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Fenugreek – What is it, Medicinal uses and Benefits

Fenugreek – What is it, Medicinal uses and Benefits

Fenugreek is a plant with countless properties and benefits. For instance, it can lower the LDL cholesterol and the blood glucose levels.

What is fenugreek?

Trigonella foenum-graecum, commonly known as fenugreek, is a herb native to the Middle East that has been cultivated in the Mediterranean area for centuries.

Above all, its leaves and seeds have been used as spices and for medicinal purposes

However, it has also been traditionally used to increase the libido and masculinity. In addition, it can help with metabolic problems like diabetes because it can regulate the blood sugar levels.

Fenugreek in the kitchen

Due to culinary reasons, this ingredient is usually included in spice blends, mostly in Indian cuisine and dishes like curry.

It is also used as flavoring in maple syrup imitations, foods, drinks and tobacco

Salad

The leaves of the plant can be used in salads, both the fresh and dry leaves are used in Indian cuisine

Nutritional value of fenugreek seeds

Nutrient facts of fenugreek

Nutrient Facts per 100g

Aminogram of Fenugreek Seeds per 100g

Leucine1757mgTryptophan391mgArginine2465mg
Isoleucine1241mgAspartic Acid2708mgTyrosine764mg
Valine1102mgGlutamic Acid3988mgCysteine369mg
Lysine1684mgSerine1215mgGlycine1306mg
Methionine388mgHistidine 668mgProline1198mg
Phenylalanine1089mg

Vitamins and Minerals from Fenugreek Seeds

Nutrient per 100g and showing the NRV (Nutrient Reference Value) established in the Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 from 25th October 2011.

Vitamins per 100g

Vitamin A60IU (2.25%)
Vitamin C3mg (3.75%)
Thiamine0.3mg (28%)
Riboflavin0.4mg (60%)
Niacin1.6mg (10%)
Vitamin B60.6mg (43%)
Folate57mg (28.5%)

Minerals per 100g

Calcium176mg (22%)
Iron33.5mg (239%)
Magnesium191mg (51%)
Phosphorus296mg (42.3%)
Potassium770mg (38.5%)
Sodium67mg
Zinc2.5mg (25%)
Copper1.1mg (110%)
Manganese1.2mg (60%)
Selenium6.3mcg (11.5%)

Fenugreek plant

This extraordinary plant is used both as an herb and spice to season several delicacies

Properties of fenugreek

Saponins and galactomannan fiber stimulate the bile production. Moreover, it inhibits the absorption of cholesterol and the glucose processing in the gastrointestinal tract. Above all, the fiber content lowers the blood sugar levels.

Fenugreek also has an amino acid called 4-hydroxyisoleucine, its most well-known component. On the one hand, it increase the release of insulin and trigonelline while reducing the blood glucose levels.

What is diosgenin?

Another interesting substance is diosgenin, which is a biologically active steroidal sapogenin. In fact, it is useful against several pathologies, including diabetes, hyperlipidemia, cancer, cardiovascular disease, oxidative stress and inflammation.

Moreover, diosgenin is an important mediator in several biological effects of fenugreek. For instance, it contributes to signalling insulin and to the glucose homeostasis.

Fenugreek seeds

Fenugreek seeds have a series of active ingredients such as: mucilage, trigonelline, 4-hydroxyisoleucine, sotolon, diosgenin, luteolin, phenolic acids and protodioscin.

Fenugreek helps to reduce the LDL cholesterol levels

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fat molecule necessary for the proper functioning of our health. It binds to a protein and travels through the bloodstream, making macromolecules called lipoproteins.

Types of cholesterol

The density (relation between protein and fat) of said elements can change, resulting in different “types” of cholesterol. On the one hand, LDL (low density) or bad cholesterol, because it triggers the accumulation of plaque in the arterial walls. Consequently, it increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

On the other hand, HDL (high density) or “good cholesterol” eliminates LDL. Having good HDL levels will result in a good health, since it can protect against cardiovascular diseases.

Total
LDL
HDL
Optimal <200mg/dlOptimal <100mg/dlLow <40mg/dl
Very High >190mg/dlHigh >60mg/dl

Recommended Cholesterol Levels by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III, NIH

How does Fenugreek help to lower the LDL cholesterol

The fiber from fenugreek seeds can help to reduce the cholesterol naturally by:

  • Reducing the synthesis of LDL cholesterol in the liver
  • Hindering its intestinal absorption
  • Increasing the synthesis of HDL cholesterol
  • Lowering the absorption of triglycerides from fatty products
  • Reducing the formation of atheroma plaques in the arterial walls
  • Hindering the synthesis of free radicals

Benefits of fenugreek for health

But there are other benefits associated to this plant which has been used for centuries in the Ayurveda:

Regulating blood sugar

Its content in the 4-hydroxyisoleucine can increase the release of insulin and improve our sensitivity. Therefore, it can be a remedy for patients with diabetes.

Indigestion

It provides a high natural galactomannan fiber supply that slows down the absorption of sugar

Improving the digestion

Eating fenugreek can be really useful for those who suffer stomach problems. It is rich in fiber and antioxidants, contributing to eliminate toxins through the intestine. In fact, it can be an effective treatment against gastritis and indigestion. Moreover, it prevents constipation (stimulating the bowel) as well as digestive problems caused by stomach ulcers.

It can be an effective remedy against stomach acidity or acid reflux. Thanks to its mucilage content, fenugreek seeds help to calm the gastrointestinal inflammation

Fenugreek tea

Sometimes, fenugreek tea is used to relieve indigestion and stomach pain

Anti-inflammatory properties

The inflammation is a natural process that works as a defense mechanisms against external agents like viruses, bacteria… Sometimes, the inflammation can become chronic instead of being something punctual that lasts a short period of time. There are some factors that can “confuse” our body and it reacts as if there was a threat.

Some of these causes are a bad diet, food allergies, sedentarism, renal diseases…

Inflammation

Fenugreek can relieve the symptoms of chronic inflammatory diseases like arthritis, mouth ulcers, bronchitis, some types of infection and chronic coughing

Symptoms of menopause

It contains diosgenin and estrogen isoflavones, which have properties similar to that of female sex hormones, estrogens. Therefore, it will support menopausal women who experience hot flushes, insomnia, breathing problems, sweating, joint or muscle pain…

Menopause

Fenugreek can fix a lack of estrogens, being a completely natural therapy

Lactation

Fenugreek has been traditionally prescribed by ayurvedic doctors for lactating mothers. This is due to its properties like galactogogue, that is, its ability to stimulate the production of breast milk.

Breastfeeding

Fenugreek contains diosgenin that helps to increase the production of breast milk in lactating women.

Skincare

Fenugreek has also properties for a natural cosmetic treatment. Its external application can make our skin look younger and brighter.

To do so, you just have to grind some fenugreek seeds. If you want, you can store a good amount of powder to use it on a daily basis. Therefore, you will just have to:

  1. Mix 1 spoonful of fenugreek powder with milk until you get a mass
  2. Wash your face and apply the mass homogeneously
  3. Leave for 20 minutes, wash and rinse

Skincare

We can use this lotion for a week and check its results

How to take fenugreek

Fenugreek seeds are quite versatile. In fact, you can eat them as such or make tea, flour, bread or pressed in oil. Moreover, you can also toast the seeds or make powder for soups and sauces. Eating seeds or using fenugreek flour is the best way of keeping the blood sugar levels under control. In fact, a dose of 2-5g of fenugreek seeds can help to reduce the blood glucose levels of diabetic people.

Moreover, men who want to increase their endogenous testosterone or libido naturally could consider taking a supplement. For instance, they could take between 500-600mg of a standardized fenugreek product like “Testofen”.

If you want to learn more about How Testofen can increase the testosterone levels, click here

Contraindications of fenugreek

While fenugreek is regarded as safe if we take the recommended dose, it can cause a minor side effect. Nausea is a common side effect, while others experience gastrointestinal problems (diarrhea and / or flatulence).

That is why you should take them with moderation and under medical supervision

Where can I buy fenugreek?

You can purchase fenugreek at the best price in HSN, click here

Related Entries:

  • Benefits of Saponins
  • What are Phytonutrients?
  • Top herbs against diabetes
  • Glucomannan, support for weight loss
Fenugreek Review

Blood glucose regulation - 100%

LDL cholesterol regulation - 100%

Menopause symptoms relief - 100%

Better digestions - 99%

100%

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