MoonDragon's Nutrition Information
FOOD & NUTRIENT GUIDE: VEGETABLES
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HEALTH BENEFITS OF SPROUTS
Sprouts have long been famous as "health food" but recent research shows that in addition to being a superb source of nutrients, they also have important curative ability. Sprouts like alfalfa, radish, broccoli, clover and soybean contain concentrated amounts of phytochemicals (plant compounds) that can protect us against disease.
Studies on canavanine, an amino acid analog in alfalfa, has demonstrated benefit for pancreatic, colon and leukemia cancers. Plant estrogens are also abundant in sprouts. They increase bone formation and density and prevent bone breakdown or osteoporosis. They are also helpful in controlling hot flashes, menopause, PMS and fibrocystic breasts tumors.
Alfalfa sprouts are one of our finest food sources of another compound, saponins. Saponins lower the bad cholesterol and fat but not the good HDL fats. Animal studies prove their benefit in arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Saponins also stimulate the immune system by increasing the activity of natural killer cells such as T-lymphocytes and interferon. The saponin content of alfalfa sprouts multiplies 450 percent over that of the unsprouted seed.
Sprouts also contain an abundance of highly active antioxidants that prevent DNA destruction and protect us from the ongoing effects of aging. It would not be inconceivable to find a fountain of youth here, after all, sprouts represent the miracle of birth.
Alfalfa sprouts are great on salads, in sandwiches (in place of lettuce) and as a topping on many dishes (see recipes below).
Alfalfa seed used for sprouting as well as the kitchen tools and other types of sprouting seeds can be purchased through health food stores and online herbal supply merchants.
Alfalfa Sprouts (Raw)
Scientific Name: Medicago Sativa
Alfalfa Sprout Nutrient Units 1 cup
Proximates Water g 30.076 Energy kcal 9.570 Energy kj 39.930 Protein g 1.317 Total Lipid (Fat) g 0.228 Carbohydrate, By Difference g 1.247 Fiber, Total Dietary g 0.825 Ash g 0.132 Minerals Calcium, Ca mg 10.560 Iron, Fe mg 0.317 Magnesium, Mg mg 8.910 Phosphorus, P mg 23.100 Potassium, K mg 26.070 Sodium, Na mg 1.980 Zinc, Zn mg 0.304 Copper, Cu mg 0.052 Manganese, Mn mg 0.062 Selenium, Se mcg 0.198 Vitamins Vitamin A, IU IU 51.150 Vitamin A, RE mcg_RE 5.280 Alpha Carotene mcg ---- Beta Carotene mcg ---- Beta Cryptoxanthin mcg ---- Lycopene mcg ---- Lutein Plus Zeaxanthin mcg ---- Thiamin (Vitamin B-1) mg 0.042 Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2) mg 0.042 Niacin (Vitamin B-3) mg 0.159 Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B-5) mg 0.186 Vitamin B-6 mg 0.011 Folate (Vitamin B-9) mcg 11.880 Vitamin B-12 mcg 0.000 Choline ---- ---- Betaine ---- ---- Vitamin C, Ascorbic Acid mg 2.706 Vitamin D (D-2, D-3) ---- ---- Vitamin E mg_ATE 0.007 Vitamin K ---- ---- Lipids Fatty Acids, Saturated g 0.023 4:0 Butyric g 0.000 6:0 Caproic g 0.000 8:0 Caprylic g 0.000 10:0 Capric g 0.000 12:0 Lauric g 0.000 13:0 ---- ---- 14:0 Myristic g 0.001 15:0 ---- ---- 16:0 Palmitic g 0.019 17:0 ---- ---- 18:0 Stearic g 0.003 19:0 ---- ---- 20:0 ---- ---- 22:0 ---- ---- 24:0 g 0.004 Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated g 0.018 14:01 ---- ---- 15:01 ---- ---- 16:1 Palmitol g 0.000 18:1 Oleic g 0.018 20:1 Eicosen g 0.000 22:1 Erucic g 0.000 Fatty Acids, Polyunsaturated g 0.135 16:2 Undifferentiated ---- ---- 18:2 Linoleic g 0.077 18:3 Linolenic g 0.058 18:4 Stearidon g 0.000 20:3 Undifferentiated ---- ---- 20:4 Arachidon g 0.000 20:5 EPA g 0.000 22:5 DPA g 0.000 22:6 DHA g 0.000 Total Omega-3 Fatty Acids mg ---- Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids mg ---- Cholesterol mg 0.000 Phytosterols ---- ---- Amino Acids Tryptophan mg ---- Threonine g 0.044 Isoleucine g 0.047 Leucine g 0.088 Lysine g 0.071 Methionine mg ---- Cystine mg ---- Phenylalanine mg ---- Tyrosine mg ---- Valine g 0.048 Arginine mg ---- Histidine mg ---- Alanine mg ---- Aspartic Acid mg ---- Glutamic Acid mg ---- Glycine mg ---- Proline mg ---- Serine mg ---- Hydroxyproline ---- ----
GROWING YOUR OWN ALFALFA SPROUTS
- Alfalfa seeds
- Clear glass quart jar
- Piece of clean pantyhose or cheesecloth
- Rubber band
- Water and Sink
- Closet or cupboard that will not be opened too much
- A windowsill or tabletop area near a window that gets plenty of sunlight
HERE IS WHAT TO DO TO GROW YOUR OWN ALFALFA SPROUTS
Making your own alfalfa sprouts are inexpensive, easy and nutritious. A pound of organic seeds will last for a long time since you only use a tablespoon of seeds at a time when you make a quart jar full of alfalfa sprouts. When you grow them yourself, you know that they are fresh and untreated with chemicals and preservatives, which sometimes occurs when you purchase them from a store already sprouted.
1. With your scissors, cut a piece of pantyhose or cheesecloth that you can put on the top of your quart jar. It needs to be big enough to drape over the edge at least an inch or so.
2. Measure and put a tablespoon of alfalfa seeds into your quart jar.
3. Put some water in the jar so that the seeds are completely covered up.
4. Put the cheesecloth or piece of panty hose on the top of the jar. Keep it in place by stretching a rubber band around the outer edge of the jar.
5. Put the jar somewhere where it will not get disturbed. Let the seeds soak overnight.
6. The next day, take the jar to a sink and turn it upside down to drain out the water. To start growing, the seeds need to be damp but not totally wet.
7. Put the jar in a cupboard or closet that will be kept dark for four days.
8. Every day, take the jar out three times a day (morning, afternoon and evening). Take it to the sink and put in some cool water. Rinse the alfalfa seeds by moving the jar around a little in a swishing and rotating manner. Each time be sure to drain the rinsing water so the seeds are just damp - not soaking wet!
9. Check out the little seeds. They should be very white and you should see little sprouts growing! In 2 or 3 days, the sprouts will get to be several inches tall.
10. On the 4th day, after you rinse them and drain off the excess water, put the jar on a windowsill or tabletop where it is going to get plenty of sunlight. Watch what happens! The sprouts will turn green.
I like to rotate the jar to coat the inside with the sprouting seeds as they are growing, spreading them out as evenly as possible. When they are damp, they will cling to the glass, giving the sprouts more room to grow. Please note: most of the sprouts will turn green if you do not overcrowd them, which is why it is important to keep the volume of seed down to 1 to 2 tablespoons at the most for a quart jar. When you rinse them, some of the sprouts may lose their seed hulls. These can be rinsed off and float away with the rinse water.
When you see them getting green (see jar above), you can eat them. Make a garden or tossed salad and put your sprouts on top, Try making a cold sandwich of your choice. I like a whole grain bread such as oat, whole wheat, 12 grain for my sandwich with a touch of mayonnaise, preferably home made, fresh tomato slices, and thinly sliced onion with a handful of my alfalfa sprouts. Sometimes I make a sprout and cucumber sandwich with a bit of homemade mayonnaise. Whatever I find to put with my sprouts, they are fresh and very flavorful. Alfalfa sprouts can be mixed with other seeds to add a variety of flavor, such as clover, radish, and other seed options.
ALFALFA SEED PRODUCTS
Amazon: Alfalfa Seeds, Growing Kits, Sprouting Products
A sprout is the very beginning growth of a seed when it is just starting to begin the process of becoming a plant. Instead of buying sprouts at a grocery store or produce market, which are often treated with preservatives, you can grow your own! Sprouts are very good for you! Fun to make (a great project for the kids) and inexpensive.
What happened when the sprouts turned green? They were getting sunlight. When green plants get sunlight, the process of photosynthesis happens. They use the energy of sunlight to fuel their own growth. Sprouts could not keep growing with just the energy stored in seeds for more than a few days.
ALFALFA SPROUT USE SUGGESTIONS & RECIPES
You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to using alfalfa sprouts and any other types of sprouts. They are a great substitute to using lettuce and they contain many more valuable nutrients than lettuce (especially iceberg lettuce). Be creative and enjoy!
ALFALFA VEGGIE WRAP
Provel, alfalfa sprouts, olives, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions & pickles with Ranch dressing.
ALFALFA SIRLOIN STEAK WRAP
Sirloin steak with Provel, alfalfa sprouts, olives, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions & pickles with Ranch dressing.
ALFALFA BACON WRAP
Bacon, alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, & Mayo.
ALFALFA CROISSANT SANDWICH
Instructions: Crumble bacon and mix with remaining ingredients. Spread the mixture on an open croissant. Then add in layers:
- 3 slices cooked Bacon
- 1/4 teaspoon Horseradish
- 1 teaspoon Mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Dill or Sweet Relish (depending on preference)
- Dash of Paprika
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Cucumber, thinly sliced
- Green onions, chopped
ALFALFA GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH
Sprout up your grilled cheese sandwich by adding sliced tomatoes, radish sprouts, buckwheat sprouts and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds sprouts.
ALFALFA HUMMUS SANDWICH
Instructions: Spread hummus on bread. Arrange sliced vegetables on top. Top with alfalfa sprouts. Put both slices of bread together with ingredients inside.
- Alfalfa Sprouts<
- 2 slices Whole Grain Bread (Whole Wheat, Oat, 12-Grain)
- 6 tablespoons prepared hummus
- 3 to 4 slices of each: Tomato, Sweet Pepper, Red Onion Rings, and Cucumber/li>
ALFALFA TURKEY SANDWICH
This turkey sandwich features fresh tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts and the crisp texture of radishes.
Instructions: Spread mayonnaise on top and bottom halves of kaiser rolls. To assemble each sandwich, layer each bottom roll half with 1/4 of radishes, 1/4 of turkey, 3 slices cheese, 2 slices tomato, 1/4 cup sprouts and top half of roll.
- 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
- 4 Kaiser Rolls, cut in half
- 1/2 cup sliced Radishes
- 12 (about 2 1/4 x 1-inch) slices American Cheddar Cheese
- 8 ounces thinly sliced turkey breast
- 8 slices Tomato
- 1 cup Alfalfa Sprouts
Makes 4 sandwiches.
Nutrition Facts (1 sandwich):
Fat: 27 g
Cholesterol: 95 mg
Sodium: 1040 mg
Carbohydrates: 33 g
Dietary Fiber: 0 g
Protein: 32 g
ALFALFA SPROUT OMELET
Instructions: In an omelet pan, sauté vegetables and bean sprouts in oil for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove vegetables and place on a warm plate. Whip together the eggs, milk and seasoning. Pour egg mixture into the omelet pan and cook on both sides. Place vegetables in center and fold omelet over.
- 3/4 cup of Alfalfa Sprouts
- 1 teaspoon diced Bell Pepper
- 1 teaspoon diced Green Onion
- 2/3 cup sliced Mushrooms
- 1/4 cup diced Water Chestnuts
- 2 Eggs
- 1/4 cup Milk
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Vegetable Oil
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
If using Alfalfa sprouts, saute the vegetables 1 to 3 minutes before adding the alfalfa sprouts so that they cook for only 2 minutes. Cooking alfalfa sprouts changes their taste in an interesting way. (Chinese bean sprouts (mung beans) can be substituted for alfalfa sprouts, if desired).
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Alfalfa Herbal Information & Products
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USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 12 (March 1998)
Percent Daily Values (%DV) are for adults or children aged 4 or older, and are based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet.
Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.
NUTRITION THERAPY RELATED LINKS
MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing
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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness Therapy: Therapeutic Liquids Index
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Diet Index
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Recipe Index
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index
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