What Is Fenugreek?
Fenugreek Trigonella foenum-graecum (its Latin name), or methi, is a plant of the Fabaceae family. It can be grown across the world but is most commonly found in South and Central Asia and the Near East and currently, the biggest producer of the crop is the subcontinent of India. The plant is known for its distinct maple syrup scent and all parts of the plant are used in a variety of different ways.
Fenugreek is a very popular plant in Asia; its leaves are used as a herb, its seeds are used as a spice and its sprouts are used as a vegetable. If you’ve ever tried traditional Indian food, you’ll probably have come across fenugreek seeds or plants as it is very popular for curries and other dishes. The most well-known of these is probably ‘aloo methi’ or ‘potato fenugreek’ curry. It is also made into drinks such as fenugreek tea and considered as one of the many medicinal plants to natives. Plus, thanks to its high nutritional profile and status as a superfood, it can now also be found in the form of high-strength health supplements.
Benefits Of Fenugreek
Packed Full Of Nutrients
The main reason fenugreek has so many great health benefits and can be seen by many as a superfood is because of its excellent nutritional profile. Fenugreek contains a number of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin B6, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese and Copper. It also contains antioxidants, phytonutrients, isoflavones, amino acids, saponins and dietary fibre. What an amazing superfood with amino acids for athletes!
Balances Blood Sugar Levels
A common health use for fenugreek is to help with blood glucose levels and can be especially useful for balancing blood sugar levels so it helps in diabetes. Whilst it shouldn’t replace and diabetes medications or other forms of prescriptions, it can be an easy addition to your diet for help with lowering the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol and to help give your body that extra boost.
Aids Weight Loss
Another of the many great benefits of fenugreek is to help with setting weight loss goals. This is because the plant contains natural dietary fibre which is said to help suppress the appetite as it takes longer to leave the stomach. This means you feel fuller for longer after you eat plenty of fibre in a meal. It also means you can control cravings better and avoid snacking on unhealthy foods between meals.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
It is also said that fenugreek can help with balancing cholesterol levels to help look after the heart and those with issues such as diabetes. This is because it is said to help lower LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol levels and support the ‘good’ levels. As a result, it can be a great natural addition to the diet if you are looking for an extra hand to lower your cholesterol and insulin levels.
Increases Breast Milk Production
Fenugreek is known to be a galactagogue, something that can be very helpful for breastfeeding mothers looking to increase breastmilk production. As a result of increased production, it can also then help babies to gain more weight to keep them healthy and happy. It is, however, only suggested to take fenugreek as a galactagogue after the baby is born, and not during pregnancy.
Helps The Symptoms Of Menopause
The final key benefit of fenugreek is to help women going through menopause. Fenugreek contains estrogenic isoflavones or natural chemicals that are similar to the female sex hormone estrogen. As a lack of estrogen can be a cause for the common symptoms of menopause including mood swings, cramps and depression, fenugreek can, therefore, help to get your body into a better balance to make you feel better.
How To Take Fenugreek
If you’re looking to use fenugreek as a food or spice for its flavour, you can find it in a number of supermarkets and these can be added to your favourite dishes or you can make your own fenugreek tea. If, however, you want to use fenugreek for its health benefits then just eating some seeds won’t be enough to make an impact. This is why the most convenient and easiest way to make the best of this superfood is through a fenugreek supplement.
Most research on the benefits of fenugreek is based around taking a 500mg strength of fenugreek pills, so we would recommend that or higher. Taking this superfood in the form of a dietary supplement is the most simple way to add it into your daily diet and is considered the best way to get the maximum effects of fenugreek with the fewest side effects.
Is Fenugreek Safe?
Fenugreek has been used as a food source for centuries, so is of course safe! When taking it as a supplement, however, just make sure you follow the instructions and always take it as directed. We also recommend checking the full ingredients list to avoid any potential allergic reactions and to only buy a natural fenugreek supplement that doesn’t contain any added fillers, binders or chemicals. If you are pregnant or on medication, it is recommended to talk to a health care professional if you have any questions or concerns.
Fenugreek is an amazing superfood with a whole range of great benefits for your health and wellbeing. This includes being rich in a host of beneficial nutrients, supporting weight loss, cholesterol and blood sugar levels as well as helping breastfeeding mothers with milk production and even the symptoms of menopause! With so many great benefits, you can now go forward and find the right supplement or way to include fenugreek into your diet for you and make use of this magnificent superfood today!