Fenugreek is a plant similar to the clover and found in various parts of the world. People in Southern Europe, Mediterranean countries, and Western Asia use the leaves, and seeds in their cuisine. In India, the leaves are cooked and eaten as a vegetable or used to season certain dishes. The seeds of this herb have several medicinal properties and are also great for your hair and skin. Add them in powder form to your gravies and they lend a pleasant flavor and nutty taste to the food. When added to your diet, fenugreek benefits your health in many ways. You will find it as a plant that grows to heights of 2 to 3 feet and has green leaves, and white or yellow flowers.
Fenugreek Benefits for Your Skin and Hair
Applying a paste of fenugreek seeds on your skin helps protect it from the damaging effects of the UV rays of the sun. That’s because it can stimulate the production of melanin in the skin that acts as a shield from sunrays. When fenugreek combines with water, the fiber in it forms a paste called mucilage. This element is great for keeping your skin moisturized by trapping water in the skin cells. As a result, you get protection from the signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.
Fenugreek Benefits for Lactating Mothers
Fenugreek seeds are rich in nutrients and studies have shown that they promote lactation thanks to the compound, diosgenin it contains. Mothers consuming fenugreek in their food as supplements or when made into a tea have increased milk production. Their babies also seem to gain weight quickly and are healthier.
Health Benefits of Fenugreek
Lowers Blood Glucose in Diabetics
Patients of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can consume fenugreek to lower blood glucose levels and improve their bodies’ response to insulin. These benefits could result from the high fiber content in the leaves and seeds. Studies have shown that by eating fenugreek, patients experienced a 13.4% reduction in their sugar levels after four hours. This herb can also lower the levels of glucose that patients excrete in their urine.
Protects Your Heart
Consuming fenugreek can help you lower levels of triglycerides and bad LDL cholesterol. As a result, you prevent plaque from accumulating on the walls of your arteries. If you can eat fenugreek regularly, you’ll also control hypertension. An interesting fenugreek benefit is that it acts as a natural blood thinner. That’s because it prevents the platelets from aggregating and forming blood clots that can result in heart attacks.
You can use fenugreek in your food to enhance its taste and also improve digestion. By acting as a natural antacid and neutralizing excess bile, fenugreek can lower heartburn. Since the herb works to suppress appetite, you can eat it when trying to lose weight. It is also known to act on your gut to prevent the intestines from absorbing the fat content in your food.
Promotes Fertility in Men
Studies have demonstrated that men who consumed fenugreek seed oil three times a day regularly had higher levels of testosterone. As a result, they also reported higher stamina levels, increased libido, and lower body fat. Tests showed that they had a higher sperm count as compared to the placebo group.
Additional Fenugreek Benefits
- Alleviates menstrual cramps and pain during periods
- Contains the chemical called acetylcholine that improves signals in the brain cells and prevents the occurrence of Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease
- Lowers inflammation in the brain that can lower cognitive functions
- Contains saponins that prevent the growth of cancer cells, stimulates apoptosis that causes cancer cells to self-destruct
- Raises the number of red blood cells and promotes blood circulation to the kidneys keeping them healthy and preventing kidney stones
A regular intake of fenugreek can help you in more ways than one. Consume it as a vegetable or spice, or take supplements of the seed powder or seed oil.