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Fenugreek or methi is one of the oldest known medicinal plants in the world. Famously, the ancient Egyptians were particularly fond of fenugreek as they included it in a number of medicinal cures and even placed fenugreek seeds in tombs of dead emperors, thus highlighting the importance they placed on it. It is thought to have originated in the Middle East and South-East Asia and today it is grown and consumed all over the world. The biggest cultivator and consumer of fenugreek however is the Indian subcontinent.
Although the leaves of the fenugreek plant can be used as herbs, Organic Fenugreek Seeds are most in demand as they can be ground and used as an aromatic spice that adds a rich flavour to food. But more than just being a garnish for dishes, fenugreek seeds have a wide range of health benefits associated with them. Here, we’ll discuss some of the nutritional advantages that they provide:-
Fenugreek is particularly effective in maintaining cardiovascular health due to the presence of a soluble fiber known as galactomannan. Moreover, fenugreek also consists of a healthy dose of potassium which not only counter-acts the effect of sodium on the heart, but also helps to dilate blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure and reducing the strain on the cardiovascular system.
In addition to directly promoting a healthy heart, fenugreek also helps out your cardiovascular system by helping to lower cholesterol. When ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) levels increase in the body, they can form plaques on the inside walls of arteries and lead to diseases like atherosclerosis and heart attacks. The fiber found in fenugreek can easily remove such depositions from the arteries and help to prevent the many ill-effects that blocked arteries may present.
Fenugreek has a two-fold advantage for type 2 diabetes patients. Firstly, the natural soluble fiber galactomannan helps in slowing down the process of absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Secondly, an amino acid present in fenugreek (4-hydroxyisoleucine) stimulates the production of insulin.
Combining these two amazing effects of fenugreek, diabetic patients can produce enough insulin in their bodies to metabolize the sugar while at the same time ensure that the process doesn’t happen too quickly which could lead to rapid spikes and drops in blood sugar levels, something which is very harmful to the body.
Acid reflux or heartburn is a condition in which digestive juices from the stomach are regurgitated into the oesophagus, which can cause a tingling, burning sensation in the chest area. Fenugreek has proven to be a natural treatment for acid reflux due to the presence of a gumming substance known as mucilage. This mucilage then forms a protective coating throughout the GI tract and shields it from the effect of acidic gastric juices. It can also soothe the tissues already effected by acid reflux.
For nursing mothers, fenugreek is a nice addition to the diet as it can help in increasing the production of breast milk due to the presence of the compound diosgenin. Also, the mineral and vitamin content of fenugreek can improve the quality of milk and make it much more healthy for the baby.
All the people watching their weight will be delighted to know that fenugreek can help you reduce your weight. Being extremely rich in soluble fiber, fenugreek makes the food you eat much more filling. It thus supresses your appetite, stops you from overeating and controls your weight.
The uses and benefits of fenugreek are so wide ranging, it is impossible to consolidate all of them in a list. A word of caution, however, is necessary. While fenugreek is safe for nursing mothers, it is advised to not consume it if you are pregnant. It can have a huge impact on the female reproductive system and lead to complications. For everybody else, fenugreek can be a great addition to the diet!
For more information about organic fenugreek seeds, click here.
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