Update on Alfalfa Sprouts

Update on Alfalfa Sprouts
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Raw alfalfa sprouts continue to be associated with outbreaks of foodborne illness.

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Which ones have changed? Let’s start at the beginning, and work our way across. Alfalfa sprouts, considered dangerous because of the risk of food poisoning; but what’s the latest?

Should we keep avoiding raw alfalfa sprouts? Yes. Another major Salmonella outbreak last year.

The FDA and CDC recommend not eating raw alfalfa sprouts. So, I continue to encourage people to eat broccoli sprouts instead.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to artist in doing nothing via Flickr

Which ones have changed? Let’s start at the beginning, and work our way across. Alfalfa sprouts, considered dangerous because of the risk of food poisoning; but what’s the latest?

Should we keep avoiding raw alfalfa sprouts? Yes. Another major Salmonella outbreak last year.

The FDA and CDC recommend not eating raw alfalfa sprouts. So, I continue to encourage people to eat broccoli sprouts instead.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to artist in doing nothing via Flickr

Doctor's Note

For more on sprouts, check out these videos:
Broccoli: Sprouts vs. Supplements
Antioxidants Sprouting Up
Biggest Nutrition Bang for Your Buck

And check out my other videos on sprouts

For more context, also see my associated blog post: Breast Cancer Stem Cells vs. Broccoli.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

19 responses to “Update on Alfalfa Sprouts

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  1. What about alfalfa sprouts that we grow ourselves? Are the seeds contaminated (so sprouts I grow at home will be too), or is just sprouts offered by restaurants that needed to be avoided?

    Thanks for the great site!




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    1. Excellent question! Turns out it appears to be contamination of the sprout seed itself, and so even if we sprout them ourselves we may be putting our family at risk. The answer? Sprout broccoli sprouts instead. Safer–and healthier too! They are kind of pungent, though. If anyone has found a good way to incorporate broccoli sprouts into their diet please share!




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  2. Lately, I have been sprouting Clover seeds at home. What is your opinion on the nutrition and safely of Clover sprouts?




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  3. ohoh, i’ve been eating my homemade alfalfa sprouts for years, organic, here in france…but mostly prefer sprouts of all radishes, leeks, fenugreek, lentils…have a harder time with broccoli and parsley sprouts though (even though i love broccoli)
    can we get too much iron from certain sprouts while menopaused?




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    1. The primary difference between heme iron (animal based) and plant based iron is that when one consumes heme iron, it is absorbed through our small intestines and our small intestine has no way of keeping it out. When our body has had enough iron when consuming plant based foods, our body can actively block iron absorption.

      Too much animal based iron is linked with many health issues including  breast cancer because iron is a pro oxidizer.
      “A high intake of iron in developed societies may, over time, lead to a
      physiological state of iron overload in postmenopausal women. Iron
      overload favors the production of…DNA damage, and may contribute to
      [breast cancer] independently or by [accelerating the rate of damage
      from other carcinogens and oxidizers]”http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17823849




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        1. Sea salt would not contain heme iron, as heme entails “from blood”. Consuming sea salt for minerals is not the best tactic, as sea salt generally is so low in minerals that one would have to consume tens of thousands of mg just to reach 25% of the DV. An example is celtic sea salt, as presented by Jeff Novick.

          1 tsp of Sea Salt contains

          12 mgs of calcium

          7 mgs of potassium

          27 mgs of magnesium

          The recommended daily values of these nutrients are

          600 mgs of calcium

          4700 mgs of potassium

          400 mgs of magnesium

          So to get just 25% of this daily value, we would need to eat

          Calcium, we would need to take in 24,600 mgs of sodium

          Potassium, we would need to take in 335,000 mgs of sodium

          Magnesium, we would need to take in 7,407 mgs of sodium.

          These amounts would be toxic. Advertisers that claim that sea salt contains these minerals only try to paint sea salt as healthy, but salt is salt, and should be limited in the diet no matter what the source.




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  4. Bacterias are in the air, they’re everywhere. Now humidity and a good growing media is all they need. If that study is to be taken seriously, then many other sprouts would be a problem (if not all of them). So my question is : why broccoli is safer? Any study prove no pathological bacteria grow on broccoli sprouts?




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