If you’re like the majority of people, you’ve probably never even heard of fenugreek. It’s not really a common ingredient in most of our cooking. Those who are super health conscious know this powerful, but humble spice as well as the many fenugreek benefits.
In this article, we’ll tell you a little bit more about fenugreek. But we’kk also show you 10 of its amazing benefits that science backs up.
What Is Fenugreek?
In many places throughout the world, fenugreek is also known as methi or methi seed and also as Greek Hay. It is most common in the Mediterranean region and Asia. It boasts a long historic use as a spice and for treating health problems.
In fact, archaeologists have uncovered evidence that its history dates back to 4000 BC. Today, the largest producer of fenugreek is India.
Fenugreek seeds, like chia seeds, pack a lot of nutritional punch in their small bodies. We’ll start with a quick rundown of the nutrients and nutrient values contained in just 1 Tbsp of fenugreek seeds.
• 2.5 grams protein;
• 0.7 gram fat;
• 2.7 grams fiber;
• 3.7 milligrams iron (20 percent DV);
• 0.1 milligram manganese (7 percent DV);
• 0.1 milligram copper (6 percent DV);
• 21 milligrams magnesium (5 percent DV);
• 32.6 milligrams phosphorus (3 percent DV);
• 0.1 milligram vitamin B6 (3 percent DV).
Fenugreek also packs alkaloids, lysine, L-tryptophan, and steroidal saponins among its other various compounds. With this line up of nutrients, it is no wonder that there is plenty of scientific evidence to support the claims of fenugreek benefits on our list.
10 Amazing Fenugreek Benefits for Your Body and Mind
We’ll start off our list of fenugreek benefits with its use as a digestive aid. Indian studies indicated that there was a definite improvement in digestive enzyme stimulation with the use of fenugreek.
Other studies from India also reported reducing cholesterol as another of the many fenugreek benefits. Fenugreek lowered both LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels without having any affect on HDL levels.
Blood Sugar Balancing
The same Indian study as above also indicated that balancing blood sugar was another of the measurable fenugreek benefits The study reported that significantly lower fasting and post prandial blood sugar levels were achieved with the use of fenugreek.
Female Hormone Balance
Another of the many fenugreek benefits is related to the balancing of female hormones. Iranian studies indicated that fenugreeks estrogenic properties was effective in helping to balance female hormones.
Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Treatment for erectile dysfunction is another of the very positive fenugreek benefits. Testofen, found in fenugreek, had a positive effect on the physiological aspects of both arousal and orgasm in the tested subjects, according to Australian researchers.
Boost in Milk Production
One of its traditional uses, boosting milk production, is another of the fenugreek benefits that scientists highly regards. Researchers at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy indicated that the galactogogues in fenugreek are effective at increasing milk production.
Further studies of fenugreek in India indicate that a treatment for dandruff is another of the effective fenugreek benefits. They reported that improved vitality and the elimination of dandruff were among the results after the use of fenugreek for treatment.
Treatment for Eating Disorders
Another of the lesser known fenugreek benefits links to the treatment of eating disorders. Food intake and the motivation to eat were among the positive results which a study from France reported.
Increased Sport and Exercise Performance
Also among the proven fenugreek benefits is increased sport and exercise performance. A Human Performance Lab study reported that:
Creatine plus fenugreek extract supplementation had a significant impact on upper body strength and body composition.
Another of the powerful fenugreek benefits is as an inflammation fighter. Polish researchers concluded that fenugreek had a significant impact on inflammation associated with furunculosis, eczema, ulcers, and local inflammations of the skin.
A Note of Caution
- As powerful and helpful as these little seeds are, they, like nearly every other food, have some side effects associated with them including: diarrhea, bloating, gas, stomach upset. You may even notice a maple syrup odor in urine.
- However, if you re hypersensitive to various foods, you may notice coughing, wheezing, nasal congestion, facial swelling or sever allergic reactions to fenugreek.
- We must especially note that people who are allergic to other plants in the same plant family like soybeans, peanuts, and green peas might be allergic to fenugreek as well. Fenugreek might also cause reactions if consumed while being under some specific treatment.
- Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) do not interact well with fenugreek. This is because it tends to lower blood sugar levels, in combination with these medications might lower them too much. Consequently, they are causing dangerous reactions.
- Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) do not interact well with fenugreek either. Fenugreek slows clotting as well, and can cause hyper-effectiveness of these medications as well.
Your best bet, if you are taking these medications or if you are prone to the allergies or sensitivities listed above is to not consume or use fenugreek to prevent or treat any of the health conditions we mentioned. For any therapeutic use of fenugreek for the above conditions, it is best to consult a health care professional to inquire about safe amounts, potential side effects and potential adverse interactions with your prescribed medications.
Wrapping It Up
There are certainly some powerful fenugreek benefits with plenty of scientific backing in our list above. This humble spice has indeed grown beyond its origins and provides health benefits for conditions which were completely unknown at that time.
You are fortunate enough to be able to take advantage of those benefits today. So, don’t hesitate to add fenugreek into your list of power-foods. Be sure to add your questions, comments and suggested additions to our list in the section below.
The images are from pixabay.com.