immune system.
Alfalfa is one of the most vitamin C-containing herbs. One serving of alfalfa can provide 14% of the vitamin C your body needs each day. As you all know, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, so you need to supplement it for the body through diet. You are very easy to add alfalfa to your diet, which is essential for the body’s function .
7. Reduce Cholesterol
This sounds strange when it comes to this list of health benefits of alfalfa sprouts, but it works.
Blood has four important main components which are total cholesterol, good cholesterol (HDL), bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides. The imbalance of these ingredients will cause fatty liver disease and many other dangerous events. Cholesterol is produced by the body itself, so any amount of cholesterol added when we eat is excess cholesterol. When cholesterol in the blood is excessive, it will create blocks fat in the walls of the blood vessels then prevent blood flow in the arteries. As the result, the amount of oxygen in the blood will not provide enough for the heart and the risk of heart attack will increase.
In alfalfa sprout contains Saponine active ingredient. It prevents the absorption of cholesterol from food and prevents the formation of plaque. Folk medicine often uses alfalfa as a blood pressure medication because it helps to reduce the amount of fat and lipid in the body quickly. This has a positive effect in reducing the symptoms of heart disease. A 1978 study found that frequent consumption of alfalfa reduced the negative effects of cholesterol  .
8. Treat Digestive Problems
According to the general structure of the body, the human digestive system is a structure consisting of the gastrointestinal tract (oral, esophagus, stomach, intestine, rectum and anus) and the various organs such as the mouth, tongue, teeth, saliva, pancreas, bile. When one of these parts has a problem, you will have problems with the digestive tract. Digestive disorders greatly affect the body's health and weight. Therefore, treatment should be took place as soon as possible.
Nausea and vomiting, bloating, dyspepsia, gastritis and peptic ulcer are common digestive problems. Fortunately alfalfa has a very positive effect in treating these conditions. This is due to the high fiber content in alfalfa, which can improve the function of the digestive system. Alfalfa is also known as a common ingredient in medicines for constipation.
9. Prevent Colds
Preventing is the next impressive advantage in regard to health benefits of alfalfa.
Colds are infections of the nose and throat (upper respiratory tract). It's not too dangerous but it makes you uncomfortable. Colds can be caused by many viruses, especially rhinoviruses. The cold virus enters the body through the mouth, eyes, and nose. In addition, they can spread through airborne droplets when the person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. In addition, the disease can be spread through the hands when a person is exposed to a cold or sharing objects with a sufferer, such as furniture, towels, toys or phones,. Cold symptoms appear one to three days after the body has contracted the cold virus. Signs and symptoms may vary from person to person, including runny nose, stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, body aches, fatigue and fever.
As you know, alfalfa is rich in vitamin C. It is a vitamin that helps maintain and enhance the health of the immune system, eliminate pathogens and help keep the respiratory system healthy. Without it, the epithelial cell defenses in the trachea and bronchi are weakened. Experiments have shown that taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C a day can reduce the risk of getting a cold by 50% and reducing the number of flu symptoms by 23%. Therefore, when it's cold or when you notice signs of a cold, regularly consume alfalfa as a helpful precaution.
10. Activate The Enzyme
No wonder, this advantage should be mentioned in this list of health benefits of alfalfa sprouts.
Enzyme is a biological catalyst with a protein base. Enzyme is a very important part of the body. Enzyme activity is influenced by many factors. Inhibitors are molecules that degrade enzyme activity, while activation factors are molecules that increase the activity of the enzyme. You need to pay attention to proper diet to ensure a healthy body.
Fortunately, alfalfa contains a lot of vitamin C which is a molecule. Vitamin C in alfalfa can help vitamin A, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids not be destroyed. It also makes the iron present in the food to be maintained in the state of restoration, promoting the absorption and transfer of iron reserves in the body. On the other hand, it makes the calcium in the intestinal wall not precipitate, which improves the rate of absorption of calcium into the body. Much more than that, it also participates in the hydroxytic reaction of cholesterol, which is effective in treating the deficiency of red blood cells.
11. Work As A Cleanser
The next one in this list of health benefits of alfalfa sprouts is working as a cleanser.
Like other herbs, alfalfa is rich in chlorophyll. However, the particular thing is that chlorophyll in alfalfa is famous for its ability to cleanse the body. It is a substance used to remove impurities and detoxify the body, in addition to the ability to prevent infection. Alfalfa is capable of destroying carbon dioxide and reducing any action associated with anaerobic bacteria.
12. Enhance Skin Health
The last one in this list of health benefits of alfalfa sprouts is treating digestive problems.
Skin is a part that helps to cover the entire body organs. It helps the body counteract external effects, regulate body heat, and participate in secretion. The health of the skin has a great influence on the health of the organs in the body.
Alfalfa is rich in vitamin A and enzymes which are essential for healthy skin. They help maintain a healthy and glowing skin. Not only that, vitamin A in alfalfa also helps to improve the moisture and elasticity of the skin. This helps keep the skin young. It is amazing that these nutrients work from the inside. This creates lasting benefits.
13. Prevent Bleeding
There are chlorophyll, vitamin K and iron in alfalfa. They support the extra production of blood within the human body. That is why alfalfa is used to handle nosebleeds, anemia, bleeding gums, and poor blood clotting.
14. Help With Kidney Problems
It is said that regulated using alfalfa could be beneficial to people with kidney conditions. Moreover, regular use of this plant shows improvement in those experiencing sluggish kidneys. It helps decrease the blood urea levels while improving creatinine clearance. In general, these problems result in fluid retention. Furthermore, if you have kidney stones, consider using alfalfa to take control of the issue.
15. Improve Immunity
In alfalfa, you can find phytonutrients like chlorophyll and L-canavanine which empower the human body the ability to resist to diseases. It can lower blood glucose, thereby preventing onset diabetes, type 2 diabetes, etc. much more than that, alfalfa also helps with tumor prevention.
16. Support Weight Loss
Alfalfa has detoxifying effects that helps control the sugar levels. The leaves of alfalfa are also highly nutritious and high in enzymes necessary for digestion. When consumed in the sprout form, this herb offers lots of bulk in meals during the day. You can add them to sandwiches, salads, stir fries, soups and much more in order to reap the benefits of their nutrient-dense protein and carbs which will help regulate your body. Moreover, with high content of fiber, this plant becomes a great snack for people who are trying to lose weight naturally at home.
17. Combat Depression
The tea made from alfalfa leaves have sedating and tranquilizing properties on the human nervous system. Therefore, you had better take advantage of this herbal tea to combat stress and keep depression at bay. Alfalfa also has the ability to solve insomnia as well as other sleep issues.
Above are the health and beauty benefits of alfalfa sprouts for your health. With a lot of healing effects, you certainly could gain a lot of benefits by using alfalfa. You may still feel surprised at what this herb can do for you. If you have any contributing ideas about our article of “Top 16 Health Benefits Of Alfalfa Sprouts” introduced in Superfoods Category, do not hesitate to drop your words below this post. We will answer as soon as we could.