Broccoli Sprouts vs. Alfalfa Sprouts – What’s The Difference?

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Broccoli sprouts and Alfalfa sprouts are almost indistinguishable, based merely on their appearance. Suppose you are not a huge fan of Broccoli (which is usually recommended by dieticians around the globe as a part of a healthy diet). In that case, Broccoli sprouts sound like an awesome replacement option because you can get almost the same nutrients from Broccoli sprouts that you get from Broccoli.

These smaller versions of Broccoli have much more fiber than fully grown Broccoli. But another option you might consider as a replacement for Broccoli is Alfalfa sprouts. Many people don’t know what exactly Alfalfa is, but that is going to change today (hopefully).

Other than Alfalfa and Broccoli, there are many other sprouts on the market that you might consider adding to your diet. But there is no specific way of differentiating between any two times of sprouts. However, one of the best ways to do that is to go out and eat them and know their taste, feel, and texture. It would be best if you also got to know their nutritional value and health benefits so that you can make better dietary decisions.

And that’s what we will try to do here today. We will try to explain (in detail) the basic differences between Broccoli Sprouts and Alfalfa Sprouts and their nutritional value. So, without any further delay, let’s get into it.

What are Alfalfa Sprouts?

When eaten raw, alfalfa Sprouts are considered the most delicious; cooking damps down their flavor and texture. But another reason to eat Alfalfa Sprout raw is because of the presence of heat-sensitive nutrients in it. Being a delicate Sprout, Alfalfa can easily be destroyed through cooking.

The nutritional content in it can be broken down or denatured to the extent that it no longer benefits us. This phenomenon is seen mostly in the case of the B vitamins; however other vitamins are also prone to destruction by heat. 

These sprouts are germinated from Alfalfa seeds. They are usually harvested just before the shoots appear and before plant maturation. When harvested, Alfalfa sprouts give a mild flavor and have a crunchy texture. Combine this with the tremendous health benefits, and you have a top-tier vegetable. 

Did you know that Alfalfa can be categorized as a legume and an herb simultaneously? It has been used by scientists our natives for many years in medicine. Despite its popularity as a healing plant, people have only recently started giving it attention and studying its nutritional contents and health benefits. 

What are Broccoli Sprouts?

Broccoli sprouts are cultivated from the shoots of Broccoli seeds. These plants grow exponentially fast, taking only around four days to grow into a sprout fully. This green, healthy snack is packed with nutrition, and in the past decade, extensive research has been conducted to study its health benefits. 

Due to this new interest, Broccoli Sprouts have become common and are easily available at almost any grocery store, supermarket, or health store. These incredible sprouts have a radish or mustardy flavor, which goes really well with a salad. Broccoli sprouts also have a crunchy texture, and it is preferred to eat them raw.

Another thing to consider is its appearance, which is almost identical to Alfalfa sprouts, even up close. Both sprouts have a white shoot with small green leaves on top of it. But if you are looking to distinguish one from another based on their appearance, you will fail big time. It’s just easier if you just have a bite; their distinct taste will give them away instantly. 

When it comes to cooking Broccoli Sprouts, you should be extra careful. Because Broccoli Sprouts are delicate, they can easily be damaged by different cooking methods like steaming, frying, baking, or grilling. And just like Alfalfa, Broccoli sprouts also have heat-sensitive nutrients, which be easily destroyed by heat. 

Nutritional Value of Broccoli Sprouts and Alfalfa sprouts

Alfalfa Sprouts and Broccoli Sprouts are beaming with the right nutrients like vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, proteins, and phytochemicals. Here is a brief comparison between the nutrients in Asparagus and Broccoli. 

Total Calories

Broccoli sprouts are much more caloric dense as compared to Alfalfa sprouts. You get 23 calories from 100g of Alfalfa sprouts and 34 Calories from Broccoli sprouts. We know that’s a lot of difference, but don’t react quickly.

Broccoli gets most of its calories from carbohydrates, while Alfalfa sprouts get most of their calories from protein. This is a major difference because carbohydrates and proteins serve different purposes in our bodies. Carbohydrates are used as a primary source of fuel in our body, while protein acts as a building block, helping our cells grow and repair. 

Saturated Fat 

Alfalfa sprouts have a small amount of saturated fat present in them; the same goes for Broccoli sprouts. Saturated fats can be considered the bad fats that our body cannot use for most of their functions and are generally stored in our adipose tissues. So, no heart problems from consuming these sprouts. 

Vitamin A 

Vitamin A is one of the most important nutrients for our body. Our body uses it to help us see properly, and a lack of vitamin A can lead to night blindness and cataracts, among other diseases. So, it is very important to meet the body’s requirement of Vitamin A to maintain proper eye health and vision. 

The best source of Vitamin A is carrots, but you can also get a considerable amount of Vitamin A from Sprouts. Alfalfa Sprout has 8ug of Vitamin A per 100 grams, while Broccoli has 31 ugs per 100 grams.

Other Nutrients in Broccoli Sprouts and Alfalfa Sprouts

  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C
  • Dietary fiber
  • Vitamin K
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • B Vitamins
  • Flavonoids
  • Carotenoids
  • Omega-3s
  • Potassium

So What’s the Difference Between Broccoli Sprouts and Alfalfa Sprouts

  • Broccoli Sprouts usually have a radish or mustardy flavor, while Alfalfa Sprouts have a mild nutty flavor.
  • Alfalfa sprouts have a small amount of saturated fat present in them, the same goes for Broccoli sprouts.
  • Broccoli sprouts are much more caloric dense as compared to Alfalfa sprouts.
  • Broccoli gets most of its calories from carbohydrates, while Alfalfa sprouts get most of their calories from protein.