What Is Fenugreek?
Fenugreek is a pleasant looking plant with its round, light green leaves and small white flowers. The plant grows up to 3 feet tall. Fenugreek leaves and seeds are most well known for a myriad of health benefits, and commonly used throughout Asia in many dishes. The fenugreek seeds can be used whole or ground.
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Scientifically tagged as Trigonella foenum-graecum, fenugreek is a legume and member of the pea family. Fenugreek is a valuable herb in terms of diversity and health benefits, which range from increasing breast milk, through to balancing the digestion. (Know in details about 20 Great Herbs to use)
The benefits for health are well known and all around the world people are adding fenugreek to their base spice group. The pods of the plant are full of fenugreek seeds, which have a lovely golden brown color.
Fenugreek Leaves Nutrition Value
The light green fenugreek leaves are a wonderful addition to many Asian dishes. Of course, you can diversify with your own style to add fenugreek leaves to your cooking, and why wouldn’t you when they are packed with goodness?
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From a nutrition perspective, for every 100 grams fresh fenugreek leaves, there are approximately 49 calories, 1g fat, 6g carbs, 1g dietary fiber, and a fantastic 4g protein. Fenugreek leaves are particularly well known for their benefit to the gut. They are commonly used to create and maintain a gastral balance when attempting to lose weight. Here you find more about fenugreek leaves nutrition value.
Fenugreek Seeds Nutrition Value
Fenugreek seeds are easy to add to your cooking, and are packed full of health benefits. In a similar way to the fenugreek leaves, the fenugreek seed is very good for the gut and digestive system and will aid in weight loss. (Check this post Low Fat Low Calorie Meal Ideas for Losing Weight)
For every 100g, there are calories 323mg, fat 6.4g, sodium 67mg, carbs 58g, dietary fiber 25g, protein 23g, magnesium 191mg, phosphorus 296mg, , potassium 770mg.
The fenugreek seeds can be ground for best flavor dispersion when adding to meat dishes, but in soups, stews, or other slow cooked wet dishes you can leave it whole and it will soften during the cooking process. Read more about fenugreek seeds nutrition value here.
Benefits of Fenugreek Seeds
As an Aid in Weight Loss
To aid in weight loss you can use the fenugreek seed soaked in plain water, or added with a few light ingredients such as celery or cabbage as a soup. These ought to be consumed in the morning on an empty stomach. The fenugreek fiber will swell into the fluid and allow the stomach to feel fuller, thus creating an appetite suppressant.
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Soothing Heartburn and Acid Reflux
You only need a single teaspoon of fenugreek to be able to make a significant reduction in acid reflux and heartburn. These conditions are terrible uncomfortable to experience, but the mucilage of the fenugreek can become coated in the stomach and subsequently cause a wonderful soothing for the gut. The stomach contents become notably settled with the addition of soaking the seeds, as this allows a higher yield for mucilaginous substance from the fenugreek.
One of the components that offers wonderful health benefits in the fenugreek is the steroidal saponins. It is these that allow for great reduction to the fat deposits that are held throughout the body. In particular, there is a reduction to the levels of LDL. The fenugreek also acts as an inhibitor to the absorption of cholesterol and triglycerides.
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Prevents Heart Diseases
Fenugreek is able to make changes to the osmosis process, particularly in relation to the increased potassium, reducing the level of sodium that may otherwise cause heart disease. The secret ingredient of fenugreek that is most responsible for this process is called galactomannan.
Here you can read about 21 top fenugreek benefits in details.
Benefits of Fenugreek Leaves
While the fenugreek leaves hold a strong and bitter taste, they are a powerful health addition to the diet, as the health benefits and nutritional enrichment of fenugreek leaves are outstanding. The medicinal properties are well known and documented. Sprouted fenugreek, or fenugreek leaves are recommended to be added at least two to three times per week to the diet for optimal health benefits. It may surprise you to learn of the following distinct health benefit to come from fenugreek.
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The fenugreek leaves will boost strong liver functions, and are a good treatment for dyspepsia. Fenugreek has an overall benefit to many components of digestion, including the treatment of gastric problems and other intestinal issues. Both dysentery and diarrhea can be cured with the fenugreek leaves, with other digestion benefits in helping to balance the stomach pH levels.
To create fresh breath, the fenugreek leaves can be dried and ground. These should then be mixed with a small amount of lemon juice into a paste. Then heat them to enable a beneficial exchange from the composition of both the acid lemon and bitter fenugreek. Once the substance has cooled, it is ready to use. You will notice a difference very quickly to the breath, which is great news for those suffering with halitosis.
You can use fenugreek leaves to noticeably reduce blemishes and skin marks.
Here is the process.
Crush the leaves and apply to the skin. Let them sit for a minute or two before gently washing your skin with warm, clear water. The cells beneath the skin are responsive to the components of the fenugreek leaf and will become settled in pigment.
Prevents Blood Sugar
Diabetes can be helped with fenugreek or fenugreek leaves. It has been widely demonstrated to reduce the blood sugar levels. Often the fenugreek is tested again flaxseed, which is also known to have similar properties and health benefits. The fenugreek is frequently shown to be superior in the ability to notably reduce blood sugar; this can be up to 25%. The fenugreek should be soaked in a light tea and consumed in the morning.
Reduces Cholesterol Level
Fenugreek leaves have a great influence on both blood lipid levels and in the purpose of lowering atherosclerosis. People, experience strong lipid fluctuations, will quickly see a difference by incorporating this herb into their diet. The fenugreek should be soaked overnight for the best results. The strained fluid can be easily consumed in the morning. The fenugreek will reduce levels of cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides while increasing necessary HDL levels.
Read more about top fenugreek benefits here.
Substitutes of Fenugreek Leaves or Seeds
Sometimes fenugreek leaves can be difficult to obtain. In this case, there are several replacements and substitutes that you can use for your fenugreek inclusive recipes. While you cannot obtain precisely the same taste or texture, you can certainly come close with some of these substitutions.
Here are 7 substitutes of fenugreek leaves and seeds listed for you.
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1. Maple Syrup
A common component to both fenugreek and maple syrup is sotolone. This chemical component gives both fenugreek and maple syrup their distinct aromas.
If your dish is not too salty, you can get away with a teaspoon of maple syrup, which should always be added at the end of preparation due to its fast dispersal. This will give you the same beautiful aroma that you would have with the fenugreek.
Do be mindful not to over sweeten your food by adding too much maple, it is very sweet.
2. Mustard Seeds
There are several variety of mustard seeds, particularly differing in color. The yellow mustard seed is very similar to fenugreek as a taste but is much stronger. So be careful not to add too much. If you crush and heat the mustard seeds, you will allow the dissipation of some components of the mustard seed, almost diluting the substance; this can result in a very similar taste ideally suited to the replacement of fenugreek seed.
3. Curry Powder
Curry powder usually contains fenugreek seeds that have been ground to powder. A small amount of curry powder can be a fantastic substitute for the flavor of fenugreek in your favorite recipes. Don’t add too much as the curry powder contains several other spices that can be very dominant, especially in the aroma of the food.
4. Spinach or Kale
These greens will not match the flavor for the food but are a great substitute for both nutritional substance and the texture that you may want in your food. Fenugreek leaves are added to many Asian recipes, but if you cannot access these, then collard greens, spinach or kale is a great go to.
5. Celery Leaves
Celery leaves are probably the closest match in terms of texture, vibrance, as well as holding a similar bitter taste that will benefit your fenugreek strong recipes. The celery leaf is also packed with nutrients and can be a great addition to stir fried dishes.
6. Fennel Seeds
If you are brave to try a stronger tasting replacement, fennel seeds may be a great way to go. Although the fennel is sweeter and quite potent, if used in smaller amounts, it can be very complimentary to the other ingredients common in fenugreek recipes.
Alfalfa and watercress are milder versions of the celery leaf; you simply cut them up and add them as a replacement to the meal. You can be more liberal with these in the meal than the stronger substitute of celery leaves. Also by adding both alfalfa and watercress, you are mixing up the textures and colors which is also pleasing.
Storing Fenugreek Leaves
We should store fenugreek leaves in a cool and dry place. If the leaves are preserved perfectly after being dried, we can use them up to 6 months.
Do you want to know more about fenugreek benefits? Then check this post.