Home Diets to lose weight Alfalfa, a superfood with many properties

Alfalfa, a superfood with many properties

by Georgia Ede
Published: Last Updated on

Alfalfa, whose scientific name is Medicago sativa , is a perennial herbaceous plant with small purple flowers that grow in clusters. Its traditional use has been both medicinal and food. It is a very versatile plant since in its medicinal and therapeutic use both the stem, the leaves, flowers, seeds and even the roots are used.

It is one of the most nutritious edible plants and in the kitchen it is very versatile because we can consume it in alfalfa sprouts or sprouts, seeds and also its leaves.

We are going to know what is the nutritional value of alfalfa, the properties, benefits and medicinal uses of alfalfa, how to take alfalfa and the contraindications of alfalfa.

What is the nutritional value of alfalfa?

Contains Vitamins A, C, B1, B6, E and K, calcium, zinc, potassium, carotenes and proteins.

Alfalfa belongs to the legume family such as lentils, peas or chickpeas … so it is not surprising that its nutritional value is as beneficial to our health as that of other legumes. So it gives us proteins of vegetable origin that are very interesting for our health.

It is very nutritious and its contribution in micronutrients is highly remarkable. It contains vitamins from group A, B, C and E, and minerals such as calcium, copper, chromium, iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc. It also has a high content of vegetable protein as we have already indicated.

The active principles of alfalfa are very interesting, since it provides us with flavonoids, phytoestrogens (isoflavones and lignans), phytosterols, saponins, thyrotropin, coumarins and digestive enzymes.

Benefits of Alfalfa for our health

There are many and very diverse benefits that alfalfa offers us for our health, so we have decided to highlight those that are scientifically proven by sections .

If you want to know more about alfalfa, we invite you to continue reading to discover all the properties and benefits of alfalfa for the body.

Alfalfa for anemia

Its high iron content and especially the combination of vitamin C , which makes it well absorbed iron, make alfalfa a highly recommended food for iron deficiency anemia and in convalescent states or in moments of weakness, or fatigue, etc. If we have anemia, it helps us prevent it and fight it.

It can be consumed both fresh or cooked in recipes and as an infusion to take advantage of its properties.

It is very important that we combine foods rich in iron with foods that ensure the correct assimilation of nutrients.

Alfalfa to take care of the stomach

If you tend to have slow digestions, having an alfalfa infusion after a meal can help improve digestive processes, improve nutrient absorption, and combat indigestion and abdominal inflammation.

Fight stomach problems and heartburn by taking a small amount of seeds every day, it can help us relieve stomach discomfort.

If you take it in tea with a little mint, it helps fight heartburn. We can take advantage of its properties combined with other foods that help us with stomach problems.

Alfalfa tea is recommended to improve digestion after large meals.

Alfalfa for arthritis and osteoarthritis

In the case of these ailments, alfalfa is usually applied externally and locally on the affected area that we want to treat in the form of poultices or plasters that serve to reduce inflammation and improve mobility of arthritis and osteoarthritis, as well as other diseases. inflammatory .

Alfalfa for the skin

Alfalfa poultices are highly hydrating and prevent skin infections as well as having a very beneficial effect on the skin due to its coumarin content .

It is used in a multitude of inflammatory skin diseases such as dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, or in skin with acne and wounds, as it also has bactericidal and anti-hemorrhagic properties.

Alfalfa for defenses

Alfalfa sprouts, in addition to having anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-hemorrhagic properties, etc., stand out for their power as an immunostimulant , that is, they favor the growth of defenses and help the immune response to be correct and fast; preventing us from both viral and bacterial diseases.

Alfalfa sprouts are especially beneficial for stimulating the functioning of our immune system, improving the reaction to pathogens such as viruses and bacteria.

In addition, alfalfa sprouts contain glucosinolates , compounds with anticancer action.

Alfalfa for the thyroid

The thyrotropin (TSH) contained in alfalfa is an analog of the hormone thyroxine, a stimulant of the thyroid gland. For this reason, the consumption of alfalfa makes the metabolism accelerate in a notorious way.

Always consult with your endocrinologist about the consumption of alfalfa if you have hypo or hyperthyroidism or suspect that you may have it.

It is important to control the consumption of those foods that can interfere with hormonal activity.

Alfalfa for tiredness and fatigue

This plant is our ally to recover from states in which we are especially tired or physically fatigued or we are recovering from an operation or convalescent state.

It is a plant that gives us vitality, therefore it is considered energizing . Also, due to its antipyretic action, it makes us feel better when we are weak.

Alfalfa for fever and colds

One of the natural remedies for fever can be alfalfa, for its antipyretic action , it is also used to combat symptoms of the common cold or flu.

Taking alfalfa infusions, provides the body with a large amount of chlorophyll , which helps to improve respiratory and lung diseases.

It is prepared as an infusion and it is taken warm very little by little when it has cooled down to room temperature.

Alfalfa and cardiovascular disease

It is cardiotonic and regulates blood pressure, which is why it is said to be a plant that improves cardiovascular diseases, which is why it is highly recommended to regulate the body’s blood pressure.

Its use is recommended in infusions in combination with garlic, as it helps regulate blood pressure.

The phytoestrogens it has have a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases . It is advisable to consume at least 3 cups of alfalfa tea a day, in addition to including it in our daily diet.

Alfalfa for menopause and menstrual cramps

The phytoestrogens in this plant can be very useful to alleviate the symptoms of menopause because it increases the levels of estrogen (female hormone) in the body. Reduces premenstrual pain and during menstruation or ovulation period.

It is very useful for cases of dysmenorrhea or painful periods. For these cases, alfalfa can be used a few days before and thus reduce pain during menstruation, it is generally consumed in capsules or as an infusion.

Alfalfa for urinary tract and fluid retention

It can be a natural remedy for cases of urinary infections such as cystitis and can help prevent or improve cases of stones or grit in the kidney.

It also stimulates the elimination of liquids, something very beneficial for people who suffer from edema and fluid retention. It is a diuretic and also helps to improve inflammatory conditions of the bladder and urinary tract.

It has digestive and antispasmodic properties and a mild laxative effect that helps regulate bowel movements, without the body getting used to them and without suffering abdominal pain (as occurs with other laxatives). It helps to improve the body’s digestive process and to better assimilate the nutrients from the food we eat.

How to take alfalfa?

There are different ways in which we can use alfalfa, you can either take it in capsules or in powder. Also in sprouts that you can even make them naturally or buy them. Sprouts are always eaten raw, that is, fresh.

The alfalfa leaves are also consumed, we could cook them like other green leafy vegetables such as spinach or chard well in soups, purees, sautéed, sautéed or in stews, etc.

We can also make alfalfa infusion with its leaves by adding a teaspoon of alfalfa leaves to 200 ml of boiling water. We will cover it and let it rest for 5 minutes. Then we will strain it and it will be ready to consume.

It is important to consume it warm little by little and not take more than 3 cups a day.

Contraindications and side effects of alfalfa

Alfalfa sprouts or sprouts are contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation as almost all sprouts or sprouts.

For its part, the consumption of alfalfa seeds is not recommended due to its amount in alkaloids and saponins that are not suitable in pregnancy despite providing us with a large amount of vitamins and minerals

It should not be taken by people who take medications to thin the blood as it dilutes it and we must control it. You should also not take alfalfa if you take anticoagulants because it is contrary and is not recommended in people with gout or high uric acid due to its purine content.

Like any other medicinal plant, it should not be consumed in excess since it can cause adverse effects.

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