Fenugreek – 100grams
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Never heard of fenugreek? Don’t worry — you’re not alone — but that doesn’t mean you should continue to be in the dark on this medicinal herb. In fact, I recommend utilizing fenugreek on a regular basis.
Why? Because fenugreek has some amazing health benefits that could transform your health and change your life for the better. How? It all starts with inflammation. As recent research shows, fenugreek helps reduce both internal and external inflammation … in addition to improving your sex life and reproductive function, as well as enhance nutrition for babies!
Fenugreek is an annual herb with light green leaves and small white flowers. It’s of the pea family (Fabaceae) and also known as Greek hay (Trigonella foenum-graecum). The fenugreek plant stands erect at two to three feet tall, and the seed pods contain 10–20 small, flat, yellow-brown, pungent and aromatic seeds.
Fenugreek Nutrition Facts
One serving — 1 tablespoon — of fenugreek seeds contains:
- 35.5 calories
- 6.4 grams carbohydrates
- 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)
- Improves Digestive Problems and Cholesterol Levels
- Reduces Inflammation Inside the Body
• Since time immemorial, fenugreek seeds have been valued for their medicinal benefits.
• It has great cleansing properties. It helps cleanse the blood. By triggering sweat, it also detoxifies the body. It is also reputed as a lymphatic cleanser.
• It is wonderful for stimulating and fortifying the immune system.
• Fenugreek seeds, soaked overnight in water and consumed in the morning, water, seed and all, helps to control blood sugar levels.
• A powerful antioxidant, it acts as a mucus solvent and throat cleanser, and also eases the urge to cough.
• Even drinking the water that the seeds have been soaked in or rinsed with helps to soften and dissolve accumulated and hardened masses of cellular debris.
• Use fenugreek for head colds, influenza, catarrh, constipation, bronchial complaints, asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, pleurisy, tuberculosis, sore throat, laryngitis, hay fever and sinusitis.
• Fenugreek can be used for peptic ulcers and inflamed conditions of the stomach and bowel, as it absorbs and eliminates toxic material.
• Fenugreek helps travellers affected by abdominal griping pains and gastric upsets due to consumption of contaminated water.
• People find that drinking a cup of fenugreek tea before meals can bring relief from numerous ailments.
- Improves Digestive Problems and Cholesterol Levels
Fenugreek may help with numerous digestive problems, such as upset stomach, constipation and inflammation of the stomach. For instance, the water-soluble fiber in fenugreek, among other foods, helps relieve constipation. It also works to treat digestion and is often incorporated in an ulcerative colitis diet treatment plan due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
Fenugreek also seems to benefit those with heart conditions, such as hardening of the arteries and high blood levels of certain fats, including cholesterol and triglycerides. In fact, a study out of India showed that administering 2.5 grams of fenugreek twice daily for three months to people dealing with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus significantly lowered cholesterol naturally, along with triglycerides, without affecting HDL cholesterol.
- Reduces Inflammation Inside the Body
Fenugreek helps with inflammation within the body, such as:
- mouth ulcers
- infection of the tissues beneath the surface of the skin
- chronic coughs
- kidney ailments
According to Dr. Richard Palmquist, chief of integrative health services at Centinela Animal Hospital in Inglewood, Calif., fenugreek was discovered to have medicinal qualities thousands of years ago by Ayurvedic medicine practitioners. Thought to lower blood sugar, he reports it’s useful for many things, including management of metabolic and nutritive disorders such as diabetes.
Fenugreek appears to slow absorption of sugars in the stomach and stimulate insulin. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the spice is known as a phlegm mover and is said to break up stuck energies and cool inflammation within the body.
Research published in International Immunopharmacology studied the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant of fenugreek mucilage on arthritic rats and confirmed fenugreek’s power to fight inflammation. It also “demonstrated the potential beneficiary effect of fenugreek mucilage on adjuvant induced arthritis in rats,” meaning fenugreek may be an effective natural arthritis treatment as well.
- Increases Libido in Men
Some fenugreek uses for men include treating hernias, erectile dysfunction and other male problems, such as baldness. That’s because fenugreek may increase sexual arousal and testosterone levels.
While it’s best to consult with a physician before using natural therapies for treating illnesses or improving sexual performance, supplements produced from fenugreek have been shown to increase sexual desire and performance in men, as well as naturally remedy impotence.
In a study published in Phytotherapy Research, 60 men between the ages of 25 and 52 years with no history of erectile dysfunction were supplemented with either a placebo or 600 milligrams of fenugreek extract per day for six weeks. Through self-evaluation, the participants noted their results with fenugreek, reporting that the supplement had a positive effect on their libidos. Ultimately, the study found that fenugreek extract had a significant influence on sexual arousal, energy and stamina and helped participants maintain normal testosterone levels.
- Promotes Milk Flow in Breastfeeding
Fenugreek also helps breastfeeding women who may experience low milk supply. Fenugreek can increase a woman’s breast milk supply because it acts as a galactagogue, which is a substance to increase milk supply. This stimulates the milk ducts and can increase milk production in as little as 24 hours.
While more research is needed to determine the exact efficacy and safety of the galactagogue in fenugreek on breastfeeding, several studies note its use in promoting milk flow. Complementary & Alternative Medicine, the Annals of Pharmocotherapy, Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Internaional, among others, have all published studies on this issue.
- Lowers Inflammation from Outside the Body
In addition to lowering internal inflammation, fenugreek is sometimes used externally as a poultice, which means it’s wrapped in cloth, warmed and applied directly to the skin. This reduces external inflammation and can treat:
- pain and swelling in the muscles and lymph nodes
- leg ulcers
It’s important to test the area first to ensure that it does not burn or further inflame, however.
- Adds Flavor and Spice to Food
In foods, fenugreek is often included as an ingredient in spice blends, mostly found in Indian fare, such as curried dishes. It’s also used as a flavoring agent in imitation maple syrup, foods, beverages and tobacco. The leaves from the plant can be used in salads, and both fresh and dried leaves are used in Indian cookery.
- Helps with Eating Disorders
Beyond enhancing flavor, fenugreek has been shown in increase appetite, which results in restorative and nutritive properties. A study published in Pharmacology Biochemistry, and Behavior was designed to investigate the effects of a fenugreek seed extract on feeding behavior. Experiments were performed to determine food consumption and motivation to eat, as well as metabolic-endocrine changes.
The results showed that chronic oral administration of the fenugreek extract significantly increased food intake and the motivation to eat. The report also indicated, however, that the treatment does not prevent anorexia nor the decreased motivation to eat.
In cases of anorexia nervosa, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends taking 250 to 500 milligrams of fenugreek up to three times a day, but it may not be safe for children — so with any medication or natural treatments, check with your doctor first.
- Improves Exercise Performance
The Journal of Sports Science and Medicine reports a study of the effects of combined creatine and fenugreek extract supplementation on strength and body composition in men. Forty-seven resistance-trained men were matched according to body weight to ingest either 70 grams of a dextrose placebo, five grams of creatine and 70 grams of dextrose, or 3.5 grams of creatine and 900 milligrams of fenugreek extract and participate in a four-day a week periodized resistance-training program for eight weeks.
At 0, four and eight weeks, subjects were tested on body composition, muscular strength endurance and anaerobic capacity. The creatine/fenugreek group showed significant increases in lean mass, bench press and leg press strength. The study concluded that creatine combined with fenugreek extract supplementation had a significant impact on upper body strength and body composition as effectively as the combination of creatine with dextrose.
Why is this good? The use of fenugreek with creatine supplementation may be an effective means for enhancing creatine uptake while eliminating the need for excessive amounts of simple carbohydrates, and thus you should consider adding fenugreek to your list of best foods for athletes.
Sprouted fenugreek seeds can also be added to sandwiches and salads, juiced with vegetables, or used as a garnish for soups, rice, pasta dishes and stir-fries.
To make a tea, add a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds to a cup of boiling water. Strain and relish it with a little honey, plain or with a little milk.
You can brew fenugreek tea by adding 1 tbsp. of fenugreek seeds to 1 cup of boiling water. Fenugreektea.org advises letting the mixture steep for 45 minutes to unleash the full beneficial effect of the seeds, then straining, cooling and drinking it after meals to help with digestion.
Caution: Fenugreek is generally recognized as safe when used as a food. Mild diarrhea and gas may accompany its use. This side effect almost invariably resolves after using fenugreek seeds or tea for a few days.
Fenugreek is traditionally used to hasten delivery, fenugreek can cause uterine contractions; don’t use it if you are pregnant. Fenugreek seeds and tea can interact with prescription drugs, and may increase the effects of anticoagulants such as warfarin. Consult your doctor before using fenugreek.