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Foods That Heal – Alfalfa

Foods That Heal - Alfalfa

Hi folks. Continuing on from my last articles on foods that heal, today I am looking at another commonly used food that is on the salad menus of most Australians and indeed western countries. Alfalfa is a regular addition to salads around the world and most people have no idea just how beneficial this little sprout can be. So today I am going to let you know all about it. Alfalfa is a plant which sends its roots down twenty to thirty feet into the ground and brings up the minerals that are not available on the surface. For this reason, the Arabic word Alfalfa means “father of plants”. The leaves, stems, seeds and shoots of the alfalfa plant have been used throughout history for their many and varied  health-enhancing properties. The leaves of an adult alfalfa plant are not usually palatable; their coarse texture makes them unsuitable for use in food. However, alfalfa sprouts provide all of alfalfa’s medicinal properties and health benefits, and they are easy to incorporate into any healthy diet. If you are interested in the health benefits of alfalfa sprouts, consider integrating them into everyday foods such as salads, wraps and sandwiches.

Nutrients in Alfalfa

Alfalfa is a good source of the following vitamins;

  • Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene)
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Folate
  • Niacin
  • Choline
  • Pantothenic Acid

Alfalfa is also a good source of the following minerals;

  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Sodium
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Alfalfa also contains smaller trace amounts of copper, selenium and manganese.

What Conditions Can Alfalfa Help With?

Alfalfa has been known to help with the following conditions;

  • Cancer Prevention – Studies have shown that an amino acid analog called canavanine found in alfalfa may fight leukemia as well as benefit pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, and fibrocystic breast tumors.
  • Lower Cholesterol – Alfalfa sprouts are a great source of nutrients called  saponins. These are believed to lower levels of bad cholesterol while maintaining good HDL fats.
  • Heart Health – Along with the heart benefits associated with reduced cholesterol levels, saponins are thought to reduce inflammation, which is believed to help prevent artheroslerosis (hardening of the arteries) and other cardiovascular disease.
  • Anti-Inflammatory – Saponions, if you haven’t noticed already,  have anti-inflammatory properties that may help in the prevention of stroke, reduce the painful effects associated with arthritis, and help in other chronic inflammatory disorders.
  • High In Antioxidants – Alfalfa sprouts are considered to be one of the highest producers of antioxidants of all vegetables. Antioxidants are believed to boost the immune system and effectively combat free radicals, which are associated with lower rates of cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
  • Immune System Booster – Saponins may stimulate the immune system by increasing the activity of natural killer cells such as T-lymphocytes and interferon.
  • Weight Loss – Rich in fiber and protein, but low in calories, alfalfa sprouts are a good alternative to fatty foods and may aid in efforts to lose weight.
  • Bone Health
    The plant estrogens found in alfalfa sprouts may increase bone formation and density while helping to prevent osteoporosis particularly in women.
  • Diabetes Support – Diabetic animals experience a slight but notable decline in blood-glucose levels after eating alfalfa sprouts, according to the National Institutes of Health. Human studies have not replicated these findings, but preliminary evidence suggests that alfalfa sprouts can act as a healthy complementary treatment for type 2 diabetes. Because it contains no sugar and has a glycemic load of 0, alfalfa sprout is a diabetes-friendly snack associated with no serious health risks to people with hyperglycemia.

That’s Not All. Alfalfa Has More To Offer You.

Dietary Fiber

According to NutritionData, a service of Self magazine, alfalfa sprouts are a good source of dietary fiber. With each 33-gram serving of alfalfa sprouts provides one gram of fiber, or three percent of an average adult’s necessary intake. For this reason, alfalfa sprouts may be a suitable food for people suffering from chronic constipation, diverticulitis or other digestive upsets.

Protein

Every serving of alfalfa sprouts provides 1 gram of plant-based protein, according to NutritionData. Unlike most other vegan protein sources, such as beans and peas, alfalfa sprouts are edible and palatable without any exposure to heat. Alfalfa sprouts are a good protein source for people eating raw and vegan diets.

Blood Health
Alfalfa sprouts are one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin K found naturally. Vitamin K is essential for normal blood platelet function; it helps to prevent excessive bleeding and bruising. Each normal serving of alfalfa sprouts will provide nearly one-eighth 0r approx. 12.5% of your daily requirement.
Remedy for Kidney Stones
Vitamins A, C, E and Zinc are proven to help dissolve kidney stones. You can find these vitamins and minerals in Alfalfa powder and Alfalfa sprouts.
Natural Treatment for Hair Loss and Balding
The juice of alfalfa, in combination with equal amounts of carrot and lettuce juices, taken daily, assists in the growth of hair to an amazing extent. The combination of these juices is rich in elements which are especially helpful for the growth of hair and the prevention of hair loss.

Like All Supplements & Herbal Medicines; Use With Care & Common Sense

Unlike drug companies, these days I have to make you aware of any “potential” adverse reactions to anything like this so the information below is to ensure this.
Consult your health care provider before eating alfalfa sprouts if you take anticoagulants (blood-thinners) such as warfarin; the plant’s vitamin K content may compromise the effectiveness of the drug. As with all herbal products, moderation is the key to avoiding adverse reactions. For example, excessive (more than you or I would ever consider consuming. yet I must make you aware!) consumption of alfalfa may cause the breakdown of red blood cells, which is extremely serious.Research has found that diets high in canavanine, an amino acid found in alfalfa, can aggravate the disease lupus. However, canavanine is usually only found in the seeds and sprouts of alfalfa but not in mature leaves. Thus, alfalfa tea and capsules made from leaves are not expected to contain canavanine. Nevertheless, it is recommended that alfalfa be avoided during pregnancy because of its potential canavanine content and hormonally active saponins. If you are pregnant, it is recommended that you avoid regular daily consumption of alfalfa or its supplements.

Well there you have it. Good old Alfalfa, yet another commonly consumed daily salad food that has some amazing benefits when consumed correctly. Hope this information has helped you. Until next time. Have a great day and be well.


Craig Hitchens – MST & Natural Health Specialist

 

Sources:

https://behealthy.today/alfalfa-plant-everything-need-know-superfood/

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2302/2

9 Health Benefits of Alfalfa Sprouts


http://www.homeremediesweb.com/alfalfa_health_benefits.php

My own clinical knowledge and experiences.
Disclaimer:
The information contained in this article is accurate at the time of posting but may change thereafter. This information is for informational purposes only and is NOT to replace professional advice and does not constitute a treatment programme in any way. Before undertaking any therapy programme, consult a professional. Craig Hitchens and Craig Hitchens Therapies makes no claim to be able to cure or treat disease in an ALLOPATHIC MEDICAL CAPACITY.

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