Health Benefits of Fenugreek – The Miracle Herb
Ancient cultures of India and China were aware of wide ranging health benefits of Fenugreek. Starting from its positive effects to treat arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, improve digestion, maintain a healthy metabolism, treat a sore throat, cure acid reflux to male and female vitality. No wonder many deem it as a miracle herb.
Fenugreek, commonly referred as ‘Methi’ in Hindi, ‘Menthulu‘ in Telugu, ‘Vendhayam‘ in Tamil, ‘Uluva‘ in Malayalam, ‘Menthe‘ in Kannada, ‘Meth‘ in Punjabi, ‘Methi Dane‘ in Marathi and ‘Methi‘ in Bengali, has now made a permanent place for itself in many households.
Fenugreek is a herb whose leaves and seeds have been used for ages. It is native to the Middle and Near East and is widely used in the Indian subcontinent. There is even evidence that the ancient Egyptians understood the benefits of fenugreek since its seeds have been found in tombs, particularly of Tutankhamen.
Traditionally, fenugreek seeds have a condiment to promote better health and a potent hair potion. But recent research indicates that they can do much more than that. From adding flavour to dishes and controlling diabetes to inducing labour, fenugreek seeds have had diverse benefits for your skin, hair, and health.
Did You Know?
– Fenugreek was also used as a yellow dye in Egypt.
– The dried leaves are used as an insect repellent in grain storage.
– In various areas of North Africa, women ate the seeds (ground into a paste) to gain weight in combination with sugar and olive oil
-They are also an important source of diosgenin which influences the production of several hormones in humans
Health benefits of fenugreek
Fenugreek contains a variety of beneficial nutrients, including iron, magnesium, manganese, and copper, as well as vitamin B6, protein, and dietary fiber. It also contains several powerful phytonutrients, including choline, trigonelline, yamogenin, gitogenin, diosgenin, tigogenin, and neotigogens.
Let’s delve deeper into some of the health benefits of fenugreek.
Good for Breastfeeding Mothers
India’s traditional Ayurvedic physicians prescribe fenugreek to nursing mothers. This is due to the presence of the compound diosgenin. It helps increase breast milk production. The magnesium and vitamin content of fenugreek also helps improve the milk’s quality which keeps the infant healthy.
Good for Heart Health
The seeds contain galactomannan. It is a natural soluble fiber which specifically relates to a reduction in cardiovascular diseases.
Diabetics are often recommended to include fenugreek seeds in their diet because of the positive effects they can have on their health. Due to the presence of the natural fiber galactomannan, fenugreek slows down the rate of sugar absorption by the body. This helps prevent blood sugar spikes in the body.
Minimizes Symptoms of Menopause
Fenugreek contains the chemicals diosgenin and estrogenic isoflavones, which are similar to the female sex hormone, estrogen. Loss of estrogen causes menopausal symptoms. So, eating it helps reduce menopausal symptoms like mood swings, depression, cramps, and abnormal hunger pangs. It helps monitor a number of other hormones as well, keeping many other bodily processes in line as well.
Fenugreek adds bulk to the stool due to its high fiber content. This also makes it helpful in treating constipation and diarrhoea, while also relieving minor indigestion.
Reduces Menstrual Discomfort
Fenugreek is a potent substance that eases the process of menstruation and relieves the associated symptoms. It is an emmenagogue, which means that it can open up obstructed menses to make the most feminine of processes work smoothly and comfortably.
How to add fenugreek in your diet?
You can consume fenugreek in a number of ways.
- You can dry the leaves and use it as a herb.
- Grind the seeds into a powder to use it as a spice. Powdered fenugreek is a popular flavouring ingredient in many different cuisines. You can also use the powder to make a healthy, energizing tea.
- Eat the seeds whole or use it as a topping for certain dishes or soups.
- Additionally, you can use the leaves as a vegetable. Fenugreek leaves are a popular option to replace other leafy greens.
- You can add them to a dish for a sweet and bitter touch.
Not only Fenugreek is a popular ingredient in several of our dishes but it also has its uses in both Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine.
Now you know the incredible benefits of fenugreek, so what are you waiting for? Include fenugreek in your diet and reap its benefits. Don’t forget to share your experience and valuable comments.
Disclaimer – The only side effect seen in people taking high doses of fenugreek is mild gastrointestinal distress. It is not recommended during pregnancy because it may lead to miscarriage due to its strong effect on the female reproductive system. Before using fenugreek to treat diabetes, consult your doctor to ensure it is safe. Fenugreek may cause your blood sugar to drop too low (hypoglycemia) when taken alongside prescribed diabetes drugs.
100g of fenugreek provides 323 Calories, Carbohydrates – 58g (Dietary Fibre – 25g), Protein – 23g, Fat – 6.4g (saturated fat – 1.5g), Sodium – 67mg,
And a percentage daily value of Vitamin A – 1%, Vitamin C – 5%, Iron – 186%, Calcium – 18% (based on a 2000 Calorie diet).