Have you wondered about the characteristic aroma of curry powder? It's because of the spice, fenugreek!
Curry powder is a mix of many spices but it's the fenugreek which gives curry that special flavor.
Fenugreek has a long history in Mediterranean and Asian cuisine. The seeds and leaves give a pungent aroma and have a slight bitter taste. Ayurveda (a ancient study of holistic lifestyle), has long valued the medicinal value of fenugreek and attributes this to its bitterness.
5 Ways Fenugreek Boosts Health
1. Healthy blood sugar
Fenugreek contains the aminoacid, 4- hydroxyisoleucine which improves insulin action. Also the fiber, galactomannan slows the sugar uptake in the blood.
A two month study on type 2 diabetes patients showed a drop in blood sugar levels. Researchers also reported better insulin sensitivity, a favorable factor in those suffering with diabetes.
2. Lowers cholesterol levels
Fenugreek works in 2 ways to reduce cholesterol.
It's high in fiber and also contains saponin, a phytochemical. Saponins work by preventing absorption of cholesterol from foods.
Plus, the fiber forms a viscous liquid which binds to bile acids and removes them. This causes the liver to use body's cholesterol reserves to make more bile acids.
A tablespoon of fenugreek seeds gives about 3 grams of fiber about 11% of the daily value.Tweet
Use a teaspoon of fenugreek in the form of powder or seeds in your cooking everyday. This helps to fight off cancerous cells in your body.
A laboratory study showed that extracts of fenugreek prevent growth of cancer cells. Fenugreek was effective in pancreatic, breast, and prostate cancer cell lines in particular. The same study also showed that fenugreek was effective against human colon cancer cells.
4. Promotes healthy weight
It is rich in nutrients and high in fiber. It's a natural fat burner, helps digestion, improves satiety of food. These 3 factors are key for maintaining a healthy weight.
Besides, fenugreek is esteemed for it's help with maintain blood sugar levels as mentioned above. This is crucial for maintaining a healthy body weight.
5. Soothes your tummy
If you have stomach ulcers or indigestion problems, fenugreek is something you want to stock up on right away.
The seeds reduce gas, and the mucilage (sap-like substance in the seed) fights heartburn, gastritis, and constipation. It lowers the inflammation of the intestinal lining and treats stomach ulcers.
Is it safe to eat fenugreek everyday?
Fenugreek seeds and leaves are safe to eat everyday.
In fact, pregnant and lactating mothers often know about fenugreek for its positive effects. It's the go-to holistic remedy to boost a low milk supply for nursing moms.
Fenugreek leaves and sprouts are great micro-greens to add to most salad.
The leaves are great for making tortillas too. Add chopped leaves to the tortilla dough, knead well and make tortillas like usual. It's nutritious and tastes great.
Fenugreek seeds are perfect for soups, stir fry, sauces and marinades. Fenugreek is most often known for it's use in curry recipes.
Keep in mind that fenugreek does have a bitter taste and you won't want to use huge quantities of the powdered form.
A few tips to reduce fenugreek's bitterness
Roast: Roasting fenugreek seeds brings down its bitterness
Saute: Saute leaves in ghee, this makes it smell amazing and also reduces its bitterness
Sprout: Sprouted fenugreek seeds are less bitter than regular seeds. Sprouts are best add ons to salads. Fenugreek leaves are less bitter when compared to the seeds.
Combine: Fenugreek seeds in combination with other spices, makes a great medley of flavor. Curry dishes are the most popular use.
Yours in health,
P.S. Please spread the word about fenugreek and remember to leave me a comment below.