Greek hay, or fenugreek, is a commodity that can be found in Turkish, Indian and Persian cuisine, but it has also been used in Egypt, Greece, Italy and South Asia, mainly because of its many health benefits. The fenugreek contains proteins, fiber, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, iron alkaloids and even a compound called diosgenin, which has estrogen-like properties. What do all these components provide? Read on and discover the 10 health benefits of fenugreek which make it the new health craze in the United States.
1. Balances cholesterol levels
According to recent studies, fenugreek helps reduce LDL cholesterol. In one study, people who consumed 56 grams of fenugreek every day for 24 weeks reduced their cholesterol levels by 14 percent. You can crush and sprinkle some of its seeds on the food you prepare every day, helping yourself balance your cholesterol levels.
2. Reduces the risk of heart disease
Since it contains a high amount of galactomannan and is an excellent source of potassium, fenugreek helps maintain normal blood pressure and heart rate. In addition, in the same study that examined the reduction in cholesterol, the researchers also observed a 25 percent reduction in heart disease risk after 24 weeks of consuming 56 g of fenugreek per day.
3. Helps diabetics maintain blood sugar levels
Fenugreek is very useful for diabetics because of the galactomannan, a natural fiber in fenugreek which slows down sugar absorptions. Additionally, fenugreek contains amino acids that contribute to insulin production.
4. Strengthens hair and prevents dandruff and shedding
If you suffer from shedding or dandruff, you can treat both these problems with one simple remedy. Simply soak the fenugreek seeds in coconut oil overnight, boil the solution and apply it to your hair. Leave it for about 3 hours, and repeat every day for a week.
5. Aids weight loss
If you are trying to lose weight, add fenugreek to your diet. If you chew a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds soaked in water each morning on an empty stomach, you can take advantage of its soluble fibers, which will expand in your stomach and suppress your appetite during the day.
6. Increases milk production in lactating women
Fenugreek is high on the list of foods that all lactating women should eat, and studies have shown a more than 500% increase in milk production just 24-72 hours after fenugreek consumption. This is due to a high concentration of diosgenin, a compound that has been shown to have estrogen-like properties.
7. Eases labor
Fenugreek is especially useful as a natural relieving drug during childbirth because it causes contractions in the uterus. It also helps to reduce labor pain, but it is important not to consume too much as this may endanger the fetus.
8. Eases period discomfort
Fenugreek contains compounds called diosgenin and isoflavone, which have estrogen-like properties, and help reduce stressful symptoms of the menstrual cycle such as cramps, hot flashes, and mood swings. In addition, women are more sensitive to iron deficiency during menstruation, pregnancy, and lactation, and fenugreek may help compensate for that.
9. Soothes skin infections and reduces scars
Studies have shown that fenugreek helps to treat various skin problems such as pustules, blisters, burns, eczema, and gout. You can prepare a solution that will address all these problems:
• Take a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds and grind them into powder.
• Mix the powder with warm water.
• Take a clean piece of cloth, dip it in a mixture and clean the skin with it.
10. Contributes to digestive processes and prevents heartburn
Fenugreek helps to cleanse the body of toxins, soothes the stomach during digestion and helps prevent constipation. There are also various components that help to calm inflammation of the digestive system by coating the walls of the stomach and intestines. It can also relieve heartburn if you drink it as a tea. To learn how to do this, just follow this recipe:
• Grind one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds for each cup of tea you want to make.
• Add the ground fenugreek to a tea strainer, with or without other tea, although it is recommended to combine them with others for taste.
• Place the tea strainer in a glass and add a cup of boiling water for each teaspoon of fenugreek you have ground. Steep and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
• Drink the tea hot (reheated) or cold, you can add sweeteners or milk for taste. You can also upgrade the tea with a little nutmeg, honey, and lemon.