Alfalfa: The Ultimate Superfood
In your quest to be healthy, you may have heard of Alfalfa as a very powerful superfood. But it often remains mysterious, not only in how it is beneficial but also in how to use it for best results. In this post, we will break it down into bite-size chunks so you can fully digest it, and use it to your body’s best advantage.
Where does it come from?
Alfalfa - or Medicago Sativa - is also known the U.K. and Australia as Lucerne, and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Indeed, it was used in Ayurvedic medicine to help treat arthritis, ulcers and water retention. Native Americans used it to help treat jaundice, and Colonial Americans used it for menstrual and urinary problems, as well as scurvy. It was also used to feed livestock in its hay form. Humans now primarily use its sprouts. It is part of the legume family, but is also a herb. It originates from south-Central Asia but now grows around the world.
What does it contain?
This plant has a very high nutritional value. It is high in fibre, Vitamins B, C, D, E, and protein. It is also high in Vitamin A, crucial for healthy vision; and Vitamin K, which helps blood clot (this is how wounds can heal). A lot of minerals can also be found in it. These include: magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron, and calcium. For these reasons, it has been called a “nutritional powerhouse” and the “king of all foods”.
What benefits can it bring you?
The list of potential benefits of Alfalfa is long. So we’ve condensed it for you.
- It helps lower cholesterol (by preventing its absorption in the gut)
- It may reduce inflammation (by preventing damage done by free radicals)
- It helps with healthy digestion and bowel movements (being high in fibre)
- It may help relieve menstrual symptoms (since it is high in phytoestrogens)
- It may boost your immune system (being high in Vitamin C)
How should it be used?
Its sprouts can be added to food, and in moderation they make a great vegetarian source of protein, and a great addition to any diet. Try this Alfalfa Sprout Omelette by the Helsinki Times for a tasty and easy meal using the superfood.
Although its seeds and leaves can be used for human consumption, sprouts are the most popular way to eat the plant. Sprinkle them on salads, add them to sandwiches, or finish hot dishes with a handful and let your creativity fly!
Finally, it is also added to other foods - such as smoothies or drink mixes - for an even easier way to get those plant-based proteins. Check out our personal favourite here!
Will it interact with your medications?
It has been found to interact with some medications. For a complete list, visit its page on MedlinePlus.org; and always consult with your doctor before starting to use it for your body’s specific needs.
Written by: Juliette Benard
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.