Alfalfa (scientific name is Medicago sativa) has been used as animal feed for hundreds of years.
This grass is highly valued for its high content of vitamins, minerals and protein, compared to other food sources .
Alfalfa is pea's tree But it is also considered a herb.
This grass originated in South and Central Asia, but for centuries it has been grown around the world.
In addition to being an animal feed, alfalfa has long been used by humans as a herb.
Seeds and dried leaves of lucerne can be used as a supplement, or seeds can be sprouted for food.
Nutritional composition of alfalfa
Alfalfa is often used as herbal tonic or sprouted for food.
Since leaves and seeds are often sold as herbal supplements rather than food, the nutritional information of alfalfa has not been determined.
However, this type of grass often contains much vitamin K and other nutrients such as vitamin C, copper, manganese and folate.
Alfalfa sprouts also contain similar nutritional content with low calorie intake.
For example, 33 grams of alfalfa sprouts contain 8 calories and the following nutrients :
- Vitamin K: 13% RDI.
- Vitamin C: 5% RDI.
- Copper: 3% RDI.
- Mangan: 3% RDI.
- Folate: 3% RDI.
- Thiamin: 2% RDI.
- Riboflavin: 2% RDI.
- Magie: 2% RDI.
- Iron: 2% RDI.
33 grams of alfalfa sprouts also contain 1 gram of protein and 1 gram of carb from fiber.
Alfalfa also contains many biological plant compounds such as saponin, coumarin, flavonoid, phytosterol, phytoestrogen and alkaloids .
Conclude: Alfalfa contains vitamin K, a small amount of vitamins, other minerals and many biological plant compounds.
Alfalfa can help reduce cholesterol
Until now, the ability to reduce cholesterol was the most valuable benefit of alfalfa that was included in the study.
Many studies on monkeys, rabbits and mice have shown that this grass can reduce blood cholesterol .
Several small studies on humans have also proven effective.
A study of 15 people found that eating 40 grams of lucerne seeds three times a day could reduce total cholesterol to 17% and harmful LDL cholesterol to 18% after 8 weeks .
Another small study of 3 volunteers also showed that eating 160 grams of lucerne seeds a day could reduce total blood cholesterol .
High levels of saponins (a plant compound that reduces cholesterol) in lucerne are thought to be this beneficial cause.
The saponin compound reduces the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine and secretes the compounds used to create new cholesterol .
Human studies have been done so far to be too small to draw conclusions, but these studies have shown the potential of alfalfa in treating high cholesterol.
Conclude: Studies in animals and humans have demonstrated that alfalfa is capable of lowering cholesterol. This effect is probably because lucerne contains plant compounds called saponins.
Other potential health benefits
Alfalfa has been used as an herb with many different effects.
The effects are lowering blood pressure, diuretic, increasing breast milk, treating arthritis and eliminating kidney stones.
Unfortunately, most of these health benefits have not yet been included in the study. However, some benefits have been studied to some extent.
Improve metabolic health
Alfalfa is still commonly used as an anti-diabetic medicine.
An animal study has recently found that alfalfa supplements reduce total cholesterol as well as LDL and VLDL cholesterol in diabetic animals and also improve blood sugar control .
Another study in diabetic mice found that alfalfa made hypoglycemia by increasing the release of insulin from the pancreas .
These results seem to support using alfalfa to treat diabetes and improve metabolism. However, we need more research on humans to confirm these conclusions.
Reduce menopausal symptoms
Alfalfa contains many plant compounds called There are similar chemical properties of estrogen hormones.
So that lucerne can bring some effects to the body like estrogen.
Although phytoestrogen is still a controversial substance, they can have many benefits such as reducing the symptoms of menopausal estrogen reduction.
The effects of alfalfa on menopausal symptoms have not been studied much, but one study has shown that sage and alfalfa extracts can completely eliminate night sweats and catch fire at 20 women .
Phytoestrogen-like estrogenic properties may also provide other benefits. A study of those who have passed breast cancer suggests that people who eat alfalfa suffer less sleep problems .
However, we need more research to confirm these potential benefits.
For a long time, alfalfa has been used in traditional Indian medicine to treat diseases caused by inflammation and oxidative damage.
The reason is because alfalfa is thought to be able to act as a powerful antioxidant, preventing damage caused by free radicals.
Some animal studies have recently confirmed the antioxidant effects of this grass.
Studies have shown that alfalfa is capable of reducing cell death and DNA damage caused by free radicals by reducing the amount of free radicals and improving resistance to free radicals. of body .
A study on rats showed that alfalfa may help reduce the damage caused by a stroke or brain injury .
However, we still need to do human studies to confirm these effects. Animal studies alone do not bring much value.
Conclude: Alfalfa offers many health benefits, but only a few benefits are included in scientific research. This grass can be beneficial for metabolic health, menopausal symptoms and has antioxidant effects. But more human studies still need to be done to confirm these effects.
Safety and side effects
Although alfalfa is considered safe for most people, it can cause harmful side effects in some cases.
Alfalfa can cause irritation or uterine contractions. Therefore, women should avoid eating this grass during pregnancy .
People who drink anticoagulants
Alfalfa and alfalfa sprouts contain lots of vitamin K. Although it is beneficial for most people, in some cases it can be dangerous.
High vitamin K intake can make anticoagulants such as warfarin less effective. Therefore, people taking these drugs should not absorb too much vitamin K into the body .
People with autoimmune disorders
Some people have lupus because of alfalfa supplements .
In a monkey study, alfalfa supplements caused lupus-like symptoms .
This effect is attributed to the probable immunostimulatory effect of the amino acid l-cavanine present in alfalfa.
Therefore, people with lupus or other autoimmune disorders should avoid eating lucerne.
People with weakened immune systems
The necessary moisture conditions to germinate alfalfa seeds are the environment for bacterial growth.
Therefore, alfalfa sprouts sold in shops have sometimes been infected with bacteria. The outbreak of many bacteria in the past has also been linked to alfalfa sprouts .
Getting anyone to eat an infected sprouts can get sick, but healthy adults will recover without long-term consequences. However, for people with weakened immune systems, infections from sprouts can cause serious problems.
Therefore, recommended children, pregnant women, the elderly or anyone with a weakened immune system to avoid eating alfalfa sprouts.
Conclude: Alfalfa can be harmful to some people, including pregnant women, people taking anticoagulants, people with autoimmune disorders and weakening the immune system.
How to add alfalfa to the diet
Functional foods from alfalfa can be produced in the form of powder, tablets or used to make tea.
Because there are very few studies on the effects of lucerne seeds and leaves on humans, it is difficult to come up with a safe and effective dosage.
Herbal supplements often contain substances not listed on the packaging. Therefore, please research carefully and choose to buy products from reputable manufacturers .
Another way to add this grass to your diet is to eat alfalfa sprouts. Alfalfa sprouts can be added to the diet in many ways, such as eating with bread or as a salad.
You can buy them at food stores or . Here's how to do it:
- Add 2 tablespoons of alfalfa seeds to a bowl or jar and then add 2-3 times the amount of cold water.
- To soak overnight or about 8-12 hours.
- Pour old water and curse seeds through water. Curse once again and squeeze out the water.
- Store seeds where there is no direct sunlight at room temperature for 3 days. Sprouting and sprinkling thoroughly thoroughly every 8-12 hours.
- On day 4, move the seedling into an area with indirect sunlight for photosynthesis. Continue rinsing and squeezing water every 8-12 hours.
- On the 5th or 6th day, you have vegetables to eat.
However, you should also be aware of the risk of bacterial infection. Make sure the sprouts are grown and stored in safe conditions to prevent bacteria.
Conclude: You can add alfalfa by using functional foods or eating sprouts. Alfalfa sprouts can be eaten in combination with bread, salads and many other dishes. Sprouts are sold at stores or you can grow them at home.
Alfalfa has been shown to reduce cholesterol and is beneficial in controlling blood sugar and reducing menopausal symptoms.
This grass is also rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, copper, folate and magnesium with very low calorie intake.
As mentioned, there are some people who need to avoid eating alfalfa such as pregnant women, people taking anticoagulants or those with autoimmune disorders.
Although alfalfa needs to be included in further research, it generally has a lot of potential in improving health.