Nature has presented us with a bounty of healthy foods, herbs, and spices. But, in today’s fast-paced world, we focus on everything in a pack and pretend to be busy understanding the benevolence of Mother Nature. Fenugreek is native to Asia and southern Europe and the botanical name is Trigonella foenum graecum. This annual herb is erect and the flowers are white while the seeds are angular, hard and yellowish brown in color. The seeds as well as the leaves are widely used in a variety of home remedies including weight loss, and Indian healthy food.
The leaves and seeds of fenugreek are flavorful and strongly aromatic. In its raw state, the seeds have a bitter taste but the bitterness is lost when it is roasted lightly. Fenugreek is rich in vitamins like folic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, Vitamin C, A and B6 as well as niacin. Fenugreek is also a rich storehouse of several minerals like potassium, copper, iron, calcium, zinc, selenium, magnesium and manganese. Leaves of Fenugreek are rich in vitamin K.
Fenugreek and health
Fenugreek seeds are reckoned as a rich source of lysine, trigonelline, and 1-trypotophan. The seeds are also bountiful in fibers as well as saponins which possibly explain the extensive health benefits it brings along. Traditionally, apart from being a component of healthy food fenugreek has been used in treating a wide range of conditions including:-
Enhancing production of breast milk
Since ancient times, fenugreek has been acclaimed as herbal galactagogue or a herb capable of enhancing milk production. Mothers have used the herb for enhanced breast milk secretion and stimulation of milk flow during breast feeding and nursing. Other herbal galactagogues include milk thistle, blessed thistle, anise, fennel, and nettle. However, modern data on the efficacy of fenugreek is thin though some studies have shown that consuming herbal tea with fenugreek seeds enhance breast milk secretion in lactating mothers and facilitates regaining of birth weight in infants during early postnatal days.
Fenugreek is believed to be an effective remedy in acid reflux or heartburn since the mucilage contained in fenugreek seed assists soothing of gastrointestinal inflammation as well as in coating the intestinal lining and the stomach. A study published in Phytotherapy Research has found that intake of fenugreek for 2 weeks or a product with fenugreek fiber ingested 30 minutes before meals twice a day diminished the severity of heartburn in subjects experiencing frequent heartburn. The researchers further observed that the effects were comparable to ranitidine administered # 75 mg twice daily. Proper digestion and excretion are known to have the long lasting salutary effect on your health. And healthy food is the way to achieve that.
Many of us relentlessly go after the so-called magic wands to shed some pounds. More often than not, those are magics and in a short space of time, you are back to the starting point. When healthy food can help you shed those pounds, you save money on buying those supplements and the pounds you lost don’t come back. Fenugreek significantly complements exercise and diet for weight loss. This thermogenic herb helps in suppressing appetite and potentially modulates carbohydrate metabolism while increasing energy over a short term.