8 Benefits Of Fenugreek That Will Change Your Life
Fenugreek is not one of the best known plants, but you can benefit from its properties. It has an incredible flavor that you can incorporate into your favorite foods. In addition, it will favor your health, especially if you consume it regularly.
I can assure you that this article will help you to change your lifestyle and all thanks to the nutritional properties of fenugreek. But this is not just me, since there is much research that supports what I am telling you.
So do not just stay with my words and keep reading to find out more about this amazing plant.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is fenugreek?
- 2 What are the benefits and uses of fenugreek?
- 2.1 1. Improves digestive problems and cholesterol levels
- 2.2 2. Reduces internal inflammation
- 2.3 3. Increase libido in men
- 2.4 4. Encourages milk production during breastfeeding
- 2.5 5. Decreases external inflammation
- 2.6 6. Add flavor to your meals
- 2.7 7. Help With Eating Disorders
- 2.8 8. Increases sports performance
- 3 What is the history of fenugreek?
- 4 Fenugreek recipes
- 5 Fenugreek side effects
What is fenugreek?
Fenugreek is a plant that grows all year round, with green leaves and small white flowers. It is grown mainly in North Africa, the Middle East, Egypt and India. It is between one and a half meters high and each pod contains between 10 and 20 small aromatic seeds, which are flat, yellow-brown and rough to the touch.
The seeds are bitter and taste similar to burnt sugar, maple syrup or celery. However, when the kitchen acquires a more palatable taste and occasionally, in some recipes the fenugreek leaves are also used.
One tablespoon of fenugreek contains:
- 5 calories
- 4 grams of carbohydrates
- 5 grams of protein
- 7 grams of fat and fiber, respectively
- 7 milligrams of iron (20% of recommended daily value)
- 1 milligrams of manganese (7% of recommended daily value)
- 1 milligrams of copper (6% of recommended daily value)
- 21 milligrams of magnesium (5% of recommended daily value)
- 6 milligrams of phosphorus (3% of recommended daily value)
- 1 milligram of vitamin B6 (3% of recommended daily value)
What are the benefits and uses of fenugreek?
Although more research is needed to verify and scientifically support the benefits of fenugreek, some improvement has been observed in some areas, for example the following eight:
1. Improves digestive problems and cholesterol levels
It is beneficial for a wide variety of digestive problems such as stomach pains, constipation and bloating. In addition, the fiber it contains helps eliminate constipation problems.
It is also a great remedy to improve digestion and, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties, it is frequently incorporated into the diets of patients with ulcerative colitis.
It also appears to be effective with some cardiac conditions, such as blockage of the arteries and elevated levels of certain types of fats, cholesterols and triglycerides. A study conducted in India showed that in diabetic (non-insulin dependent) people who consumed 2.5 grams of fenugreek a day for three months the cholesterol level naturally decreased along with triglycerides and without this affecting HDL cholesterol.
2. Reduces internal inflammation
Fenugreek is used to fight internal inflammation. Some examples are mouth ulcers, boils, bronchitis, skin or subcutaneous tissue infection, tuberculosis, recurrent toz, cancer and kidney disease.
Richard Palmquist, head of the veterinary health care at Centinela Animal in Inglewood, Calif., Explained that the benefits of fenugreek were discovered hundreds of years ago by those who practiced ayurvedic medicine. At first it was believed that it only lowered blood sugar levels, but Palmquist clarified that it also serves to treat nutritional and metabolic disorders such as diabetes.
This result is due to the fact that fenugreek decreases the absorption of sugar in the stomach and stimulates the production of insulin. In traditional Chinese medicine is believed to help eliminate phlegm, break down stored energy and decrease inflammation in the body.
Finally, it should be noted that in a publication in the international journal of immunopharmacology the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of fenugreek were studied in rats with arthritis. The study found that it is an effective natural treatment for arthritis.
3. Increase libido in men
In the case of men, fenugreek is not only used to increase libido but also helps treat hernias, erectile dysfunction and baldness. This is basically because it raises testosterone and sex hormone levels.
It is always advisable to consult with a doctor before starting to take supplements made from herbs. It has been proven that fenugreek increases sexual desire and performance by functioning in this way as a natural remedy against impotence.
In a study published in the journal Physiotherapy Issues, 60 men between 25 and 52 years old who had no symptoms of erectile dysfunction were taken. The subjects were asked to take a placebo or a 600 milligram complement of fenugreek for six weeks. Those who took the supplement reported that their libido increased during that time. Finally, it was concluded that fenugreek extract has a significant influence on sexual performance, increased energy and endurance. In addition, it helps to maintain stable testosterone levels
4. Encourages milk production during breastfeeding
Fenugreek is ideal for women who produce low amounts of milk. This is possible because it acts as a galactagogue, a substance that stimulates milk production. The effect occurs only 24 hours after consuming this herb.
Further studies are needed to determine the efficacy and safety of using fenugreek for this purpose. However, there are already several international investigations that support these results.
5. Decreases external inflammation
I told you earlier that it helped to reduce the inflammation inside the body. Now I tell you that it can also be used externally as a poultice, that is, warm, wrapped in cloth and applied directly on the skin. In this way, it can be used to reduce external inflammation and as a treatment for:
- Pain and inflammation in muscles and lymph nodes
- Leg ulcers
However, it is important that before applying the poultice, it is tested on a small surface of the skin. This eliminates a possible allergy and prevents the skin from becoming more inflamed or producing a burning sensation.
6. Add flavor to your meals
Fenugreek is used as a condiment on a large number of dishes, particularly in Indian food, for example in curry. It can also be used to mimic flavors like maple syrup. The leaves of the plant can also be used in salads or can be dried and used in stews or as flavorings in other dishes.
7. Help With Eating Disorders
In addition to improving the taste of meals, it was shown that fenugreek increases appetite. In a study published in the journal Pharmacology, biochemistry and behavior, we evaluated the effect of fenugreek seed extract on dietary behaviors.
The results showed that the oral administration of this extract produced an increase in food consumption and motivation to eat. However, the report also indicated that it did not serve to prevent anorexia or lack of desire to eat.
Still, in cases of anorexia nervosa, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends the consumption of between 250 and 500 milligrams of fenugreek, up to three times a day. This treatment may not be safe for children, so check with your doctor.
8. Increases sports performance
The journal Sport, science and medicine published a study that analyzed the effect of combining supplements of fenugreek and creatine on body composition and strength in men.
For this, 47 men participated who trained regularly. They were asked to ingest a placebo, creatine with dextrose, or fenugreek with creatine. Before the study began and during the fourth and eighth week, all men had to undergo studies in order to know the composition of their body, their muscular strength and the anaerobic capacity.
In the group that combined fenugreek with creatine, there was a significant increase in lean mass and strength in the chest and legs. Finally, it was concluded that combining creatine with fenugreek had a significant impact on upper trunk strength. In addition, body composition was as effective as combining fenugreek with creatine.
What is the history of fenugreek?
Fenugreek has been used in cooking and medicine for centuries. The first written record of the use of fenugreek dates from 1500 BC on a papyrus of ancient Egypt. On the other hand, the Greeks and the Romans used it, in the beginning, to fatten the cattle.
The plant is native to southern Europe, the Mediterranean region and western Asia. However, it is currently grown from Western Europe to China for use as a spice and to feed livestock in parts of Europe and North Africa.
Its seed has been popularly used in Indian food for centuries. It is also used to treat a large number of medical conditions such as digestive problems, to relieve the symptoms of menopause or to induce labor.
Currently, it is also used against diabetes, loss of appetite, to increase milk production in mothers and to reduce inflammation in the skin.
A dish consisting of chicken and mushrooms accompanied with masala, fenugreek, rosemary and curry is one of the delicacies that you can prepare with this plant.
To prepare 4 to 5 servings, you will need:
- 1 cup chopped organic mushrooms.
- 4-5 chicken breasts, cut into small pieces.
- 1 cup kefir.
- ½ teaspoon of turmeric tea.
- ½ teaspoon chili powder.
- 1 teaspoon of coriander powder tea.
- 1 cup fresh fenugreek or 2 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves.
- 4 medium tomatoes, fresh and cut into squares.
- 1 medium onion cut.
- 1 green chile, cut into strips or squares.
- ¼ tablespoon ginger paste or 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger cut.
- ¼ tablespoon garlic paste or 1/2 tablespoon fresh cut garlic.
- 1 spoonful of clarified butter.
- Salt to taste.
Ingredients for the masala:
- 2 centimeters of cinnamon stick
- 4 capsules of cardamom
- 2-3 nails
- 1 bay leaf
- Marina for 30 minutes the mushrooms and the chicken with kefir and curry.
- While you wait for 30 minutes, cut and prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Heat the butter in a pot.
- Add the cardamom, bay leaf and cinnamon.
- Continue to heat over low heat until the mixture gives off aroma; Make sure it does not burn.
- Add the onions and cook until golden.
- Incorporate chili, ginger and garlic.
- Add the tomatoes and stir continuously.
- If necessary, add a little water to prevent burning.
- Add rosemary, cilantro and chili powder.
- Stir in marinated chicken and mushrooms.
- Add fenugreek leaves cut.
- Add half a cup of water.
- Stir in a little, cover the pot and let simmer until the chicken is completely cooked.
- Serve with balsamic or quinoa rice.
Fenugreek side effects
There are some side effects of fenugreek that you should keep in mind before consuming it. If swallowed orally, gas, swelling, and diarrhea may occur. If applied directly on the skin, it may cause irritation, so it is recommended to test on a small portion of the skin.
Pregnant women should always consult their doctor before consuming it, since, in some cases, fenugreek induced the birth of women. It is also important to note that fenugreek can reduce blood clotting. That is why it is important that people who are medicated with anti coagulants or have circulatory problems always consult their doctor.
As a brief summary, I could point out that the large number of benefits that the fenugreek presents eclipses the few side effects that could occur. Even so, with a simple consultation with the doctor you could see what dose is right for you and find out what effect it will have on your body and whether it will be effective or not to treat a particular problem.
However, you can incorporate it quietly into your meals as one more spice to give a different and delicious taste to your favorite dishes. Now, we would like you to tell us about your experience with this herb in order to enrich our knowledge and benefit from your experience.