Alfalfa, chic peas, licorice, and carob are all members of the pea (Fabaceae) family and are cousins of peanuts, lentils, and soybeans just to name a few. Alfalfa is a perennial legume, grown in most regions of the U.S. for horses, livestock and of course for human consumption. Most parts of the alfalfa plant are edible, such as the leaves and young shoots. The sprouts can be added to various dishes for garnishing or used in place of salad greens.
Nutrient-dense alfalfa is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. The leaves also contain vitamin A, C, D, E, and the coagulant, vitamin K. Rich in trace minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and carotene, which is useful against both heart disease and cancer.
Alfalfa works as a restorative tonic and helps treat chronic and acute digestive problems. Assisting with the assimilation of proteins, iron, calcium, and other trace minerals, alfalfa helps build and revitalize the body. Alfalfa has also been known to assist with various acute and chronic inflammatory symptoms associated with degeneration and aging.
Alfalfa helps detoxify the body, especially the liver. It is good for colon disorders, anemia, hemorrhaging, indigestion, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, laxative, cystitis, blood purifier, gas, edema, diabetes, ulcers, and arthritis. Alfalfa promotes good pituitary gland function and contains an anti-fungal agent.
I bet what you didn’t know it that alfalfa is packed with more protein than most other leafy greens and it also contains more than beef. Alfalfa shows why it’s not difficult as it may seem to get the daily requirements for an athletic lifestyle from plants!
Pack on Muscles
In addition to protein, which plays a key role in helping your muscles recover from a workout, alfalfa is also a great source of magnesium and zinc. These minerals help your body produce proteins and hormones that assist with the growth and development of strong, healthy muscles. What’s more, magnesium also aids hydration, loosens your muscles, and helps prevent cramps, making it an essential component of any fitness routine. Of course, what is really essential for the body is having amino acids (the building blocks of protein), and alfalfa contains; arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Amino acids work together to form complete proteins, so if one is missing or in short supply, this limits the amount of protein readily available. About 500 naturally occurring amino acids are known (though only 20 are encoded in the universal genetic code.
Packed with a compound called saponins, alfalfa is used as a remedy for reducing inflammation. This is a win for athletes suffering from joint pain and stiffness or sore muscles. By having alfalfa in your nutrition, you’re helping to address these symptoms before they have the chance to occur.
Boosting Immune Antioxidants
Alfalfa is rich in antioxidants. Along with the saponins, antioxidants give your immune system a boost so your body can fight off infection. Athletes know how important this is following a hard workout when your immune system will be compromised for a period of time.