Alfalfa sprouts are delicious both cold and hot. Put them on sandwiches or toss over the salad to add some greenery and crunch. You can also add them to stir-fries, soups and stews for extra nutritional value.
Alfalfa sprouts are nutrient rich and also very low in calories. 1 cup of sprouts contains just 8 calories while meeting 13% of RDI for vitamin K, as well as good quantities of vitamin C, copper, manganese and folate. It is also high in many bioactive plant compounds.
Alfalfa has been shown to decrease cholesterol levels in both animal and human studies. This effect is attributed to its high content of saponins, which are plant compounds known to lower cholesterol levels.
There is a long list of traditional uses of alfalfa as a medicinal plant. They include lowering blood pressure, acting as a diuretic, increasing breast milk production, treating arthritis and getting rid of kidney stones.
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. However, this needs to be confirmed in human studies.
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 studies have now confirmed its antioxidant effects.