5 Incredible Fenugreek Benefits: From Lowering Cholesterol to Aiding Digestion
Fenugreek leaves are rich in folic acid, Vitamin A and Vitamin C, and are a storehouse of minerals such as potassium, calcium and iron. Fenugreek seeds are also an extremely rich source of Vitamin K. Let us give you more reasons to make fenugreek your new secret ingredient.
1. Lowers Cholesterol
Fenugreek helps in reducing the body’s production of cholesterol, especially of low density lipo-protein (LDL or bad cholesterol). The University of Michigan Health System discusses the relationship between fenugreek and high cholesterol. The study states that the steroidal saponins in fenugreek seeds are thought to slow the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines as well as possibly slow the rate at which the liver produces the substance too. It’s also believed that it decreases the absorption of triglycerides from fatty foods.
2. Controls Diabetes and Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
4HO-Ile, an usual amino acid, which is found only in fenugreek, has possible anti-diabetic qualities, such as enhancing insulin secretion and increasing insulin sensitivity. Iranian researchers from Qom University of Medical Science suggest the potential of 4HO-Ile, as an adjunct to diabetes treatment for type 1 as well as type 2 diabetes. Wellness Expert and Founder of NutriHealth, Dr. Shikha Sharma confirms, “Fenugreek is often used as a part of diet plans prescribed to patients with diabetes as a treatment. It is also suggested to have include it in your diet if you are suffering with polycystic ovary disorder." Dr. Rupali Datta, Clinical Dietician at Fortis-Escorts Hospital suggests, "You could consume one to two teaspoons of fenugreek seeds soaked in water every morning but those who are on insulin therapy should consult their doctor before doing so."
3. Protects from Cancer
It has been seen that the fiber content of fenugreek may help in the prevention of certain cancers. Researchers at Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram, found that fenugreek has estrogenic effects and could be a possible alternative to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Other studies have shown that saponins and mucilage in fenugreek bind to toxins in the food and flush them out, thus protecting the mucus membrane of the colon from cancers.
According to Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, Clinical Operations and Coordination Manager at Baidyanath, “Due to their high protein and fibre content, fenugreek seeds inadvertently aid the battle against cancer. Fenugreek’s anti-oxidizing qualities, and the fact that it is rich in nutrients makes it holistic remedy that aids detoxification. It cannot cure cancer, but fenugreek could be seen to help in the fight against it.” On an added note he advises, “Fenugreek is also known to be an excellent remedy for heart problems, obesity and joint pain.”
4. Aids Digestion
For those suffering from stomach ailments, eating fenugreek can be really helpful. As it is rich in fiber and antioxidants, it helps in flushing out harmful toxins from the body and thus, aids digestion. It is an effective treatment for gastritis and indigestion. It helps prevent constipation as well as digestive problems created by stomach ulcers. This is because it is a natural digestive tonic, and its lubricating properties help soothe your stomach and intestines. In some cases, fenugreek tea is used to relieve indigestion and stomach pain. You can even drink a fenugreek decoction early in the morning to deal with constipation. Mix about a teaspoon of fenugreek powder in a warm cup of water, strain and drink up.
5. Natural Cure for Heartburn and Acid Reflux
Fenugreek is known to be an effective remedy for heartburn or acid reflux because the mucilage in fenugreek seeds assists in soothing gastrointestinal inflammation, and coats the stomach and intestinal lining. According to a study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, a two-week intake of fenugreek taken 30 minutes before two meals by subjects with frequent heartburn, radically diminished heartburn severity. You could sprinkle some fenugreek seeds over your stir fry or throw them in your soup for that added crunch and better digestion.