13 Jan Ingredient Spotlight: Fenugreek
What exactly is Fenugreek?
The Fenugreek plant (Trigonella foenum-graecum) grows to be about 2–3 feet (60–90 cm) tall. It grows in the Mediterranean, Europe, and Asia and features green leaves, little white blooms, and small golden-brown seeds in its pods. The name “fenugreek” is derived from Latin words that mean “Greek hay.”
Fenugreek has been used in alternative and Chinese medicine for thousands of years to cure skin issues and a variety of other ailments. It has recently gained popularity as a spice and thickening agent in the home. For its nutritional profile and somewhat sweet, nutty flavor, fenugreek seeds and powder are also utilized in many Indian cuisines. It can also be found in items like soap and shampoo.
What’s Fenugreek beneficial for?
Fenugreek is often used for diabetes, menstrual cramps, increasing testosterone levels, boosting milk production during nursing, skin & hair issues, high cholesterol, obesity, and a variety of other ailments.
Fenugreek appears to decrease sugar absorption and activate insulin in the stomach. Both of these benefits help diabetics reduce their blood sugar levels. It appears to influence both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as well as boosting carb tolerance in persons who do not have these illnesses. People with type 1 diabetes were given 50 grams of fenugreek seed powder at lunch and supper in one research. After ten days, subjects had lower blood sugar levels and lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. People without diabetes were given fenugreek in another trial and they saw a 13.4% drop in blood sugar levels four hours after consuming it. These advantages might be attributed to fenugreek’s ability to improve insulin activity.
Cramps during menstruation (dysmenorrhea)
Menstrual cramps have historically been treated with fenugreek seeds and tea. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled research, those who took fenugreek capsules experienced less discomfort and a shorter duration of suffering.
Effects on the production of breastmilk
The finest source of nourishment for your baby’s development is breast milk, while some moms, may find it difficult to produce enough. While pharmaceutical medicines are frequently used to increase breastmilk production, research shows that fenugreek might be a safe and natural option. Drinking herbal tea containing fenugreek seeds improved breast milk supply, which helped newborns acquire more weight, according to a study of new moms. This is because Fenugreek is considered to contain estrogen-like properties.
Effects on male testosterone levels
Boosting testosterone is one of the most popular reasons men use fenugreek. Fenugreek may also assist to increase the libido by increasing testosterone and estrogen levels.
In an eight-week research, 30 college-aged guys lifted weights four times per week, with half of them taking 500 mg of fenugreek every day. Although testosterone levels in the non-supplement group fell somewhat, they rose in the fenugreek group. This group also had a 2% decrease in body fat. In one 6-week trial, 30 men were given 600 mg of fenugreek extract to see how their sexual function and libido changed. The majority of individuals stated that their strength and sexual function had improved. While there hasn’t been much study on using fenugreek to boost testosterone levels, it’s been suggested that chemicals called furostanolic saponins can assist to promote testosterone synthesis.
Skin & Hair
There isn’t much research on fenugreek’s impact on hair growth or dandruff alleviation. but an oral supplement of fenugreek was proven to promote hair growth when compared to a placebo in one research. Fenugreek leaf extract has been proven to have anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal effects in lab trials. These might assist with dandruff and other scalp issues.
Fenugreek has a number of other health advantages.
Fenugreek has long been used to cure a wide range of ailments. However, many of these applications have not been thoroughly investigated in order to draw firm conclusions.
According to preliminary study, fenugreek may help:
Controlling one’s appetite
Three studies have found a decrease in fat intake and appetite. Participants in a 14-day research lowered their overall fat intake by 17% on their own.
Fenugreek has been shown to decrease cholesterol and triglyceride levels in several studies.
Side effects and safety
For healthy people, fenugreek is quite safe. Less significant side effects like diarrhea and indigestion have been recorded anecdotally. Reduced appetite is also possible, which might be dangerous if you have an eating disorder or are attempting to gain weight. If you’re using diabetic medicine or other supplements that reduce blood sugar levels, you should avoid fenugreek because of its influence on blood sugar. According to animal research, very high dosages generate a variety of negative side effects, including DNA damage, lower fertility, neurological issues, and a higher chance of miscarriage. Fenugreek may cause allergic reactions in those who are sensitive to other plants in the Fabaceae family, such as soybeans, peanuts, green peas, and other legumes.
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