Fenugreek scientifically knows as Trigonella foenum-graecum is an annual plant grown in many parts of the world. The name means ‘Greek hay’ due to its green leafy nature. The seasonal plant belongs to the “Fabaceae family” and grows well in semi-arid areas. Fenugreek grows to a height of about 1 meter. The plant has beautiful green leaves and white flowers. Its seeds are cuboid-shaped and golden brown in color.
The leaves and the seeds of Fenugreek are the most important. They are widely used in many Asian cultures such as Pakistan, India, Turkey, Iran, and Israel to meet their nutritional and health needs. The plant has been in use for thousands of years as an herb for managing some health conditions. Its prevalent use is through meals rather than as an herb. Fenugreek is consumed naturally; however, its seeds and leaves may be preserved through drying to last longer. Fenugreek supplements are also available, you can purchase from several retail outlets. This article gives you 6 benefits of the Fenugreek.
Spice – Fenugreek is widely used in Asia as a spice. In India, for example, it is used in a wide range of dishes to improve flavor and taste. Its cuboid-shaped seeds are preferred as spices in comparison to the leaves. The seeds are durable and have higher nutritional content making them more famous. The seeds have a somewhat bitter taste which is loved by many. However, you can reduce the bitterness of the seeds by roasting. The process of roasting also enhances the flavor of Fenugreek seeds.
Vegetable – Fenugreek green leaves are consumed as a vegetable. The leaves which consist of 3 obovate shaped leaflets are highly nutritious. Its nutritional components include 58% carbohydrates, 40% calcium, 23% protein, and 40% calcium. To prepare the vegetable, simply pluck the fresh leaves and then cook like other vegetables. However, you should be careful not to overcook and risk losing its nutritional value. Additionally, the leaves have a low-fat content of 6% making it healthy for people suffering from lifestyle diseases.
Breast Milk – Naturally, some nursing women tend to produce less breast milk. Such a condition may be distressing for their young babies, who depend on breast milk for nourishment. Fenugreek is an important alternative to pharmaceutical drugs used in boosting the production of breast milk. Fenugreek is beneficial since it has no side effects on nursing mothers. The plant tends to result in a positive impact since it is natural hence more compatible with your body.
Testosterone – Testosterone hormone is a very important hormone in men since it defines their masculinity. The hormone helps boost libido, enhances muscle and bone build-up. It also enhances other important aspects of men’s sexual development and physical appearance. Fenugreek helps you to improve the production of testosterone hormone. Men who regularly consume Fenugreek in their diet have higher levels of libido.
Blood Sugar – Studies have revealed the positive effects of Fenugreek on persons living with diabetes. Fenugreek essentially plays the role of Insulin hence making it more impactful on people with type 1 diabetes. The herb combats diabetes by lowering the blood sugar level when taken consistently. Fenugreek regulates your blood sugar level in two ways. It helps your body to absorb glucose hence assisting in instances of low blood sugar levels. The herb also helps the body to store excess glucose for future use.
Appetite – Studies have demonstrated that Fenugreek aids in appetite improvement. Most people are now accustomed to fast foods due to a lack of time for preparing quality food. This has resulted in rising health conditions such as obesity and diabetes. The herb controls appetite in 2 major ways. First, it lowers cholesterol levels in your body. Cholesterol is undoubtedly one of the causes of some lifestyle diseases. Secondly, Fenugreek helps your body to lower the fat intake. Some studies have revealed a reduction of 17% in fat intake.
Anti-Inflammation – Numerous studies have revealed that Fenugreek lowers the risk of inflammation in body tissues. In essence, this explains why it was used as a traditional herb in Indian culture. Its leaves and seeds have components that help to fight pathogens responsible for causing diseases. However, Fenugreek should be taken in the right proportions to reap its anti-inflammatory benefits. Taking it in large quantities may result in counterproductive effects. The herb’s ability to fight disease-causing pathogens has been witnessed among persons suffering from frequent heartburns. Research has revealed that Fenugreek significantly lowers heartburn symptoms, in a similar manner like antacid medications.
When to avoid the use of Fenugreek – Despite the positive effects of Fenugreek in improving your health, there’s a need to exercise caution in its consumption. First, some people are allergic to Fenugreek. When they consume Fenugreek, they exhibit symptoms such as diarrhea, perspiration, and flatulence. People with such reactions should avoid consumption of Fenugreek since it may result in undesirable health effects.
Secondly, pregnant women should not use Fenugreek. Past experiences reveal that Fenugreek may cause a uterine contraction in pregnant women, especially those on the last trimester of their pregnancy. Such contraction endangers the life of the baby and may lead to miscarriage in extreme situations.
In Conclusion – Fenugreek, an annual plant with green leaves and golden-brown cuboid-shaped seeds, offers you numerous health and nutritional benefits. You can use Fenugreek as a spice; it helps in improving the flavor and taste of your food. Fenugreek fresh leaves are used as a vegetable. The leaves have a high nutritional value which is necessary for your culinary health.
Fenugreek has other major health benefits. It helps to boost the production of breast milk in nursing mothers, without negative side effects. The plant also boosts the production of testosterone in men thus enhancing their libido. Fenugreek also helps you regulate blood sugar by assuming the role of insulin. Additionally, it improves appetite by lowering cholesterol and fat intake into the body. Fenugreek lowers the dangers of inflammation of your body tissues by pathogens. The herb considerably lowers incidences of heartburn among its users.