No, this is not the same Alfalfa you watched when you were younger. This refers to the plant, whose usage dates back six thousand years to the Persian era. Ancient Chinese and Indian civilizations also used this plant as a traditional medicine to stimulate the appetite and treat ulcers, among many others.
Alfalfa, which came from an Arabic phrase, “al-fac-facah,” which means “father of all foods,” is one of the most nutritious foods you can feed your body. It contains the most essential nutrients such as B vitamins, while the leaves are packed with vitamin K, biotin, folic acid, and calcium, among many others. For many years, alfalfa leaves have been and still are considered treatment for dyspepsia and is anti-arthritic and anti-asthmatic.
Note that alfalfa leaves are dried, ground, and converted into powder or tablet form, which are sold as a nutritional supplement.
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Apart from these benefits, alfalfa leaves can also do so much for your brain health and make sure that it is in tiptop shape. Nootropics are a great way to consume the nutrients that energize and protect your brain.
Benefits of Alfalfa Leaves
- Great source of nutrients
- Lowers cholesterol level
- Improves metabolic health
- Effective antioxidant
- Relieves symptoms of menopause
- Treats digestive disorders
- Good source of vitamin C
Alfalfa Leaves and Alfalfa Are Good Sources of Nutrients
When it comes to super foods, alfalfa tops the list. In fact, alfalfa is a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as:
- Biotin - Excellent for healthy hair, nails, & skin, but also diabetes, weight loss, & sometimes depression.
- Calcium - Great for healthy bones yes! Lesser known involvement for blood clotting; the kind that prevents bleeding.
- Carotene - Converted to vitamin A for a healthy immune system, eyesight, skin, and mucous membranes.
- Copper - Rich in organ meat and cocoa, 2 of our favorites! Also in seafood, nuts, seeds; contributes to bone and muscle formation.
- Folate - Needed for the production of genetic material and DNA, aka folic acid and vitamin B9.
- Iron - A component of hemoglobin that carries oxygen through our blood. Rich sources of iron are found in organ meat.
- Magnesium - More than a sleep aid, Mg is critical for energy production, nerve transmission, coagulating blood, metabolizing nutrients and bone & cell formation, thousands of biochemical reactions with over 300 enzymatic reactions occurring daily.
- Manganese - Prevents weak bones, reduces chance of anemia (meaning without blood, or lack of) = typically not getting enough oxygenated blood to tissues can result in a host of problems, and helps with symptoms of PMS.
- Potassium - Involved in the sodium/potassium pump in the plasma membrane to regulate cell physiology and complete nerve conduction for every cell, and ensures your heart keeps beating for a lifetime, muscles contract, nerves send signals, and kidneys filter blood.
- Protein - Obvi muscle synthesis, but lesser known is the necessity for making enzymes, hormones, and a building block for skin, blood, cartilage, and bones.
- Vitamin A - AKA beta carotene or retinol is needed for reproduction, clear vision, and a strong immune system and assists in lung, heart, and kidney function.
- Vitamin C - AKA ascorbic acid is a powerful antioxidant that maintains bones, connective tissue, skin, and blood vessels.
- Vitamin E - Free radicals are formed when food is processed into energy within our bodies, they are damaging in nature, and vitamin E protects our cells from this damage.
- Vitamin K - a blood-clotting vitamin and among the most important nutrients alfalfa offers, is beneficial for strong healthy bones by assisting in the transport of calcium throughout the body. Although not fully determined, it is thought that vitamin K maintain strong bones and may decrease risk of bone fractures
Aside from these nutrients, alfalfa leaves have a high content of bioactive plant compounds, such as saponin, flavonoids, phytosterols, alkaloids, and phytoestrogens, among others.
In other words, alfalfa leaves contain essential nutrients your brain and body need to function well. In this fast-paced society, adding alfalfa to your diet is one of the simplest and most effective ways to feed your brain.
Lower Cholesterol Level with the Help of Alfalfa Leaves
Cholesterol is not all that bad, but too much of it, especially if it comes from unhealthy sources, is bad for you. The good news is alfalfa leaves can make sure that your blood cholesterol levels are balanced, or at least lowered.
This is because alfalfa leaves contain saponin, a type of plant compound known to lower cholesterol levels by reducing the gut’s absorption of cholesterol and increasing the release of compounds that will help create new, healthy cholesterol. This ingredient also contains phytosterols, another type of compound that works similarly with saponins in blocking the absorption of cholesterol in your body.
Improve Your Metabolic Health with Alfalfa Leaves
Did you know that alfalfa was traditionally used as an anti-diabetic agent?
According to a study published in the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, alfalfa supplements decreased high levels of LDL, VLDL, and total cholesterol in diabetic animals while improving blood sugar control. Another study published in the British Journal of Nutrition revealed that alfalfa extract lowered blood sugar levels by increasing the release of insulin in diabetic mice.
In other words, alfalfa can reduce blood sugar levels and minimize dependency on insulin. Nonetheless, most studies were conducted on mice and, as of this writing, there are no human studies confirming the metabolic health benefits. Still, it’s worth trying before going the big pharma route as you may end up with a problem worse than the one you are trying to correct.
Alfalfa Leaves are an Effective Antioxidant for the Brain and Body
Apart from vitamin K, alfalfa leaves also have antioxidant effects, and its usage dates back to ancient times. In Ayurvedic medicine, alfalfa was used to treat conditions brought by oxidative damage and inflammation.
Based on a study published in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, alfalfa can reduce DNA damage and cell death caused by free radicals. This is because alfalfa improves your body’s ability to fight infection and lower the production of free radicals inside your body. One study even revealed that alfalfa could reduce the damage caused by brain injury or stroke.
In other words, alfalfa provides antioxidant effects on your brain to keep it in tiptop shape and at the same time minimize the development of various medical conditions.
Ease Symptoms of Menopause with Alfalfa Leaves
Vitamin K is alfalfa’s biggest contribution. This vitamin, together with phytoestrogens, could minimize the symptoms of menopause as well excessive menstruation in women who are not yet in the menopausal stage. This is because vitamin K and phytoestrogen help regulate estrogen levels, thereby minimizing the symptoms of both menopause and pre-menstrual syndrome.
Alfalfa is an Effective Treatment for the Gut and Other Digestive Conditions
A healthy digestive system leads to better health. This is because it is primarily responsible for getting rid of waste, storing the nutrients the body needs to function well, and converting food into energy to fuel the body – and this is what alfalfa leaves can do. In fact, traditional Chinese and Indian medicine uses alfalfa to treat several digestive disorders.
This ingredient is high in prebiotics, particularly fructo-oligosaccharides, which fertilize and feed your gut with good bacteria. This could neutralize bad bacteria and minimize the risk of developing various diseases.
Aside from this, alfalfa is packed with digestive enzymes to help break down food components. Consequently, the high nutritional content of this ingredient offers therapeutic effects on the gastrointestinal tract, which could lead to a better and healthier digestive system.
Alfalfa as a Supplementary Source of Vitamin C
Don’t limit yourself with citrus fruits for your supply of vitamin C. It turns out that alfalfa is a good source of vitamin C as well. The best part is alfalfa is easy to add to your diet. You can make your own herbal tea, take a tablet daily, or drink powdered supplements.
Professional Recommendation for Alfalfa Leaves
Alfalfa leaves are often powdered and turned into supplements. For maximum benefits, mix the powder with water or your favorite smoothie. Make sure to limit the dosage to five grams per day.
Aside from supplements, you can also use alfalfa leaves to make your own herbal tea. Boil alfalfa leaves in a cup or two of water and drink it up to three times a day. Note that despite the many health benefits, alfalfa leaves can taste bland, so mix in your favorite tea for added flavor.
Side Effects of Alfalfa Leaves
Despite its health benefits, alfalfa leaves are not for everyone, especially pregnant women, children, and elderly persons. If you are taking blood thinner medications, you need to be careful with your alfalfa intake since this is high in vitamin K. Vitamin K could make blood thinning medications less effective. Alternative to blood thinning medications - ginkgo biloba (vasodilator)
People with autoimmune disorders are also advised to limit alfalfa leaves or supplement intake since it could reactivate lupus. If you have a compromised immune system avoid increasing alfalfa intake since it could trigger bacterial growth that leads to infection.
Recap of Alfalfa Leaves
The bottom line is this: alfalfa leaves are good for you. Alfalfa has many benefits, such as lowering your cholesterol levels, controlling your blood sugar, and relieving the symptoms of menopause. This ingredient is also low in calories, so you don’t have to worry about consuming too much.
More importantly, alfalfa leaves are rich in vitamin K and antioxidants that could benefit your brain health. Keep in mind that there are tons of external factors that weaken your immune system and affect the overall function of your body. By consuming alfalfa leaves, either in powder form or tablet, you will be able to protect your brain and body against free radicals that could compromise the way your brain works.
The best part is you can easily add alfalfa leaves to your diet. For added nutrition, add alfalfa sprouts to your salad or favorite dishes. Your body will love it.
Still, there are certain precautions you need to take to make sure that you get the most out of this ingredient.
Where Can I Buy Alfalfa Leaves Supplements Online?
Alfalfa leaves in powder or tablet supplements are available online through Amazon, Swanson, or Oregon’s Wild Harvest. Organic and health stores like GNC also sell alfalfa leaves supplements.
Still, there is a better way to make sure that you get enough nutrients for the brain. One way to do this is by taking nootropic blends.
Momental Mind is a daily nootropic blend that contains the most effective ingredients, including alfalfa leaves, that not only keeps your brain healthy but also helps you navigate your always tuned in, on-the-go lifestyle.
Take Mind with Mend, especially if you’re experiencing increased stress. Mend is made of a natural, non-drowsy formula to make sure you recover fully at night and are up and running throughout the day. Mind and Mend are complete complements to one another and further advance cellular and metabolic health when utilized in sequence. It just so happens that we made Mend a powerful sleep aid that works for you at night, but also during the day.