What is fenugreek seed?
A nutty flavored umber colored seeds that find its place in many Asian cuisines. Available at grocery stores as Whole or ground, these tiny yet medicinally rich seeds offer a multitude of health benefits. Greek were the first ones who discovered the medicinal properties of Fenugreek. Popularly known for its demulcent properties, the Fenugreek seeds benefits spread over digestive health, hair health, cholesterol control, menstrual cramps and much more.
As a precious herb, Fenugreek is a herbal boon. Traditionally, fenugreek seeds found use in kitchens as a condiment to maintain and promote pink health. Following the millennia advantages of Fenugreek, clinical research proved that Fenugreek can do much more than what it is being used for. As a native seed of Mediterranean region, the medicinal popularity of the seed has spanned global boundaries.
Substitute of Fenugreek seeds
It is difficult to replace Fenugreek seeds with any other seed in terms of flavor as it has a unique and strong flavor. Mustard is a closer substitute of Fenugreek seeds though. Some of the other substitutes are:
• Toasted yellow mustard seeds: With the earthiness of Fenugreek seeds, the roasted yellow mustard seeds become mild to be used as Fenugreek seed substitute.
• Maple syrup: Rich of Sotolone, Maple syrup, and Fenugreek share some similar medicinal properties and that peculiar flavor. Maple syrup is stronger in flavor than Fenugreek and must be used in very limited quantity.
• Fennel seeds: Although the seed is sweet in flavor it misses the characteristic flavor of Fenugreek. It offers some medicinal properties of Fenugreek.
How to eat fenugreek seeds?
Fenugreek seed finds its versatility in medicinal properties and in the ways of consumption too. One can consume fenugreek seeds in four popular ways:
• Use while cooking- Fenugreek seeds have a nutty and bitter flavor that is why many cuisines use it while making curries to hide its flavor.
• Consume seeds after soaking- Soak the Fenugreek seeds overnight and chew the seeds first thing in the morning.
• Make sprouts- Wrap the soaked Fenugreek seeds in a muslin cloth and let them sprout. Refrigerate the sprouts or consume instantly. These can also be added to the salads.
• Grind the seeds- Sprinkling ground Fenugreek seeds and sprinkling it over salads or curries is also a very common practice.
• Soaked seeds paste- Use a wet grinder to make a paste of the soaked seeds. Refrigerate the paste and use it while making the curry.
The right method to consume Fenugreek seeds is entirely dependent upon the medicinal reason behind adding them to your dietary plan.
Fenugreek seeds benefits for health
From the everyday kitchen to clinical research, Fenugreek now has sufficient clinical evidence to support its health benefits.
Diabetes Type 2 Control
Consuming around 45 grams of soaked or powdered Fenugreek seeds once daily is known to control the blood sugar level. It happens at a very biological level as Fenugreek regulates the amount of insulin released into the blood.
Painful menstrual cycles
The advantage of Fenugreek for relieving menstrual pains dates back to thousands of years. It acts as an antihistamine to reduce the menstrual tension. It is also known to reduce the PMS symptoms if consumed for 3 days prior to the date of menstruation. The seeds can be consumed in any form for 3 times in the quantity of 2.5 grams.
Fenugreek seeds efficiency to reduce the symptoms of acidity is very high. Ancient Greeks have been using it as a medicinal demulcent. Fenugreek is 40% mucilage that works to restore the water proportion in the stomach. Not only does it protect the inner lining of a stomach but works as an anti-inflammatory agent to relieve the pains and discomfort due to acid abnormalities.
Controlling cholesterol levels
Fenugreek has its effect on regulating the LDL segment of Cholesterol. The steroidal saponins of Fenugreek slow down the absorption of cholesterol in the stomach. Although there is no evidence of its impact on absorption of HDL.
Increase Breast milk production
Fenugreek tea is given to nursing mothers to increase the milk supply. More than 3.5 grams of Fenugreek boiled in water is known to show results within 24-72 hours. Pregnant females must never consume Fenugreek.
Improve Male fertility
Fenugreek seed oil is known to increase the sperm count in males. Only the seed oil has the desired impact. Fenugreek seed consumed in any other form will not enhance the count.
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Fenugreek seeds when consumed as overnight soaked in the quantity of 400 over a period of 4-7 weeks create a feeling of fullness due to the demulcent properties. It makes you avoid overeating and reduces water retention weight gain too.
Prevention from Cancer
The 40% mucilage content of fenugreek is known to prevent certain types of Cancer. The toxins of certain food items are flushed out of the body as they bind with Fenugreeks mucilage.
Although some of the health benefits of Fenugreek also include baldness treatment, Eczema, Constipation, Chronic cough, fever, Gout and more. Its paste is used to find comfort in case of mouth ulcers and stomach issues with Fenugreek paste.
How much fenugreek should I take for breast enlargement?
Working at the clinical level, Fenugreek is one of the herbs that is known to do breast enlargement naturally. Adding around two teaspoons a day of ground fenugreek seed will give the desired results. With a unique set of phytoestrogens, that are basically plant estrogens mimic animal estrogen and impact the breast size positively.
Consuming Fenugreek as tea or soaked seeds play a big role to provide that extra dose of phytoestrogens that makes the milk ducts bigger and thus increasing the overall size of the breast. The human body does not produce phytoestrogens and that is why it needs to be consumed externally. Fenugreek seeds are the most natural and rich source of phytoestrogens without exposing yourself to the side-effects of chemically synthesized phytoestrogen.
Side effects of fenugreek seeds
Fenugreek has never been a cause of any severe side effect. If consumed in the recommended dosage, Fenugreek is the safest possible medicinal herb. Some very mild side effects of Fenugreek are mild diarrhea, water retention, gas, headaches or dizziness. Among people who are hyper allergic, consumption of Fenugreek can lead to wheezing, nasal congestion, and more problems.
People who are allergic to soy and peanuts are more prone to side effects of Fenugreek seeds and must not consume it without doctor’s consultation. Children and pregnant mothers must never consume Fenugreek seeds in any form as it is known to lead to some malformations of the human fetus.
Fenugreek has been trusted as a versatile medicinal herb. A lot of clinical research has proved that Fenugreek is a powerful medicinal plant. Fenugreek offers multiple benefits like blood sugar level control, more milk production in nursing mothers, relief from acidity symptoms and more. Fenugreek has gone beyond just being a traditional remedy and the clinical research supports its benefits too.