Is it just me, or is the world moving towards a healthier lifestyle? In the past few years, there has been a noticeable transition towards organic and nutrient-filled foods. Fenugreek seeds are at the top of that list given their numerous health benefits.
Originally from Southern Europe, the Mediterranean region, and Western Asia, fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is from the pea family. Fenugreek has a long history as both a culinary and medicinal herb in the ancient world. It was one of the spices the Egyptians used for embalming, and the Greeks and Romans used it for cattle fodder.
There are various ways of consuming fenugreek. First, consuming it raw after soaking it overnight. You can also add the seeds to a salad or grind them to a powder and sprinkle in meat to give it flavor. You can also make fenugreek tea.
Here are the benefits of fenugreek seeds.
- Maintain liver and kidney health
The liver and kidney are both vital body organs. This makes it important to keep them healthy. Fenugreek improves renal function by significantly decreasing the buildup of calcium in the renal tissue, increasing the level of antioxidant protection, and reducing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body which can lead to cell and tissue damage.
Fenugreek also aids liver activity to convert excess blood sugar into glycogen, further contributing to blood-sugar-lowering effects. With this regard, they are useful for diabetes patients by improving how the body uses sugar and increasing the amount of insulin released.
- Breast milk production
As you probably know, breast milk is extremely important for a newborn child. Aside from it containing antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria, it also reduces ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhoea. The problem is, due to factors such as stress, insufficient glandular tissue, and hormonal or endocrine problems, the supply of breast milk may sometimes be lower than usual. Fenugreek has been proven to counter this effect.
A 2018 review of studies of 122 mothers who took fenugreek showed that the herb significantly increased the amount of milk they produced. According to Healthline, researchers aren’t quite sure why fenugreek works. It may have something to do with the phytoestrogens (plant chemicals similar to estrogen) that fenugreek contains.
- Reduces the intensity of menstrual cramps
Menstrual cramps are the worst. They can completely ruin your day. Back in high school, a friend of mine suffered so intensely from these cramps that she would skip school for two days every month. She soon discovered fenugreek, and the intensity of the pain reduced significantly.
Research involving 101 participants proved that fenugreek indeed decreases the pain severity and associated symptoms of menstruation. There were no adverse effects recorded and therefore the researchers reported fenugreek should be considered as an option for painful menses. But that’s not it.
Research to relieve other systemic symptoms of menstruation such as fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, lack of energy, and fainting.
- For digestive problems
If you suffer from issues such as ulcers, acidity, heartburn, gastritis, or indigestion, then fenugreek seeds may just be the answer to these problems. The mucilage in fenugreek assists in soothing gastrointestinal inflammation, and coats the stomach and intestinal lining.
Fenugreek is rich in fibre and antioxidants, thereby helping in flushing out harmful toxins from the body and thus, aiding in the digestion process. It acts as a natural digestive, and its lubricating properties help soothe your stomach and intestines.
- Promotes hair and scalp health
Many people are after healthy hair because this is the basis of volume and length. Perhaps fenugreek may be the answer to all your hair problems. They are a natural home remedy for thinning hair and other related conditions, such as dandruff or a dry, itchy scalp. Test-tube and animal studies show they possess anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, antifungal, skin-soothing, and wound-healing properties. They strengthen the hair follicles and promote hair growth.
To use fenugreek as a hair mask, wash to remove dirt, and then soak overnight. The next morning, blend the seeds into a thin paste. Add a little coconut oil to this paste and mix well.
Apply this mask to your hair and scalp. After 15 minutes, rinse it out.
- Balances cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all the cells in your body. Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs. Excess cholesterol deposits on the walls of your arteries (atherosclerosis). These deposits can reduce blood flow through your arteries, which can cause heart complications and a stroke.
Fenugreek can turn the situation around through compounds known as steroidal saponins that inhibit both cholesterol absorption in the intestines and cholesterol production by the liver.
- It has anti-cancer properties
Cancer is a leading cause of death in our world today. Now studies have proven that fenugreek can reduce the risk of breast cancer. Another study proves that a number of dietary components that may prove useful in the prevention and treatment of cancer. The in vitro effect of fenugreek as a substance with significant cytotoxicity to cancer cells points to the potential usefulness of fenugreek in the prevention and treatment of cancer.
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