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Fenugreek Seeds: Benefits, Uses, Dosage, Risks, And More

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Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn is the scientific name for fenugreek. It is a herb species that are indigenous to portions of Europe and Asia. Additionally, people eat the herb’s leaves and seeds in addition to its different parts.

There are three ways to use fenugreek seeds: in seed extracts, as raw seeds, or in powder form. The seeds are very nutritionally dense.

They are a powerhouse of advantages and contain bioactive substances and minerals. They have actions against inflammation, diabetes, cancer, and hypercholesterolemia.

In different Asian nations and India, fenugreek seeds are a common household staple. It has been utilized as an alternative medicine to ease pain and treat several illnesses.

They have a deep brown-yellow color and are cuboidal in shape. In this article, we will be looking at the nutritional facts, benefits, side effects, and a lot more of fenugreek seeds.

About Fenugreek seeds

Nutritional Facts About Fenugreek Seeds

Fenugreek seeds make an excellent[1] food supplement as they are a lower-calorie food that is rich in carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins.

Fenugreek seeds have the following nutritional value per 100 grams:

Nutrition:

  • Calories: 332 kcal
  • Fiber: 48.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 44.2 g
  • Fat: 5.6 g
  • Protein: 26 g

Minerals:

  • Potassium: 520 mg
  • Copper: 0.70 mg
  • Calcium: 158 mg
  • Magnesium : 189 mg
  • Iron: 6.4 mg
  • Sodium: 18 mg
  • Phosphorous: 369 mg

Usage Of Fenugreek Seeds

A slightly bitter, sweet-tasting, smell resembling burnt sugar, describes the flavor and aroma of the seeds.

They could be eaten cooked or raw. They are often grounded and used as spices. They might also be combined with flour for making bread.

The seeds, which were once thought of aiding in digestive help, have also been used as an internal emollient for digestive tract inflammation, and external poultice for abscesses, and boils.

The herb is used as a distinguishing component in several chutneys and curries and is also used to manufacture maple syrup.

Fenugreek, according to the research[2], is occasionally used to encourage nursing mothers to produce more milk and could also aid in easing childbirth.

In northern Africa, it is utilized as livestock feed while in some regions, it is consumed as a vegetable.

Benefits Of Fenugreek Seeds

Here are some benefits of fenugreek seeds:

  1. Act As Antidiabetics

    People might benefit from fenugreek seeds’ anti-diabetic and hypoglycemic properties. Therefore, these seeds assist in controlling type 2 and type 1 diabetes problems.

    Research[3] also demonstrates its use as an anti-diabetic drug. Fenugreek is also a healthful and safe diet for diabetics because of its low glycemic index.

    By boosting the body’s insulin secretion, the substance 4-hydroxy isoleucine found in fenugreek seeds aids in lowering the body’s blood glucose levels.

    Additionally, it is a soluble fiber that delays the body’s digestion of carbohydrates, thus enhancing the body’s glucose homeostasis.

    Galactomannan is a bioactive molecule found in fenugreek seeds. This molecule also has anti-diabetic properties.

    Additionally, fenugreek seed extract helps to promote the body’s production of GLUT-2, a transport glucose molecule, which helps in the metabolism of glucose.

  2. Aid The Production Of Breastmilk

    The best source of nourishment for the growth of your kid is breast milk. However, some women might find it difficult to produce enough.

    Research indicates that fenugreek seeds could be a natural and secure alternative to the prescription medicines which are often used to increase breastfeeding production.

    Drinking fenugreek seeds infused with herbal tea enhanced breast milk production, which assisted newborns in gaining more weight, according to a 15-day study of 75 new moms.

    In another study[4], 65 moms were divided into 3 groups. A placebo was given to one, herbal fenugreek tea to another, and nothing to the third.

    From about 1.16 ounces (30 ml) in the placebo and control groups to 2.45 ounces (70 ml) in the fenugreek group, the volume of expressed breast milk increased.

    Although supplements were not employed in this research, they are anticipated to have effects that are similar to those of herbal fenugreek tea.

    Although this research is positive, you should go to your doctor if you have any worries about breastfeeding production.

  3. Effects Of Anti-Inflammation

    The mucilage from fenugreek seeds has anti-inflammatory properties. It aids in wound healing while reducing edema and pain.

    According to a study[5], the anti-inflammatory properties of fenugreek seeds are highly influenced by 4-hydroxy isoleucine.

    It is a bioactive substance that renders several inflammation-causing enzymes to become inactive. Saponins, alkaloids, and apigenin are additional bioactive substances that support the fenugreek seed’s anti-inflammatory effects.

    However, it is unclear exactly what they do. A stronger immune system is the result of fenugreek seeds’ anti-inflammatory properties.
    Have effects on men’s testosterone levels

    Increasing testosterone is one of the most popular reasons men take fenugreek pills. It has positive impacts, including a raised libido, according to some research[6].

    In an 8-week trial, 35 college-aged guys lifted weights 4 times per week while half of the participants received 450 mg of fenugreek daily.

    The testosterone levels in the fenugreek group increased while they were somewhat higher in the non-supplement group. Additionally, this group’s body fat decreased by 3%.

    In a 4 week trial, 35 men received 500 mg of fenugreek extract to gauge changes in sexual and libido function.

    The majority of the subjects mentioned increased strength and enhanced sexual function. However, more study is required.

  4. Manages Cholesterol

    Fenugreek seeds reduce[7] blood levels of LDL, serum cholesterol, and triglycerides, among different advantages. Hypocholesterolemia is often the outcome of having fenugreek seeds. 

    It lowers obesity and helps in weight loss. The bioactive substance saponin found in fenugreek seeds is thought to be responsible for this ability.

    In the intestines, bile acids and saponin interact to produce substantial micelles. These substantial micelles are too big to be absorbed by the body because of their size.

    Therefore, the body’s harmful lipid concentration found in the bloodstream drops. In the long term, this promotes heart health and general metabolism.

  5. Accelerates Weight Loss

    Fenugreek seeds could heighten[8] feelings of satiety and reduce hunger. This might help to promote weight reduction and prevent overeating.

    In a study from 2016, ten women who were overweight were given the option of drinking a placebo, fennel, or fenugreek tea before lunch. 

    Those who drank fenugreek tea claimed to feel more satisfied than when they were hungry. Fenugreek fiber extract seed powders might give a feeling of fullness because of their high fiber content.

  6. Reduces The Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease

    Fenugreek could assist in regulating cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure, which might enhance cardiovascular health and lower the chance of developing heart disease, as shown by the study[9].

    This might be because fenugreek seeds have a dietary fiber content of 46%.

    In addition to being extremely difficult to digest, dietary fiber creates a viscous gel in the intestines which hinders the absorption of fats and carbohydrates.

  7. Reduces Menstrual Pain

    Medical systems have traditionally utilized fenugreek seeds to treat pain. Alkaloids found in the herb are thought to help block sensory receptors which allow the brain to sense pain.

    52 women with painful menstrual cramps participated in a 2014 study[10], using powdered fenugreek seed capsules 3 times per day for the first 3 days of their cycles for 2 consecutive months.

    Between the months, they had pain that lasted less time and fewer symptoms.

Side Effects Of Fenugreek Seeds

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that fenugreek seeds are usually considered safe.

However, fenugreek seeds, especially at higher doses, might have unwanted effects, such as flatulence, diarrhea, and lightheadedness.

A large reduction in sugar could also be brought on by high doses. Fenugreek should be avoided if you take diabetes medication as it might cause hypoglycemia because of this.

Additionally, fenugreek could lower potassium levels. Fenugreek should not be consumed by patients who are taking drugs to lower blood potassium levels, such as certain diuretics.

Fenugreek might potentially cause[11] reactive allergies. To be safe, avoid fenugreek if you have coriander, peanut, or chickpea allergy.

Additionally, there have been some occurrences of liver damage in individuals who took excessive quantities of fenugreek.

Dosage Of Fenugreek Seeds

Clinical investigations have utilized several formulations and doses. A trial evaluating the use of a hydroalcoholic extract of fenugreek seeds in individuals having Parkinson’s disease at 350 mg twice daily for 6 months was conducted.

Studies in patients having hypercholesterolemia and type 2 diabetes have used fenugreek seed powder ranging from 1.9 grams to 2.6 grams taken 3 times daily.

Additionally, 5.2 grams to 8.2 grams were given daily for the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea and 450 mg twice daily of a standardized extract was given for the treatment of postmenopausal symptoms.

This government paper[12] states the dosage of fenugreek but it is better to consult your doctor regarding the dosage. Your doctor could direct you on the dosage, keeping in mind your medical condition and other medication intakes.

Conclusion

Fenugreek is a cooking spice that has health benefits for several unrelated ailments, including poor libido, diabetes, menstrual cramps, and a lot more.

Fenugreek is also used to increase nursing moms’ ability to produce breast milk. There is not much data to back up the assertions as of currently.

Although fenugreek is usually thought to be harmless, some people could experience diarrhea, flatulence, and nausea. Fenugreek could be used as a liquid extract or a supplement in addition to its culinary applications.

It has no recommended dosage. Supplemental fenugreek’s long-term safety is uncertain. You should avoid it if you use diuretics or diabetes medicine because of its impact on potassium and sugar.

It is always better to consult your doctor or health expert before beginning the consumption of fenugreek as they could suggest you the appropriate dosage of this seed according to your health.

+12 References/Sources

Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.

  1. Kalyan C Nagulapalli Venkata, Anand Swaroop, Debasis Bagchi, et al. A small plant with big benefits: Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn.) for disease prevention and health promotion Mol Nutr Food Res. 2017 Jun;61(6). doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201600950. Epub 2017 Apr 27. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28266134/
  2. Mahmoud Bahmani, Hedayatollah Shirzad, Mahmoud Mirhosseini, et al. A Review on Ethnobotanical and Therapeutic Uses of Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graceum L) J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2016 Jan;21(1):53-62. doi: 10.1177/2156587215583405. Epub 2015 Apr 27. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25922446/
  3. Arpana Gaddam, Chandrakala Galla, Sreenivas Thummisetti, et al. Role of Fenugreek in the prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus in prediabetes J Diabetes Metab Disord. 2015; 14: 74. Published online 2015 Oct 2. doi: 10.1186/s40200-015-0208-4
  4. Vida Ghasemi, Masoomeh Kheirkhah, and Mohsen Vahedi The Effect of Herbal Tea Containing Fenugreek Seed on the Signs of Breast Milk Sufficiency in Iranian Girl Infants Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2015 Aug; 17(8): e21848. Published online 2015 Aug 15. doi: 10.5812/ircmj.21848
  5. Kilambi Pundarikakshudu, Deepak H Shah, Aashish H Panchal, et al. Anti-inflammatory activity of fenugreek ( Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn) seed petroleum ether extract Indian J Pharmacol. Jul-Aug 2016;48(4):441-444. doi: 10.4103/0253-7613.186195. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27756958/
  6. Elizabeth Steels, Amanda Rao, Luis Vitetta Physiological aspects of male libido enhanced by standardized Trigonella foenum-graecum extract and mineral formulation Phytother Res. 2011 Sep;25(9):1294-300. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3360. Epub 2011 Feb 10. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21312304/
  7. Kiyan Heshmat-Ghahdarijani, Neda Mashayekhiasl, Atefeh Amerizadeh, et al. Effect of fenugreek consumption on serum lipid profile: A systematic review and meta-analysis Phytother Res. 2020 Sep;34(9):2230-2245. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6690. Epub 2020 May 8. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32385866/
  8. Jocelyn R Mathern, Susan K Raatz, William Thomas, et al. Effect of fenugreek fiber on satiety, blood glucose and insulin response and energy intake in obese subjects Phytother Res. 2009 Nov;23(11):1543-8. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2795. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19353539/
  9. Soleyman Bafadam, Maryam Mahmoudabady, Saeed Niazmand, et al. Cardioprotective effects of Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graceum) seed extract in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats J Cardiovasc Thorac Res. 2021; 13(1): 28–36. Published online 2021 Jan 13. doi: 10.34172/jcvtr.2021.01
  10. Sima Younesy, Sedigheh Amiraliakbari, Somayeh Esmaeili, et al. Effects of Fenugreek Seed on the Severity and Systemic Symptoms of Dysmenorrhea J Reprod Infertil. 2014 Jan-Mar; 15(1): 41–48.
  11. Fenugreek Last Updated: August 2020 Available from: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/fenugreek
  12. Fenugreek Last Update: January 29, 2018 Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK548826/

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