Fenugreek is an annual herb that is very similar to a plant with three-lobed leaves called clover. It is native to southern Europe, the Mediterranean region as well as western Asia.
Fenugreek has played significant roles in China, also used as an alternative medicine for thousands of years, though it is consumed nowadays as a health supplement. This plant – scientifically known as Trigonella foenum-graecum – stands at two-three feet and has small white flowers, green leaves as well as pods with small golden-brown Fenugreek seeds.
Fenugreek is commonly used these days as a thickening agent and household spice. You will also find that Fenugreek is used as one of the ingredients in shampoos and soaps.
Fenugreek powder and seeds are also used in many Asian and Indian recipes for their somewhat nutty, sweet taste and nutritional profile.
Nutrition Facts of Fenugreek
One tablespoon of whole Fenugreek seeds contains approximately thirty-five calories and more than a few nutrients:
Manganese: 7% of recommended daily allowance
Iron: 20% of recommended daily allowance
Carbs: 6 grams
Magnesium: 5% of recommended daily allowance
Fat: 1 gram
Fiber: 3 grams
Protein: 3 grams
Health Benefits of Fenugreek
Boosts testosterone levels
Fenugreek is used as part of the ingredients used in bodybuilding supplements that allegedly boosts testosterone. Studies have been performed to verify these claims. College-aged men who weight trained were selected for the research and separated into two groups. One group consumed Fenugreek supplement while the other group was not.
The results of the study showed that the group that took Fenugreek supplements had higher levels of testosterone as well as enhanced body fat loss.
Beneficial for breastfeeding mothers
Breastfeeding mothers are usually warned to be cautious when it comes to using spices and herbs. But one of the few herbs that breastfeeding mothers are encouraged to use is Fenugreek. This is because Fenugreek promotes lactation, i.e. the production of milk as a result of the presence of a compound known as diosgenin.
The generous amount of minerals and vitamins in Fenugreek make the herb profoundly nourishing both to the mother and newborn.
Minimizes menstrual discomfort
Fenugreek is a potent supplement that helps in reducing menstrual pain. It can open up clogged menses and offers an immense reprieve from menstrual disorders.
Helps in preserving brain function
According to recent studies, using Fenugreek on a constant basis reduces the development of degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases through multiple mechanisms.
Fenugreek also reduces the production of proteins that promote the development of plaque in the human brain. Thus, inflammation of the brain is minimized significantly along with cognitive impairment and possible mental discrepancies.
Side Effects of Using Fenugreek
Despite the use of Fenugreek as a tonic to solve lots of health problems, it has some attendant side effects. This substance is known to trigger allergic reactions as well as the following:
Gastrointestinal distress, etc.
It should never be recommended for pregnant women as it could result in miscarriages because of its potent effects on the female reproductive system.
How Much Fenugreek Should You Take?
To minimize the side effects of Fenugreek as outlined above, it is crucial for users to follow proper guidelines and restrictions for the usage amount. For instance, a lactating mother seeking to promote the production of breast milk should take about two to three standard capsules three times every day (which totals about 5,500 milligrams).
If, however, your goal for using Fenugreek is to boost your health in general, you should take much lower doses of the supplement. Make sure you consult your doctor to avoid any health complications that may arise.