Fenugreek seeds are rich source of minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients. 100 g seeds provide 323 calories.
The seeds are a very good source of soluble dietary fiber. Soaking the seeds in water makes their outer coat soft and mucilaginous. 100 g of seeds provide 24.6 g or over 65% of dietary fiber.
Non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) which constitute major fiber content in the fenugreeks includesaponins, hemicellulose, mucilage, tannin, and pectin. These compounds help lower blood LDL-cholesterol levels by inhibiting bile salts re-absorption in the colon. They also bind to toxins in the food and help to protect the colon mucus membrane from cancers.
NSPs (non-starch polysaccharides) increase the bulk of the food and augment bowel movements. Altogether, NSPs assist in smooth digestion and help relieve constipation ailments.
It has been established that amino-acid 4-hydroxy isoleucine present in the fenugreek seeds has facilitator action on insulin secretion. In addition, fiber in the seeds helps lower rate of glucose absorption in the intestines thus controls blood sugar levels. Fenugreek seeds are therefore one of the ingredient that recommended in the diabetic diet.
The seeds contain many phytochemical compounds such as choline, trigonelline diosgenin, yamogenin, gitogenin, tigogenin and neotigogens. Together, these compounds attribute for the medicinal properties of fenugreeks.
This prized spice is an excellent sources of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, manganese, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure by countering action on sodium. Iron is essential for red blood cell production and as a co-factor for cytochrome-oxidases enzymes.
It is also rich in many vital vitamins that are essential nutrients for optimum health, including thiamin,pyridoxine (vitamin B6), folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A, and vitamin-C.
Its seeds have been used in many traditional medicines as a laxative, digestive, and as a remedy for cough and bronchitis.
If used regularly, fenugreeks may help control cholesterol, triglyceride as well as high blood sugar (glycemic) levels in diabetics.
Fenugreek seeds added to cereals and wheat flour (bread) or made into gruel, given to the nursing mothers may increase breast milk production.
Excess intake of fenugreek seeds by pregnant mothers would put them in risk of premature childbirth.
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