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Alfalfa Superfood: Fun Name, Serious Health Benefits

Published : 11/07/2016 14:40:02
Categories : News

alfalfa

There’s something different about alfalfa. Most people have heard of it and remember its name, but not everyone knows why it’s a superfood. The word “alfalfa” comes from the Arabic phrase “al-fac-facah” meaning “father of all plants.” Another source traces “alfalfa” back to Persian, where it means "horse power", as it was used in ancient times as basic food for horses during battle.

 

Alfalfa (also called lucerne) is a perennial flowering plant in the pea family native to warmer temperate climates and originates from southeast Asia. It is one of the world’s most important crops. Due to its ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen and increase soil fertility, alfalfa is often cultivated as rotation crop that improves quality of soil for future crops. Alfalfa sends its roots down 20-30 feet into the ground and brings up minerals not available on the surface. Its root system helps protect the soil from erosion.

 

Because of alfalfa’s deep root system, which allows it to absorb a high level of nutrients from the soil, alfalfa is considered the richest land source of trace minerals. It is extremely nutritious: rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that play a vital role in the strength and growth of our bones and in the maintenance of a healthy body. Alfalfa leaf contains essential vitamins including the entire spectrum of B-vitamins, A, C, D, E and K. It is a source of iron, niacin, biotin, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium and chlorophyll. Compared to other plants, alfalfa leaf is very high in protein and amino acids.

 

History of Alfalfa Use

Alfalfa has long been used in traditional medicine. Remains of alfalfa leaf have been found in Persian ruins dating back 6000 years, and early Turkish writings mention Alfalfa around 1300 B.C. In traditional Chinese medicine, alfalfa has been used to stimulate the appetite and relieve ulcers while Indian Ayurvedic medicine has used it to relieve water retention, arthritis and ulcers. Alfalfa has been used as:

Herbal tea for arthritis – Since alfalfa is very rich in minerals needed for the formation and strengthening of bones, a tea made from alfalfa has shown beneficial results in treating arthritis.

Home remedy for diabetes – Alfalfa is known to reduce blood sugar levels and is therefore considered a natural supportive treatment for diabetes.

Remedy for kidney stones – Vitamins A, C, E and Zinc are proven to help dissolve kidney stones, and you can find them in alfalfa sprouts.

Natural treatment for balding – The juice of alfalfa, in combination with equal amounts of carrot and lettuce juice, taken daily, assists hair growth.

 

Ways to Eat Alfalfa Sprouts

People eat alfalfa most often in sprout form. Alfalfa sprouts are versatile and mild in flavor. Adding them to your meals is a healthy way to boost their nutrient content.

In a wrap

Alfalfa sprouts add color and crunch to a sandwich wrap. Spread hummus on the bottom half of each wrap. Add cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes and top with alfalfa sprouts.

In a salad

Alfalfa in a salad adds green goodness and is bound to be a hit for you and your guests. Try it in an artichoke and avocado summer salad with your favorite dressing.

In a smoothie

Alfalfa adds protein, vitamins and minerals to your smoothies. Toss it in a blender with strawberries, vanilla and chia seeds.

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