Aah! Fenugreek! This one ingredient is being used by us humans for ever since time remembers. It has a naturally sweet and nutty flavour to it that you will not relate to unless you have experienced it yourself. Its aroma is refreshing and unlike other green, leafy vegetables, it does not have tints of earthy tones in its aroma. Fenugreek is a common herb used by Indians in their meals. It adds texture and thickness to dishes and has an aromatic addition to food. Chinese medicine has been using this herb extensively to cure ailments relating to the stomach and intestines.
It should come with no surprise that the herb has such a vast range of uses. It can be taken directly by adding it to food preparations, tea, and snack marination. Else, there are products available in the market that have extracted compounds of the herb as an active ingredient. The list is endless when it comes to talking about the benefits of this herb. You will be amazed to know why it is so useful for women who are not producing enough milk (hold on, we will get you there). This article briefly discusses what makes Fenugreek so effective and reasons why you should consider adding this herb in your diet.
Fenugreek – How it is available naturally?
The herb with a long list of benefits does not come from a tree. It instead is a small shrub that grows no longer than 2-3 feet (about 60 to 90 centimetres). It has soft curved leaves and pods that are often filled with a brown coloured seed. The seed too is used extensively for cooking in India and its neighborhoods. The flower is usually white and it too is used to purpose of marination.
When it comes to processing, Fenugreek is used as a whole to derive different products out of it. The leaves are often plucked with hands and either chopped into small pieces, sun dried and sold. The other way it is available is through vegetable market. Vendors collect the leafy vegetable from farmer, tie it in a bundle of certain weight & sell it for a price. The seeds are used as a spice. They give a very fresh and nutty flavour to any food they are added to. In certain cooking methods, the seeds are crushed and added to the food that is being cooked. This gives a different kind of flavour to the dish. Although it’s oil is not available, crushed seeds give out little oil that does the flavouring trick.
Got Fenugreek? Learn how to store it:
Getting a bundle of the herb is not enough. You must know how to store it. Many studies have shown that the way you store vegetables has effect on its properties like taste, aroma, texture and life.
Fenugreek is a leafy vegetable that must be stored properly.
- After you have brought the herb, wash it and dry with a paper towel.
- The presence of excess water can ruin the bundles, be sure to dry it. Do not use dryer for this purpose.
- Decide if you want the stems or not. If you want them; pluck the leaves out and finely chop the stem.
- Store the plucked leaves in a refrigerator friendly glass container with its base covered in a layer of paper towels.
- Avoid using plastic containers. They retain smell and flavour of the herb.
- You can alternatively store the bundle in a thin cotton cloth. Be sure to pat-dry the bundle before wrapping them.
The benefits of Fenugreek on your body:
Fenugreek is an herb that you add to anything, from food to tea and bathing water. It will benefit your body in all forms.
- Cools down the body – ideal during summer
- Enhances flavours without tasting like a chemical compound
- Overnight soaked Fenugreek water when drunk by breastfeeding women increases the production of colostrum by nearly 34 ml.
- Excellent for skin – has anti-aging properties on the skin
- Eases menstrual cramps
- Increases the levels of testosterone
- Flushes out toxins from the blood
- Prevents kidney stones from occurring
- Balances blood’s pH levels
- Helps in increasing hair growth and improves hair health
- Protects nails’ enamel from peeling
- Thickness food items that have gravy
- Can be stored in multiple ways
- Ideal for low impact marination of meat
- Increases sexual performance
- Regulates production of testosterone
- Flushes out excess sugar from the body
- Prevents heartburn
- Lowers cravings
- Helps in the production of breast milk
- Eliminates bad cholesterol from the system
- Controls appetite – aids in weight loss
- Has anti-inflammatory properties
- May help in controlling diabetes
- Have throughout your pregnancy to maintain healthy levels of antioxidants in the body
- Relieves menopause related symptoms
- Eliminates free radicals
- Reduces damage probability from oxidative stress
What about Side-effects? If any?
Fenugreek is a naturally occurring plant that does no harm to the body. But that does not mean you overboard with its consumption. Too much consumption can cause gag reflex paired with belching. This can lead you to losing interest in further consumption. Thus, it is best to overdose on this natural ingredient.
Despite it being natural, chances are you may develop allergic reactions to it. If you feel anything unusual after its consumption, immediately seek medical attention. At times, allergic reactions caused by Fenugreek can lead to asthmatic attacks.
How do I consume Fenugreek?
There are several ways in which you can consume this herb, some are:
- Finely chop it and add in your curries or use it as a seasoning to other meals.
- Boil 1 cup of Fenugreek in 1.5L of water, allow it to cool in fridge and sip throughout the day.
- You can make Indian flat breads out of it.
- Any other way you like to have it
Relevant Links for Fenugreek Research
Fenugreek is an amazing herb. It not only brings balance to your body, but it also repairs the body on various scales. Rich in antioxidants, Fenugreek prevents damage that can happen due to oxidative stress which protects internal system of the body. Its anti-aging properties elaborately decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the skin. You can consume it in whatever way you wish to. In all, Fenugreek when taken correctly can impart superior grade of medical effects on the body without you needing to pop in supplements.
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