Alfalfa sprouts are nutritious and delicious, making them a staple in salads, sandwiches, and summer rolls. They are a source of protein, chlorophyll, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, folate, manganese, copper, and iron.
Many health food stores sell alfalfa sprouts and you can also purchase them online. However, you should be aware of the high risk of bacterial contamination with store-bought alfalfa sprouts because of the moist conditions needed to sprout them.
A few studies have shown that alfalfa can reduce arthritic pain and inflammation due to its antioxidant properties. Specifically, it can block the absorption of a specific compound called saponins that cause damage to red blood cells and arteries and increase the production of nitric oxide. It has been shown to help reduce inflammation and pain in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, but more research is needed.
It has also been shown to lower cholesterol levels by blocking the absorption of fats in the gut. It is possible that this effect may be because alfalfa helps maintain a healthy acid-alkaline balance in the body.
You should be careful about taking alfalfa if you have an autoimmune disease, such as lupus or diabetes. It is also not recommended if you take immunosuppressant medications, such as corticosteroids or cyclosporine.
Alfalfa is considered safe for most adults and children, although there have been cases of bacterial contamination in store-bought sprouts and people with compromised immune systems should be cautious. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of using alfalfa supplements before you start.