by Pierre S Aoukar, MD and Hratch L Karamanoukian, MD
Posted: February 16
First discovered by the Arabs, alfalfa was known as the "father of all foods," rich in vitamins and nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and carotene. It has been used medicinally by the Chinese since the 6th century to relieve fluid retention and swelling. Its implications for the heart go beyond even that however. Alfalfa sprouts, along with soybeans, clover and flaxseed are the most significant dietary source of phytoestrogens (isoflavones, coumestans, and lignans). Though the mechanisms are yet unknown, phytoestrogens are thought to be protective against heart disease, particularly in post-menopausal women. In addition, Alfalfa helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and plaque deposits on artery walls, the latter most probably through its high antioxidant capacity. If you’re having a sandwich without sprouts you’re definitely missing out.
Alfalfa, Introduction to Heart Disease, Excerpt from the book: Everything Good For The Heart: The A to Z Guide, Aoukar PS and Karamanoukian HL. Magalhaes Scientific Press
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