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Many women are already aware of alfalfa, but are not in the clear about the benefits of consuming alfalfa during pregnancy and its potential side effects. Moms-to-be try to make use of every possible supplement to provide their body with the necessary nutrition. However, they also worry about the protection from any potential harm during pregnancy. Opting for alfalfa as an item to be added to their diet can, therefore, seem to be a decision that brings a lot of hesitation. Which is why we have put together some concise information that can help you understand alfalfa better.
What Is Alfalfa?
Generally termed as a herb, alfalfa has found its place in a number of health-based remedies as well as nutritional supplements available in the market. The constitution of alfalfa has provided itself with a large variety of minerals and rare elements. Silicon, phosphorous, chlorine, sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium are just a few of the many minerals present in it. A number of vitamins are present in the herb as well, such as vitamin K, E, and C. The proportion of vitamin K is the highest, which makes it quite beneficial in helping the blood to coagulate and prevent the chances of bleeding during delivery as well as any haemorrhage. Another useful element in alfalfa is amino acids that are highly essential for pregnant women.
Benefits of Alfalfa for Pregnant Women and Nursing Mothers
Consuming alfalfa tablets or even making a tea out of them has a ton of benefits for pregnant women and mothers who are breastfeeding their children. Many of those are on a generic level helping the body stay healthy, while others can effectively make your pregnancy and nursing stage better altogether.
- Alfalfa provides women with a good dose of vitamin K that is necessary for the baby’s growth.
- Lactating women who have a low supply of milk can benefit from consuming alfalfa.
- The symptoms of morning sickness can be reduced by its as well.
- The immunity system is strengthened substantially.
- It helps alleviate a lot of body problems such as gout, pituitary issues, and so on.
- It brings down blood pressure and reduces cholesterol.
- Improves the digestion process and revitalises the teeth damage from decay.
How to Consume Alfalfa During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
While drinking alfalfa tea during pregnancy is one way of consuming alfalfa when pregnant, there are a bunch of other ways as well that can be opted for, even when breastfeeding your child.
1. Pairing Alfalfa With Other Milk Production Enhancers
When breastfeeding begins, many women opt for taking galactagogues, which are substances meant to increase the production of breastmilk in the body. These range from fennel nettles to fenugreek all seen as a potential way to boost milk supply. Alfalfa can be paired with these as well.
2. Using Tablets and Capsules Made of Alfalfa
A lot of pharmacies or doctors might help you get alfalfa tablets or capsules, as per your preference. Many doctors themselves might end up prescribing you the right dosage to derive the benefits from it. Always consult a doctor before taking alfalfa capsules and follow the dosage given by them.
3. Making a Tea From Alfalfa
Quite a popular way to consume alfalfa among many women, this is highly preferred since it counters the naturally bitter taste that alfalfa leaves have. Drying them and using a couple of teaspoons to make tea in boiling water should do it. Drinking around three cups of alfalfa tea made in that manner is usually thought to be healthy.
4. Introducing Alfalfa to Your Usual Diet
The easiest way to consume alfalfa without having to do a lot of work is by adding it to your food while you’re cooking it. You can obtain alfalfa seeds and sprouts and use them just the way you’d use peas. Including them in soups and adding them to salads is a great way to consume them.
Side Effects of Using Alfalfa
While using alfalfa sprouts during pregnancy does have its own share of advantages for you and your baby, there are a bunch of side effects that one has to be aware of. Some of the common side effects are:
- Consumption of the alfalfa leaf, while you’re pregnant, can interact with any kind of anticoagulation medicines you might be taking, since it contains vitamin K in substantial quantities.
- Consumption of alfalfa has also known to trigger allergic reactions in a few people, and can also make the conditions of breast cancer or uterus problems worse than before.
- Eating raw alfalfa sprouts is riskier, since it may contain microbes, which can cause a salmonella infection and harm the pregnancy.
- While a controlled proportion of alfalfa is considered to be safe, consuming them in large portions can lead to a lot of complications, especially during breastfeeding. The milk supply can boost more than necessary, causing leakage problems, and even reducing the overall quality of milk.
- Since consuming alfalfa also means that your baby ends up getting it indirectly, a large amount can cause diarrhoea in the baby and the mother.
- Consuming alfalfa in a form that is not recommended by a doctor or any authority can be quite harmful and cause numerous complications.
Doctors may recommend consuming alfalfa supplements during pregnancy, or you may choose to start them on your own. However, understanding its results and staying in the safe zone can help you derive its benefits without succumbing to its adverse effects.