Alfalfa Sprout Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 08/03/22 •  10 min read
alfalfa sprouts benefits and side effects

Health

Alfalfa sprout health benefits may include:

Alfalfa sprouts health side effects may include:

Additional alfalfa sprout benefits include being…

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Environment

Water footprint: likely low, it takes 322 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of vegetables / 39 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of vegetables

Carbon footprint: likely low, 1.6 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of vegetables, a car driving equivalent of 3.75 miles or 6 kilometers, UK market data, alfalfa sprouts have a relatively low carbon footprint

Destruction: low, alfalfa sprout production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Alfalfa sprouts are…

Animals

Kills: none, alfalfa sprout production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: none, alfalfa sprout production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly killed or harmed: None. no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from alfalfa sprout production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Alfalfa sprouts are…

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Laborers

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Alfalfa sprouts…

The world’s top alfalfa exporting country is USA, followed by Spain, Canada, Australia, France, South Africa, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Mexico.

85% of America alfalfa sprouts are produced in California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada.

Alfalfa sprouts can be used in salads, in sandwiches, on toast, and more.

Yes! There are several nutrients in alfalfa sprouts.

They are high in vitamin K and contain many other nutrients, including vitamin C, fiber, copper, manganese and folate.

It is not safe for pregnant women to eat raw sprouts according to the FDA due to potential bacteria (Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli) that may get into sprout seeds through cracks in the shell.

acidic foods and alkaline diet to improve ph levels

alfalfa sprouts are alkaline.

Are alfalfa sprouts alkaline or acidic?

Alfalfa sprouts are alkaline. What is the pH level of alfalfa sprouts? Alfalfa sprouts have a 8.5 pH level, once digested.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

alfalfa sprouts are gluten free.

gluten free foods and what to eat on a gluten free diet

Are alfalfa sprouts gluten free?

Yes, alfalfa sprouts are naturally gluten free. Alfalfa sprouts do not contain gluten.

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

alfalfa sprouts are not a common food allergen.

the most common food allergens include milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Are alfalfa sprouts a common food allergen?

No, alfalfa sprouts are not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to alfalfa sprouts but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

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alfalfa sprouts are a low-fodmap food.

fodmap friendly food

Are alfalfa sprouts FODMAP friendly?

Yes. Alfalfa sprouts are a low-FODMAP food and ok to eat while on a low-FODMAP diet. 

A low FODMAP diet may help those with bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

It’s all about knowing your body. Observe what works and what doesn’t. You body might even react negatively to a low-FODMAP food simply due to intolerance. Everyone is different! Be mindful and patient. Take time to get to know what’s best for your physical health and overall wellbeing.

See this High-FODMAP and Low-FODMAP List of Food

alfalfa sprouts likely have a low water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Do alfalfa sprouts have a high or low water footprint?

Alfalfa sprouts likely have a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of alfalfa sprouts?

It takes 322 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of vegetables / 39 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of vegetables.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource? Once it’s gone, it’s gone!

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of something referred to as a “water footprint”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

alfalfa sprouts likely have a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Do alfalfa sprouts have a high or low carbon footprint?

Alfalfa sprouts have a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of alfalfa sprouts?

It takes around 1.6 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of vegetables, a car driving equivalent of 3.75 miles or 6 kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors that may be included are…

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

alfalfa sprouts are sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, are alfalfa sprouts eco friendly? Are alfalfa sprouts sustainable?

Alfalfa sprout production is relatively sustainable since there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

alfalfa sprouts are vegan.

vegan food to eat on a vegan diet

Are alfalfa sprouts vegan?

Yes, alfalfa sprouts are vegan. Alfalfa sprouts are not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List

alfalfa sprouts may have labor issues and human rights concerns.

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Are alfalfa sprouts a product with labor concerns?

At this time there have been no major concerns with alfalfa production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening! It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may be associated with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Sources:

UC Davis sprouts

USDA FoodData Central

Food Source Information: Sprouts

Sprouts | NSW Food Authority

Adriane Marie

Grocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful! Use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.

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