The scientific name of clover is Medicago sativa, but it has many other names, such as buffalo grass, clover grass, and purple doctor. California is the largest producer of clover-like plants in the United States and blooms there in summer, reaching a height of 2 to 3 meters and producing blue or purple flowers.
The strong nutritional profile of alfalfa means that it offers important health benefits. It is also used in alternative medicine to treat a wide variety of health problems.
The advantages of alfalfa are:
Effective blood coagulation
One serving of alfalfa provides 13% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K, an important vitamin for blood clotting. Vitamin K, as well as chlorophyll and iron, also promote blood production, which can help people suffering from anemia. If you are taking the anticoagulant drug coumadin, it is recommended to limit its consumption, as this may reduce the effectiveness of vitamin K.
Reduce the risk of certain diseases
Free radicals in the body can lead to oxidative stress and cell damage, increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and more. The antioxidants contained in alfalfa fight free radicals and also help the body fight these diseases.
Stable blood sugar level
Alfalfa is a food rich in fiber and can help control blood sugar levels by decreasing the absorption of glucose in the intestine. As a result, it can help control diabetes and prediabetes.
Plant compounds called saponins reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine. Lowering the level of bad cholesterol (the "bad" type) can help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
As a natural diuretic, alfalfa contributes to the outflow of urine, which can help get rid of harmful bacteria. Although there is no proven method to treat an active urinary tract infection, it can help prevent the onset of the infection.
Relieve the symptoms of menopause
Alfalfa has a high content of plant compounds called phytoestrogens, which are chemically similar to estrogens.
This means that it can cause some of the same effects on the body as estrogen.
Phytoestrogens are controversial, but they can have many benefits, including the relief of menopausal symptoms caused by low estrogen levels.
The effect of alfalfa on menopausal symptoms has not been studied in depth, but there is evidence to support its use to reduce hot flashes.
However, there are also possible risks. It is important that you talk to a healthcare professional if you plan to use it to treat these symptoms.
Alfalfa has a long history of use in medicine to treat conditions caused by inflammation and oxidative damage.
In fact, alfalfa has powerful antioxidant properties, as some animal studies have shown that it prevents oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
In particular, alfalfa has the ability to reduce cell death and DNA damage caused by free radicals. It does this by reducing the production of free radicals and improving the body's ability to fight them.
However, these results have been obtained in studies of cells in tubes in live mice or rats, mice, and chickens. Further research is needed to see if alfalfa will have the same effect on people who participate.
Although alfalfa is often used to feed horses and rabbits, it is also useful for humans. In addition to consuming it as a dietary supplement, people consume alfalfa, which can be found in the food section of most grocery stores, in the form of sprouted seeds.
Nutrients per serving
Just 1 cup of alfalfa sprouts contains the following nutrients:
* Calories: 7.6
* Protein: 1.3 g
* Fat content: 0.2 g
* Carbohydrates: 0.7 g
* Fiber: 0.6 g
* Sugar: 0.1 g
Alfalfa may be low in calories, but it contains many important nutrients that make it a powerful food ingredient. This includes:
* Folic acid
* Vitamin B1
* Vitamin B2
* Vitamin C
* Vitamin K
In addition to many vitamins and minerals, alfalfa also contains biologically active compounds such as alkaloids, coumarins, flavonoids, and phytoestrogens. These compounds can help prevent health problems such as cancer and heart disease.
What should I pay attention to?
Alfalfa can affect the functioning of certain medications, such as certain birth control methods. Since alfalfa contributes to blood clotting, consult your doctor if you are taking coumadin. You may need to limit the amount of alfalfa you consume or discard it altogether.
How to cook alfalfa?
Fresh alfalfa sprouts are sprouted seeds that farmers harvest before they are fully ripe. You can find them with products in most grocery stores. If you wish, you can also germinate them at home.
To germinate the alfalfa, add about 2 tablespoons of seeds to a bowl or container of water and leave for 8 to 12 hours. Drain and rinse the seeds. Drain as much water as possible and leave it at room temperature in a sunny place for 3 days. Rinse and drain the water every 8 to 12 hours.
after 3 days, transfer the seeds to a place with indirect sunlight and continue rinsing periodically. they should be ready for use after 5-6 days.
When germinating seeds at home, there is a risk of bacterial infection. Take measures to ensure safe growing conditions. Rinse store-bought or home-grown sprouts thoroughly before use.
Fresh alfalfa sprouts are a delicious October addition to sandwiches and salads. They can also be used as summer rolls or as an accompaniment to soups or tacos.
You can also buy clover in dried form. Dried clover can be boiled in water with other herbs to make tea, or it can be ground and added to cocktails. It can also be added to capsules and consumed as a herbal additive.
Side effects and allergies to alfalfa
Clover seeds should not be taken for a long time, as they can have negative effects. Although alfalfa is probably safe for most people, it can cause negative side effects in some people.
Since raw alfalfa sprouts and complementary foods made from alfalfa seeds pose a potential food safety risk (for example, they serve as a reservoir for foodborne pathogens such as coli, salmonella, and listeria), pregnant women should avoid these foods.
They take drugs to thin the blood
Alfalfa and alfalfa sprouts are rich in vitamin K. Although it benefits most people, they can be dangerous for others.
High doses of vitamin K can lead to a decrease in the effectiveness of anticoagulant drugs such as W. Therefore, it is important for people taking these drugs to avoid significant changes in vitamin K intake.
Have autoimmune diseases
Cases have been reported in which alfalfa supplements have caused lupus to reactivate in some people.
It is believed that this effect is due to the potentially immunostimulating effect of the amino acid L-alanine contained in alfalfa.
Therefore, those who suffer from lupus or another autoimmune disease are advised to avoid it.
Your immune system is weakened
The humidity conditions necessary for the germination of alfalfa seeds are ideal for the growth of bacteria.
Therefore, sprouts sold in stores have sometimes been infected with bacteria, and several outbreaks of bacteria have been linked to clover sprouts in the past.
Eating infected germs can cause illness in anyone, but most healthy adults recover without long-term consequences. However, for people with a weakened immune system, such an infection can be very dangerous.
That is why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that children, pregnant women, the elderly, or anyone with a weakened immune system avoid products made from alfalfa sprouts and seeds.
Be careful not to eat alfalfa seeds for a long time.
Clover causes an increase in the number of autoimmune diseases such as lupus. Clover can also make some people's skin very sensitive to the sun. The use of a large number of clover supplements during pregnancy and lactation is considered dangerous.
It usually tends to act like estrogen and causes hormonal imbalances. Alfalfa can cause an increase in the activity of the immune system and increase the symptoms of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.
People with diseases such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine fibroids, and endometriosis should not eat alfalfa.
Alfalfa has been shown to help lower cholesterol and can also be useful for controlling blood sugar levels and relieving menopausal symptoms.
People also eat it because it contains nutrients such as vitamin K, copper, folic acid, and magnesium, in addition to antioxidants.
Alfalfa is extremely low in calories. However, some people may need to avoid eating alfalfa, including pregnant women, those taking blood-thinning medications, and people with autoimmune diseases.
Although better research is needed on alfalfa, it is a promising food ingredient or a health-promoting additive.