Got Sprouts? Health Benefits of Alfalfa

What makes a sprout so good for you?

Sprouting is the moment of greatest vitality in a plant’s life cycle, the phase in which the seed activates and makes its way through the topsoil and sprouts into the fresh air above. At this high point of metabolic and enzymatic changes, the sprout contains high levels of nutrients. And that’s what makes sprouts good for you, particularly Alfalfa.

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is a legume that is also considered to be an herb. The leaves and seeds can be used fresh, or dried for supplements, and the sprouts are enjoyed with meals. It’s high in Vitamins A, C, and K and contains several B vitamins. A good source of dietary fiber, copper, magnesium, and iron, Alfalfa contains active plant compounds currently being evaluated for benefits in women’s health, managing high cholesterol, and effects on the nervous and cardiovascular systems.

When selecting sprouts, look for those that have been kept chilled in the produce section and choose organic when possible. The International Sprout Growers Association (ISGA) seal on a product indicates the sprouts have been carefully grown and handled. Look for clean roots with a creamy white color. Buds should be attached to the stem. Sprouts should be odorless. Keep sprouts refrigerated and use within 2 days of the sell-by date on the package. Enjoy sprouts atop salads, sandwiches, or as a garnish for prepared entrees.

References

  • WorldsHealthiestFoods.com “Are sprouts good for me?” Accessed 12 June 2018: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=166
  • “Are there any safety concerns with sprouts?” Accessed 12 June 2018: http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=dailytip&dbid=382&utm_source=rss_reader&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss_feed
  • Bora, K.S. & Sharma, A., “Phytochemical and pharmacological potential of Medicago sativa: A review,” Pharmaceutical Biology (2011) 49:2. Accessed 12 June 2018: https://doi.org/10.3109/13880209.2010.504732
  • HerbalSupplementResource.com “Therapeutic Uses, Benefits and Claims of Alfalfa.” Accessed 12 June 2018: https://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/alfalfa-herb.html
  • NutritionData.com “Alfalfa seeds, sprouted, raw.” Accessed 12 June 2018: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2302/2

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