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Fenugreek – Fights Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity

Although fenugreek seeds are widely used in recipes of countries in the Middle East and Far East, in the West it is not as good as many other spices.

Fenugreek not only imparts characteristic and tangy flavor to food but also contains some very important properties for disease prevention.

In traditional medicine, fenugreek has been used to treat a number of conditions including diabetes, sore throat, and in poultry used to treat sores and abscesses. Recent investigations into the medicinal properties of this spice suggest that it is important not only for the prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, but also for the improvement of normal physiological processes, especially in athletics.


As with most spices it contains many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds such as apigenin,

genistein, kaempferol, quercetin, rutin, selenium and superoxide-dismutase. It also contains compounds such as trigonelline which have been shown to inhibit the degradation of nerve cells in neurodegenerative diseases.

Medicinal properties of fenugreek

Cardiovascular disease and blood lipids

Fenugreek has a strong modulating effect on blood lipid levels and can significantly reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. In diabetes, which is usually caused by lipid imbalances, it has been shown to have a remarkable ability to lower cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL levels and raise HDL levels. Another property of fenugreek is to reduce platelet aggregation, which greatly reduces the risk of abnormal blood clotting associated with heart attacks and strokes. Like most spices, fenugreek also contains many important antioxidants and has the added benefit of protecting other dietary and internally produced antioxidants from free-radical damage. This has important cardiovascular benefits, as well as helping to strengthen the body against a range of other chronic conditions.


Fenugreek, which has anti-diabetic strength comparable to cinnamon, is one of the most valuable spices to control glucose metabolism and thus prevent and treat Type II diabetes.

Because of its numerous properties it helps prevent and treat diabetes in many ways.

Working in a similar way to the common antidepressant drug glibenclamide, fenugreek reduces cellular insulin resistance and regulates blood glucose homeostasis. It has been shown to reduce blood glucose levels of Type II diabetes by as high as 46 percent.

It also increases the levels of some important antioxidants and reduces the harmful oxidation of diabetes-related lipids.

As an added benefit, fenugreek seeds are very rich in a type of dietary fiber that modulates post-prandial blood glucose levels by delaying sugar absorption in the intestines. This mucilaginous fiber reduces the absorption of fat and cholesterol from the intestines and thus provides additional protection against heart disease and obesity.


Fenugreek is also effective against diabetes-related cataracts that commonly occur in diabetes. The enzymes that control glucose uptake into the lens of the eye do not normally function in diabetes and, as a result, glucose and its metabolites, fructose and sorbitol, accumulate in the tissues of the lens. Lenses of diabetic patients are also prone to damage by enzymes that would normally protect against destructive free radicals, and a combination of these factors leads to a gradual truncation of the lens called cataract. As fenugreek has been shown to partially reverse the metabolic changes in the lens and reduce cataract density, it is likely to be even more effective as a prophylactic agent against cataract formation in diabetes.

Alzheimer’s diseases and other neurodegenerative diseases

Fenugreek contains the compound trigonellene which has been shown to stimulate brain cell regeneration. This property has prompted further research to see if it can help prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.


One of the biggest difficulties facing athletes competing in endurance events is maintaining a readily available energy supply in the body. To achieve this, muscle carbohydrate stores, in the form of glycogen, must be continuously replenished. Where it lasts more than an hour and a half, glycogen stores are depleted, and for the rest of the event the athlete must rely on external sources of energy, such as high carbohydrate drinks, which are less than glycogen as a source. energy. Re-synthesis of glycogen after departure is very important, and the two hours immediately after prolonged exercise is the crucial time for this process.

Fenugreek has been shown to have a strong effect on glycogen replenishment; post-event re-synthesis increased by over 60 percent in some endurance athletes. Although its effects on glycogen re-synthesis have not been tested during departure, fenugreek is likely to have an equally beneficial effect during, and after, exercise.


Fenugreek is one of the richest sources of phytoestrogens so it is a very useful spice for women with low estrogen levels. Phytoestrogens are also believed to help protect against certain types of cancer, and fenugreek may be proven to have anti-tumor effects if this property is investigated in the future.


Fenugreek is one of the richest sources of selenium, which is among the most important antioxidant micronutrients. When consumed regularly, selenium appears to have a protective effect against a range of cancers, including those of the colon, lungs, and prostate. Recent evidence also shows that selenium helps prevent the progression of HIV and other chronic viral illnesses.

While other spices like chicken and cinnamon have the culinary and medicinal headlines, the research on fenugreek is showing us that this spice has health benefits in line with the spices of the best known spices.

It is important to understand, however, that synergy between different spices contributes to the bioavailability and efficacy of their respective bioactive compounds. Therefore, to get the most benefit from fenugreek, it is important to use it with other common spices to prevent and treat diseases.

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