Sprouts of alfalfa or alfalfa: properties, benefits and use

I alfalfa sprouts, or alfalfa, are rich in protein and vitamin A, regulate blood cholesterol levels and are useful against arthritis and rheumatism. Let's find out better.

> Description of the alfalfa

> Composition of alfalfa or alfalfa sprouts

> Properties and benefits

> Organoleptic characteristics and uses of alfalfa sprouts

> Secrets of sprouting

Sprouts of alfalfa or alfalfa: properties, benefits and use


Description of the alfalfa

Alfalfa (from the Arabic al-fal-fa: "father of all foods"), better known in the country as alfalfa, is a legume native to Asia Minor, especially in the area that has always been the seat of the Armenian people, and was highly appreciated by the Persians, so much so that the name "alfalfa", stands for "herb of the Medes", ancient Iranian people.

The alfalfa seeds have very small dimensions, around two millimeters, reniform and golden yellow or brownish in color. Over the centuries farmers have adopted this plant by inserting it in their rotations and using it as feed for animals, as an excellent nitrogen fixer and as an ideal nectar plant for beekeeping.

For about two thousand years it has been present in traditional Chinese, Persian and Ayurveda medicines, especially as a basis for treatments for water retention and intestinal discomfort.

Alfalfa is also used as a natural and restorative protein supplement, also useful in case of renal insufficiency of dogs and cats.


Composition of alfalfa or alfalfa sprouts

Of all the sprouts, that of alfalfa is the most complete from a nutritional point of view: the percentage of proteins can reach 36%, containing all the essential amino acids and eight of the enzymes essential for digestion.

Coming to the vitamin complex we note that it contains vitamin A (it contains the same percentage of carrot), numerous vitamins of group B, including B12 or cobalamin, vitamins C, D, E, K and PP. As regards the spectrum of mineral salts, alfalfa sprouts contain calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, selenium and zinc.


Properties and benefits

Alfalfa sprouts are certainly helpful in controlling cholesterol since they help to decrease the level of LDL cholesterol or "bad" cholesterol, and to increase the level of HDL cholesterol, a useful "scavenger" of the circulatory system.

They are used by sufferers of rheumatism and they are very useful as far as prevention is concerned of arthritis. The high manganese content also makes alfalfa sprouts suitable for cases of diabetes. Given the rich and complete composition of vitamins, amino acids and trace elements, the sprouts are useful tonics and tonic, recommended for growing children, the elderly, sportsmen and after convalescence cases.


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Sprouts of alfalfa or alfalfa: properties, benefits and use


Organoleptic characteristics and uses of alpha-alpha sprouts

The delicate flavor of the alfalfa sprouts makes it possible to use them consume in many versions: raw in mixed salads, made into cream or used as ingredients for juices or extracts, or finally cooked.


Sprouting secrets

To produce alfalfa sprouts you have to starting from the seeds: they are immersed in water for twelve hours at room temperature. After this phase, the vasco seeds are drained and placed in a special germinator (or in an instrument that performs the function sufficiently well).

It is essential to remember to change the water and rinse the seeds at least twice a day. On the fourth day of germination it is recommended to expose them to indirect light in order to trigger the chlorophyll production processes. To reach a complete germination the timing is around a period ranging from four to six days.

When the young shoots reach a height of two to four centimeters, it is possible to start harvesting: take a part of it, which will be immersed in a tray of water in order to rinse them and separate the shoots from the cuticle of the seed, and be so finally ready for consumption.



How to eat sprouts: the most common preparations

Other articles on sprouts:
> Small guide to the preparation of sprouts

> Sprouts in the kitchen


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