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What Are The Health Benefits Of Fenugreek?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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What are the health benefits of fenugreek? Fenugreek is an herb that has been used in alternative and Chinese medicine for thousands of years to treat skin conditions and other health diseases. Fenugreek comes in seeds and powder and has been used in many Indian food dishes.

What are the health benefits of fenugreek? – Photo credit: iStock-Sadasiba behera

The Nutrition Facts of Fenugreek seeds are:

  • Fiber- 3 grams
  • Protein- 3 grams
  • Carbs- 6 grams
  • Fat- 1 grams
  • Iron- 20% of the Daily Value
  • Manganese- 7% of the Daily Value
  • Magnesium- 5% of the Daily Value

Fenugreek has a fairly balanced and healthy nutritional profile as it contains a good amount of fiber, minerals, iron, and magnesium. There has been research has shown that fenugreek can help increase breast milk production.

There was a small 14-day study conducted among 77 women who breastfed. And it found that women who drank herbal tea with fenugreek seeds increased their breast milk production. And the result from this was that babies gained more weight.

Men are known to take fenugreek dietary supplements because of its ability to increase testosterone levels.  There was an 8-week study of 30 college aged men who lifted weights 4 days a week and half of them took 500 mg of fenugreek supplements.

And the other half didn’t take anything. The non-supplemental group saw a decline in their testosterone levels whereas the group that took fenugreek supplements saw an increase in their testosterone. And the fenugreek supplement group also saw a 2% decrease in bodyfat.

“Fenugreek has a fairly balanced and healthy nutritional profile as it contains a good amount of fiber, minerals, iron, and magnesium. There has been research has shown that fenugreek can help increase breast milk production.” – Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike

It is also known to increase a person’s libido. There was a 6-week study where 30 guys took 600 mg of fenugreek and they saw an increase in their libido/sex drive. These are small studies, and more research still needs to be done but the small data gives quite a bit of optimism on the possibilities.

Some of the preliminary clinical trial research has shown that some of the health benefits of Fenugreek are:

  • That 3 studies shows it can help suppress your appetite.
  • Some small scientific evidence research shows it can reduce your cholesterol levels.
  • The herb has reduced inflammation in mice and rats. And more studies need to be done on humans before it can say it can do this for humans.
  • There was a small 2-week study where it helped reduced heartburn.
  • There were also some studies that showed that taking fenugreek can lower blood sugar levels. The studies showed a 13.4% reduction in blood sugar levels 4 hours after intake. It has showed that the high fiber content in it is probably the reason the dip in blood sugar.

The Bottom Line is fenugreek is an herb that is commonly used in Indian dishes that has a lot of positive health benefits such as increasing testosterone levels, reducing cholesterol levels and lowering blood sugar levels.

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References

  1. Vyas S, Agrawal RP, Solanki P, Trivedi P. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of Trigonella foenum-graecum (seed) extract. Acta Pol Pharm. 2008 Jul-Aug;65(4):473-6. PMID: 19051589.
  2. Dawid-Pać R. Medicinal plants used in treatment of inflammatory skin diseases. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2013 Jun;30(3):170-7. doi: 10.5114/pdia.2013.35620. Epub 2013 Jun 20. PMID: 24278070; PMCID: PMC3834722.
  3. DiSilvestro RA, Verbruggen MA, Offutt EJ. Anti-heartburn effects of a fenugreek fiber product. Phytother Res. 2011 Jan;25(1):88-91. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3229. PMID: 20623611.
  4. Bordia A, Verma SK, Srivastava KC. Effect of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) and fenugreek (Trigonella foenumgraecum L.) on blood lipids, blood sugar and platelet aggregation in patients with coronary artery disease. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 1997 May;56(5):379-84. doi: 10.1016/s0952-3278(97)90587-1. PMID: 9175175.
  5. Stark A, Madar Z. The effect of an ethanol extract derived from fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) on bile acid absorption and cholesterol levels in rats. Br J Nutr. 1993 Jan;69(1):277-87. doi: 10.1079/bjn19930029. PMID: 8457534.
  6. Mathern JR, Raatz SK, Thomas W, Slavin JL. 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. PMID: 19353539.
  7. Chevassus H, Molinier N, Costa F, Galtier F, Renard E, Petit P. A fenugreek seed extract selectively reduces spontaneous fat consumption in healthy volunteers. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2009 Dec;65(12):1175-8. doi: 10.1007/s00228-009-0733-5. Epub 2009 Oct 7. PMID: 19809809.
  8. Abdel-Barry JA, Abdel-Hassan IA, Jawad AM, al-Hakiem MH. Hypoglycaemic effect of aqueous extract of the leaves of Trigonella foenum-graecum in healthy volunteers. East Mediterr Health J. 2000 Jan;6(1):83-8. PMID: 11370345.
  9. Steels E, Rao A, Vitetta L. 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. PMID: 21312304.
  10. Wilborn C, Taylor L, Poole C, Foster C, Willoughby D, Kreider R. Effects of a purported aromatase and 5α-reductase inhibitor on hormone profiles in college-age men. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2010 Dec;20(6):457-65. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.20.6.457. PMID: 21116018.
  11. Turkyılmaz C, Onal E, Hirfanoglu IM, Turan O, Koç E, Ergenekon E, Atalay Y. The effect of galactagogue herbal tea on breast milk production and short-term catch-up of birth weight in the first week of life. J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Feb;17(2):139-42. doi: 10.1089/acm.2010.0090. Epub 2011 Jan 24. PMID: 21261516.
  12. USDA- US Department Of Agriculture https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdcapp.html#/food-details/171324/nutrients
  13. Basch E, Ulbricht C, Kuo G, Szapary P, Smith M. Therapeutic applications of fenugreek. Altern Med Rev. 2003 Feb;8(1):20-7. PMID: 12611558.

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