- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Fenugreek Health Benefits - fenugreek seeds leaves benefits and recipes
Health Benefits of Fenugreek
Fenugreek is a spice and a herb that is quite popular in the Asian kitchens. Fenugreek gets it name from the Latin root Foenum Graecum or Greek Hay. The yellow colored hard seeds of the Fenugreek plant are used as spice and preservative in Indian cooking. The plant or the herb looks like wild clover. The Herb and the spice are known for their Medicinal use and is a part of the Indian kitchen pharmacy. The herb adds flavor and nutrition to your cooking and can be added on to most Indian dishes. The leaves and seeds have a slightly bitter taste, but it is not so noticeable when tomatoes are added or when it is cooked with meat or lentils, namely Dal. The use of fenugreek seeds in diabetes is well documented.
Fenugreek is rich in potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. It is also rich in iron and sodium with small amount of copper, zinc, selenium and manganese
Fenugreek is also known to have a good deal of Vitamin C, some amount of Vitamin A, B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate. It is no hype that fenugreek is a great health food.
Fenugreek Health benefits - Methi) Seeds, Leaves Benefits
It is not only a spice but it serves as a dark green super food. Fenugreek seeds are used in pickles and curries, masala or currry powders. Fenugreek has a bitter taste and so it would be wise to use it in small quantities. Kasoori methi or dried fenugreek leaves are another way of using this herb. The leaves are dried and preserved and used throughout the year in rotis or flat bread. They add much needed fiber and nutrition to the bread, this is an easy way of making children eat the green leafy vegetables which they generally dislike. The seeds and the leaves are well known for their medicinal uses. Today in the market you have this poor man’s spice sprouted and powdered and sold at exorbitant prices as remedy for diabetes.
Fenugreek for Diabetes, PMS, Fevers etc.
Researches have shown that the regular long term use of fenugreek seeds reduces deposits of fat in the body and lowers cholesterol. The high fiber content helps flush out the waste in the system .
The amino acid called 4-hydroxyisoleucine helps stimulate the secretion of insulin. Fenugreek lowers the blood glucose levels by slowing down the absorption process of carbohydrates. Thereby regulating glucose levels in the blood. The dietary fiber in the fenugreek causes the stomach to empty out slowly. As a result, the sugar levels in the blood stream are controlled. Fenugreek is excellent for the control of diabetes.
It is also thought to be a galactagogue and it is often used to increase lactation. Fenugreek is also a component in natural breast enhancing treatments.
They are often used by naturopaths in digestive disorders. Flatulence and a sluggish liver is often treated with decotions of seed slightly roasted powdered and made into a tea.
The tea made from fenugreek seeds is used widely to bring down fevers, and considered to be equal to quinine by ayurvedic doctors.
Fenugreek has estrogen-like properties and is said to increase libido. It is also used to lessen the symptoms and discomfort that arise during menopause. It is used to reduce hot flashes and mood fluctuations that are common symptoms of menopause. Having the tea made from the roasted seeds of fenugreek reduces the discomfort and the intensity of pre-menustural syndrome or PMS.
In the hot tropics when the weather really gets unbearable the seeds are soaked in water and the water is consumed on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. This reduces the ill effects of heat and cools the body down considerably.
Aloo methi ( fenugreek potato curry )
You can make flavorful curried potatoes that are not only tasty but also healthy. Dice a couple of potatoes, add a teaspoon of oil in a pan, add a teaspoon of cumin seeds and mustard seeds into it and let it splutter. Add onions finely chopped and let it soften. Add the diced potatoes and sauté it for a few minutes add some salt and water and let it cook. When it is done add a pinch of turmeric, chilly flakes or chili powder and a bunch of cleaned washed fenugreek leaves or a hand full of dried leaves into the pan, toss it around until the heavenly flavor of the fenugreek leaves tempt you. Eat it with flat bread or rice.
Cottage cheese and fenugreek curry
You can make a mouth watering curry with cottage cheese and fenugreek leaves. Dry fry a couple of onions roughly chopped in a pan, add a couple of cut tomatoes and sauté them. Add a small cube a (2cm)of cottage cheese to the pan, and when the onions and tomatoes soften blend it in a blender with some chilly flakes added to it. In a pan pour a tablespoon of cooking oil, add jeera or cumin seeds, I teaspoon of grated ginger, sliced onions and sauté it. Add cottage cheese when the onions turn pink and sauté for a couple of minutes ( and not more as the cottage cheese becomes leathery) now add the fenugreek leaves a bunch of cleaned fresh leaves or a handful of dried leaves for another minute. Add the blended paste into the pan and let it bubble free for a few minutes before you take it of the heat. Add salt to taste and your paneer methi masala is ready to be served with rotis naans or rice.
Dal with tomato and fenugreek
Chop up onions, tomatoes. In a pan pour a teaspoon of oil, add cumin and mustard seed to it, when they splutter, add the onions and the tomatoes and sauté them. Add a little water and some salt to taste and when the contents of the pan get thick and pulpy add fresh or dried fenugreek leaves and chilly flakes to it and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add cooked dal to this and you have a healthy dal to be eaten with rice or rotis. Simple, healthy and fresh food cooked in minutes.
Fenugreek Side Effects
Eat your way to health and wellness. Remember that even the good things in life need to be consumed in moderation. There are some documented side effects of fenugreek. I for one personally believe that it is impossible to consume that amount of the herb or the seed, because of its bitter taste to have side effects. Since it belongs to the same family as peanuts, some people may have a food allergy to the spice. So here is to healthy eating and healthy life.