Vegetarian; Veggie; Vegan; Plant Based; Science; Blog Post; Protein
I do love to write a blog post regarding something science, vegetarian, vegan & protein related and as I was sitting with my morning espresso, jotting down some key brain storming points for the Veggie Eye contributors list, my head ruminating with future article ideas I was snapped out of my deep concentrative state by a red car passing the coffee shop window looking terribly sad as it sat, ‘crestfallen’ on the back of an roadside recovery transporter, the human brain is a weird thing, as by the power of osmosis, that sad red car which on closer inspection was an Alfa Romeo flicked my brain matter onto thoughts of Alfalfa, strange segue hey……. Oh yes I thought, Alfalfa, the forgotten protein by many but a wonderful compound all the same, write blog on alfalfa protein and it’s amazing benefits, I wrote in my note pad – I’m old school like that, even though I do own an Ipad – before heading out into the open world.
So what is Alfalfa, well its actually a legume plant (member of the pea family) and has been used for centuries which probably explains why it has become the forgotten compound in today’s marketplace, it comes absolutely packed with key & essential vitamins & minerals, in fact it is considered one of the richest land sources of trace minerals and provides a great source of chlorophyll, sterols, flavonoids, alkaloids as well as an abundance of vitamins including K,E,B9 & B6, Beta Carotene, Calcium, Iron & Omega 3 it is also a fine source of protein.
Alfalfa contains many health benefits
It’s hard to explain why Alfalfa isn’t widely used and remains quite an unknown in todays sports, nutrition and food development sectors, whey has been the big leader thus far especially over the past 20 years it has always been the default ‘go to’, that is until the recent ‘plant based’ boom that the UK is currently experiencing and is showing continuous strong sprouts of growth which is great for the vegetarian, vegan & flexitarian consumer.
Soy, Hemp, Pea, are the three main proteins used in vegan blends in todays market, soy taking the baton as the current leader, they are also complete proteins along with quinoa, buckwheat, chia to name just a few from the list – and people say vegans cannot get enough protein ppffftt – but Alfalfa is also a complete protein source, for those who are wondering, complete protein status can only be granted when the ingredient contains all 9 essential amino acids, these amino acids cannot be produced by the human body per se and must come from dietary sources, alfalfa hits that perfectly making it very much a superfood and the fact that alfalfa scores so highly in the top echelons of the PDCAAS index (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score)(i’ll be writing another blog on the PDCAAS index in the future) between 0.8-0.9 when the top rank is 1 proves that this protein source with a multitude of uses really does live up to its translated name of ‘father of all foods’.