Natural vitamins and minerals complex Alfalfa - Research Brief
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Alfalfa - Research Brief:
Medicago sativa L. has been cultivated since ancient times in Europe, Asia, and Africa as fodder plant. This herb produces the highest quantity of protein per hectare than any other fodder plant, and is considered to have the highest nutritive value among all.
Since early 20th century, some scientific studies were carried out in order to disclose alfalfa’s properties. The first studies performed in animals confirmed the high nutritional value of this plant species.
Besides its accepted nutritional value, alfalfa is beneficial for human health.
Medicago sativa has a unique root system that makes it very different from most other plants. The roots of the alfalfa reach deep into the soil, has access to moisture and minerals most other plant roots are unable to reach. Alfalfa roots grow as deep as 20 feet or more, providing the plant with a rich source of nutrients not always found at the ground’s surface.
Because of a long root system, alfalfa contains an enormous quantity of nutrients, in a form that is easily digested and assimilated by man. It is very high in minerals and vitamins, particularly calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin K.
As a single source alfalfa has one of the highest levels of protein. It contains more protein than milk and eggs when measured by equal weight.
Alfalfa is an herb high in compounds called saponins that may interfere with lipid breakdown and absorption in the gut, lowering cholesterol, and prevent the formation of atherosclerotic plaques.
Natural coumarins have been shown to counteract stagnation of blood in the vessels and stabilize blood vessel membranes, reducing leakiness.
Alfalfa contains phytoestrogens called isoflavones, which can have a moderate estrogenic effect in the body. Isoflavones are also found in red clover and in soy products, and are touted today as a safe alternative to estrogen supplements during and after menopause. It is not uncommon for Asian women to consume up to 200 mg of isoflavones a day in the diet, far higher than the average 10 or 20 mg that is common among North Americans and Europeans. Some research suggests that isoflavones may be partially responsible for the lower rates of prostate and reproductive cancers found in Asia, and possible the lower rate of undesirable menopausal symptoms, though this has yet to be proven in high-quality clinical trials.