When it comes to fenugreek, there appears to be two clearly different schools – those people who have grown up with it their entire lives, and then people who have never heard of it in their life. Regardless of where you fall however, it is imperative that you get familiarized with fennel seeds and what it can do for you.
Fenugreek is an annual plant belonging to the family fabaceae, found today through various parts of Asia as the Middle East. Its exact origins however, remains a point for debate, although its origins are most likely in the regions of Iraq. Evidence of dried fennel has been found in the sarcophagus of Egypt king tut, suggesting its usage dating back millennia.
Today, fennel is mainly used as a spice or herb, though its health benefits warrant it more than just occasional use.
Nutrition Info (Per 100g)
Dietary Fiber-25g 98% RDA
Protein-23g 46% RDA
Thiamin-0.3mg 21% RDA
Riboflavin-0.4mg 22% RDA
Niacin-1.6mg 8% RDA
Vitamin B6-0.6mg 30% RDA
Folate-57mcg 14% RDA
Calcium-176mg 18% RDA
Iron-33mg 186% RDA
Magnesium-191mg 48% RDA
Phosphorus-296mg 30% RDA
Potassium-770mg 22% RDA
Zinc-2.5mg 17% RDA
Copper-1.1mg 56% RDA
Manganese-1.2mg 61% RDA
Selenium-6.3 mcg 9% RDA
11 Amazing Health Benefits of Fenugreek
1. Useful For Breastfeeding Mothers
While many herbs and spices are contraindicated or need to be used cautiously while breast feeding, fenugreek is encouraged to be used. This is because it is said to be able to stimulate milk production, owing to the presence of a compound named diosgenin. This, coupled with fenugreek generous level of vitamins and minerals make it highly nutritious to the newborn and mother.
2. Can Boost Testosterone
One of the most popular uses of fenugreek today is its inclusion in a number of bodybuilding supplements that purportedly boosts testosterone. Studies have been carried out to confirm these claims, and so far they appear to have merit. A comparison was done between college aged men who weight trained, and either used the fenugreek supplement or not. The results concluded that those using the supplement had higher hormone levels, and also experienced enhanced loss of body fat.
3. Can Be Of Benefit To Diabetics
Research is always ongoing it seems in the quest to find or develop superior management tools, including using natural products. Fenugreek is among those with a promising future as it appears to be of benefit to both types 1 and 2 Diabetics. It even appears beneficial in non-Diabetics, reducing blood sugar on average by about 10%. Its effects could also be due to fenugreek seeds high fiber content, but is more likely to align with enhancing insulin sensitivity.
4. Can Help Manage Heartburn
When people think of heartburn relief their thoughts typically include some soothing calcium containing product to help, but fenugreek may actually be superior, and without a reflex increase in stomach acidity. This is because fenugreek is said to be able to reduce acid secretion in the first instance. This, plus the ability to neutralize acid means it is in many ways better than what people stretch for as their first choice.
5. Can Help Preserve Brain Function
Studies have confirmed that frequent use of fenugreek can help to reduce the development of Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s’, via multiple mechanisms. Among those were the inhibition of an enzyme known as acetylcholinesterase, which allows for enhanced function of the important brain neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and reduction in the production of proteins that foster plaque development in the brain.
As a result, brain inflammation was significantly reduced, along with possible mental deficits and cognitive impairment.
6. May Help To Prevent Weight Gain
Fenugreek may be able to assist you with weight loss as it turns out, thanks to its effects on insulin and blood sugar. Insulin is a major barrier that many people do not realize impairs weight loss, with improved blood glucose control normally equating to greater weight loss.
7. Can Improve Skin Health
While many natural products can claim to improve skin health, Fenugreek goes a step beyond what is considered standard in many other products. For one, fenugreek contains the extremely rare fiber type known as mucilage, a sticky fiber that gels in the presence of water, forming a sort of paste. While this is good for intestinal health, it can be even better on the skin. Mucilage is an excellent moisturizing agent, as it traps water in its matrix structure and allows for ample hydration, but it does more than this. In addition, application of a fenugreek seed paste also decreases the amount of melanin present in the skin, which is a good indicator as it shows little UV damage has been experienced by the skin. The more melanin present in the skin, the greater the amount of UV light it has been exposed to, and greater the risk of premature ageing and worse.
8. Fenugreek Shows Promise In Treating Cancer
Cancer is a very sensitive topic to address, since so many things so potential and yet there is no cure. Regardless, it is hopeful to see so many natural products being mentioned for their potential in treating the disease. Fenugreek is one such plant. Compounds found in fenugreek known as saponins halted the multiplication of cancer cells, and initiated a cycle of self-death (or apoptosis). Fenugreek also shows potential in reducing the incidence of various cancers, including breast, colon and prostate cancers.
Its effects on programmed cell death seem to be most pronounced when use of the plant is followed up with radiation.
9. Fenugreek Thins Blood
Fenugreek actually prevents the aggregation of platelets together, which is the mechanism by which one of the most common blood thinners, aspirin, works as well. This in turn reduces the likelihood of these clots blocking tiny blood vessels, or even larger blood vessels which are important to the brain or heart itself. This is how strokes or heart attacks occur, when blood supply is restricted to a certain part, causing asphyxiation and death of the affected tissue.
10. Can Improve Kidney Health And Reset Kidney Damage
Kidney damage is usually an ominous sign, as frequently it is an indication of multi-system organ failure brought on by accumulation of waste material. Frequently, kidney damage occurs from over usage of medications or drugs, which may cause accumulation of excess salts in the filtration apparatus of the kidneys. Calcium is by far the most common residue that precipitates kidney failure, but not standard calcium oxide, but rather calcium oxalate stones. Aluminum salts help to break down these residual stones, and can improve kidney health a bit, but then cause their own set of adverse effects.
Fenugreek supplementation increases the amount of red blood cells that can deliver oxygenated blood to the kidneys, reduces stone formation and promotes excretion of nitrogen compounds and normalized creatinine excretion as well. Coupled with reducing oxidative damage, and increasing kidney mass, fenugreek offers powerful support for your kidneys.
11. Can Ameliorate Menstrual Pain And Cramping
That time of the month when menstruation ensues is a nightmare for many women, owing to the frequent mood swings, pain and cramps brought on by the uterus expelling dead tissue. While some over the counter remedies help, they increase bleeding as a tradeoff, swapping one unpleasant experience for another. Fenugreek, however, appears to be able to relieve the pain and cramping without adverse effects, as was observed in a study done on college aged women.
Fenugreek has a lot to offer this world, with the possibility that many more benefits lie yet undiscovered. If one thing is sure, however, is that you can take advantage of what’s on show today, and improve your life with this little miracle herb.