Fenugreek Health Benefits
Fenugreek is a clover-like herb native to the Mediterranean region, southern Europe, and western Asia. Its seeds, which smell and taste like maple syrup, have been used in cooking and as medicine. Fenugreek is used as an ingredient in spice blends and a flavoring agent in foods, beverages, and tobacco. Fenugreek extracts are also used in soaps and cosmetics.
In North Africa, Asia, and southern Europe, fenugreek was traditionally used for diabetes and increased milk supply in breastfeeding women. Today, fenugreek is promoted as a dietary supplement for diabetes, menstrual cramps, and other conditions and to stimulate milk production during breastfeeding. However, there have been a few smaller studies suggesting potential benefits.
Blood glucose control
Some studies suggest that fenugreek seeds may improve blood glucose (sugar) control in people with diabetes. It may also prevent people with prediabetes from progressing to diabetes. A review of studies reported that fenugreek seeds appeared to slow the absorption of carbohydrates, including sugars, in the intestines. By doing so, blood glucose control was improved.
Improve milk production and flow
Fenugreek may help stimulate breast milk production and ease the flow. Practitioners of traditional Asian medicine have long recommended fenugreek for this purpose. Some studies have reported that fenugreek, in the form of tablets or tea, improves milk production in lactating women by stimulating the mammary glands. There is, however, a lack of evidence to support this claim.
Relieves menstrual cramps
Fenugreek has been shown to relieve dysmenorrhea or painful menstrual periods. According to some studies, women who took fenugreek supplements reported a reduced need for painkillers for menstrual cramps. Fenugreek seed powder can be taken 3 times a day in a dose of 1,800-2,700 mg for the first 3 days of a menstrual period, then followed by 900 mg of fenugreek seed powder 3 times a day for the next 2 days of the menstrual cycle.
Reduce the risk of heart and blood pressure conditions
Fenugreek may help regulate cholesterol levels and improve blood pressure, which can reduce the risk of developing heart conditions and improve heart health. This may be because fenugreek seeds contain roughly 48 percent dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is very hard to digest, and it forms a viscous gel in the intestines that makes it harder to digest sugars and fats.
Promotes healthy skin and hair
Some studies report that fenugreek may help promote skin and hair health, aiding in the treatment of skin conditions such as eczema as well as hair loss in women.
Fenugreek aids in digestion and may help with heartburn, indigestion, and stomach upset. They are believed to relieve flatulence and have a soothing effect on the gut.
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