Hindi Name: Methi
What is Fenugreek?
Fenugreek is an annual plant that belongs to the Fabaceae family.
Its semiarid crop is cultivated worldwide.
Its leaves have a slightly bitter taste and its seeds are used to make spices.
Fenugreek Nutritional Facts
The Numerous Benefits of Fenugreek
1. Diosgenin contained in Fenugreek can help increase milk production during lactation period. Also, its magnesium and vitamin content increases the quality of milk produced.
2. Fenugreek is an emmenagogue that can open up blocked menses allowing it to “flow” smoothly and comfortably.
3. Fenugreek contains estrogenic isoflavones similar to estrogen, the female sex hormone that causes menopause when lost. Hence, Fenugreek consumption reduces menopausal symptoms by compensating for the drop in estrogen levels.
4. The estrogenic isoflavones of Fenugreek can balance the female hormones leading to breast enlargement.
5. Fenugreek has been used for treating hernias and erectile dysfunction, along with increasing sexual arousal and testosterone levels in men.
6. Fenugreek has an anti-carcinogenic potential. Its diosgenin and various non-starch polysaccharides content inhibit bile salts from being reabsorbed by the colon, and can bind to toxins protecting the colon’s mucus membrane.
7. Fenugreek can significantly decrease calcification in kidneys and hence may be beneficial in the treatment of kidney stones.
8. Fenugreek’s high fiber content adds bulk to the stool allowing it to treat constipation, diarrhea, and minor indigestion problems.
9. Fenugreek is a mucilaginous herb allowing it to relieve sore throat pain and cough.
10. Fenugreek helps alleviate types I and II diabetes due to its galactomannan and 4-hydroxyisoleucine content that induce slow rates of insulin production and sugar absorption into the blood.
11. Fenugreek was shown to have cardioprotective roles on lipid peroxidation and antioxidant defense systems during myocardial infarction.
12. Fenugreek helps reduce low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. Also, its rich fiber content scrapes excess cholesterol off blood vessels.
13. Fenugreek can be wrapped in warm cloth and applied to the skin to reduce external inflammation, such as: swelling in the lymph nodes, wounds, ulcers, eczema, pimples, wrinkles…
14. Galactomannan swells in the stomach giving the “full” feeling and hence contributing to appetite suppression..
15. The combination of 3.5 grams of creatine and 0.9 grams of fenugreek showed significant increases in lean muscle mass and body strength in its consumers in comparison to when each treatment was given on its own or without one.
Given all its benefits, I bet you’re totally convinced to consume this SUPER FOOD!
Our coming post will share easy nutritious recipes with Fenugreek.
Ranim Daw, MS in Cell & Molecular Biology
American University of Beirut
February 26, 2017