Who Knew Alfalfa Was So Cool
I need to be honest, I had no idea alfalfa could be so good, and over the last 60 days we started doing even more research. We knew a lot about the studies and knew about the healing effects but what I did not know was how yummy it be. So we included our favorite simple salad recipe and some of the benefits of this herb and why it is so powerful in Formula24 and as part of the 66 day cleanse.
• 4 cups loosely packed mixed salad greens
• 2 Ripe Avocados sliced
• 1/2 cup alfalfa, clover
• 1 cup lightly blanched organic broccoli
• 1/2 cup crunchy sprout mix (typically includes lentils, adzuki beans, and peas)
• 1 cup cooked, drained, and rinsed chickpeas
• 1 sliced cucumber organic large
• 2 ounces sunflower, buckwheat, or pea sprouts
• 2/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons pitted and sliced kalamata olives, or your choice of olives
• 2 tablespoons hemp seeds (optional)
Place the salad greens in a bowl. Top with the alfalfa sprouts and crunchy sprouts. Add the chickpeas, broccoli and cucumber and sunflower sprouts. Top with the cherry tomatoes and olives, sprinkle with hemp seeds (or pumpkin), if using, drizzle with your dressing of choice, and feel the power!
Little Known about Alfalfa:
Alfalfa has been shown to decrease cholesterol levels in both animal and human studies. This is probably because it contains plant compounds called saponins.
OTHER POTENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS
There is a long list of traditional uses of alfalfa as a medicinal herb. They include lowering blood pressure, acting as a diuretic, increasing breast milk production, treating arthritis and getting rid of kidney stones.
Unfortunately, most of these proposed health benefits have not yet been researched. However, a few of them have been studied to some extent.
POSSIBLE IMPROVED METABOLIC HEALTH One traditional use of alfalfa is as an anti-diabetic agent. A recent animal study found alfalfa supplements decreased high levels of total, LDL and VLDL cholesterol in diabetic animals. It also improved blood sugar control.
Another study in diabetic mice found that alfalfa extract lowered blood sugar levels by increasing the release of insulin from the pancreas.
These results seem to support the use of alfalfa to treat diabetes and improve metabolic health. However, this needs to be confirmed in human studies.
RELIEVING MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS
Alfalfa is high in plant compounds called phytoestrogens, which are chemically similar to the hormone estrogen. This means that they can cause some of the same effects in the body as estrogen.
Phytoestrogens are controversial, but they may have several benefits, including easing menopausal symptoms that are caused by decreased levels of estrogen. The effects of alfalfa on menopausal symptoms have not been extensively researched, but one study found that sage and alfalfa extracts were able to completely resolve night sweats and hot flashes in 20 women.
The estrogenic effects may also have other benefits. A study of breast cancer survivors found that women who ate alfalfa had fewer sleep problems.
However, more studies are needed to confirm these potential benefits.
Alfalfa has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine to treat conditions caused by inflammation and oxidative damage. This is because alfalfa was thought to act as a powerful antioxidant, preventing damage caused by free radicals. Several animal studies have now confirmed its antioxidant effects.
They found that alfalfa has the ability to reduce cell death and DNA damage caused by free radicals. It does this by both lowering the production of free radicals and improving the body’s ability to fight them.
One study in mice even found that treatment with alfalfa could help reduce the damage caused by stroke or brain injury.
Nevertheless, human studies are needed to confirm these effects. Animal studies alone do not hold much weight.
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