Fenugreek belongs to a family of bitter greens and is a quiet and understated super-food! Given its bitter taste profile, this produce is often neglected! However, both – the leaves as well as the seeds of the plant are packed with robust nutrients; and even a cupful of the greens or a tablespoon of the seeds can go a long way toward providing you many vital nutrients. Fenugreek nutrition facts are incredible and all-embracing, and this green spice provides you a whole host of health benefits.
Trigonella foenum-graecum L. or fenugreek or methi leaves are found in a select few dishes – methi malai mattar, methi thepla, aloo methi and a couple more. The leaves have an earthy, grassy, bitter and slightly sweet flavour profile. The fairly bitter seeds find their way into some of our curries, chutneys, and pickles. Interestingly, the seeds are frequently used in traditional medicine in India, Greece, North Africa and the Middle East.
One of the healthiest greens!
Fenugreek leaves benefits are pretty outstanding; this powerhouse green meets two important criteria – it is strongly associated with a diminished risk for chronic diseases and 1 cup serving of the greens provides most of the essential nutrients.
A wee bit bitter tasting, the tiny green leaves contain a whopping amount of vitamins and minerals and boast of unbelievable cholesterol reducing benefits. Moreover, research propounds that the leaves can help control your appetite too. The tiny yellow seeds proffer ample defense against diabetes and pack-in extraordinary health benefits especially for you, ladies!
Overall, the fenugreek is a very rich source of medicinal compounds that have a toning effect on the body, and both the leaves and the seeds can be used for this purpose.
Let’s dive into the fenugreek nutritional value - the leafy green lends a very small quantity of calories per cup, yet manage to offer in loads of fibre, plenty of vitamins A and C, anemia-preventing iron, fatigue-fighting magnesium and immune-boosting copper.
What is kasuri methi? What are the health benefits of kasuri methi?
Kasuri methi is an ancient and somewhat frequently used aromat. It is basically dried methi leaves and is employed to add a distinct flavor and fragrance to the dishes. Kasuri methi shines through in Paneer Makkhanwala, methi roti and raita! Technically, kasuri methi is pounded and sprinkled over curries and gravies just before serving; this promises to add bags of flavour to the dish and makes it an exceptional garnish that completely transforms any dish. Dried methi leaves are also used by Ayurvedic practitioners to promote digestion and to induce labour. Kasuri methi benefits are similar to that of the fresh leaves and you must find ways to sneak this green into your menu!
Buying and storing methi
When purchasing, always opt for quality kasuri methi; the leaves should be pesticide, chemical and mould free and healthy. Furthermore, when you buy fenugreek seeds, opt for organically grown seeds. Tata Sampann Kasuri Methi is of the Nagauri variety, which is greener, contains less amount of extras such as stems and has the optimum level of moisture. Kasuri methi as well as methi seeds should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from moisture. The dried leaves and the seeds keep well for about 6 months. When selecting fresh fenugreek, always buy brightly coloured leaves; steer clear of yellow leaves and those that are drooping. Store methi in a paper towel in the refrigerator, where it will stay fresh for 2 to 3 days. Before cooking, wash the methi leaves under running water to get rid of dirt; if necessary, you should soak the leaves for about 5 minutes to eliminate stubborn grime.
Why should you integrate methi into your diet?
The health benefits of fenugreek are nothing short of spectacular. It has a beneficial effect on all the vital organs of the body, helps thwart a multitude of illnesses and diseases and is an incredible natural remedy that deals with disorders related to the female reproductive system. Let’s understand fenugreek nutrition, below are 7 noteworthy health benefits of this food:
1. The fenugreek is heart-friendly! One of the healthiest foods for your heart, the methi leaves benefits are absolutely tremendous! Fenugreek can bring down cholesterol levels successfully, especially the LDL cholesterol, thereby preventing a buildup of plaque and atherosclerosis and consequently playing a pivotal role in maintaining good heart health. Case studies and controlled trials have revealed that methi decreases LDL and total cholesterol minus the healthy cholesterol —all brilliant news for your heart! These ultra-powerful seeds serve up loads of belly-filling, heart-friendly fibre. What’s more, the seeds as well as the leaves are a good source of potassium. This effectively negates the action of sodium and can help maintain normal blood pressure levels. Studies show that those who include a tablespoon of methi seeds into their diet-regimen see a lower incidence of hypertension - one of the methi dana benefits.
2. Methi stabilizes blood sugar levels in diabetics. Consuming methi has been linked to healthier blood sugar levels. The soluble fibre present in methi decelerates the rate of absorption of sugar into the blood stream. As it contains the amino acid which is in charge of the manufacturing of the hormone insulin, methi is good for diabetics. Packed with fibre and low on the glycaemic index, methi leaves and methi seeds help improve blood glucose control and prevent the occurrence of sugar spikes which could cause insulin resistance - one of the many uses of methi dana. So, stock up on this super-food that will keep your blood sugar well-balanced.
3. Helps shed unwanted weight. Consuming fenugreek on a daily basis is a good way to shed all those undesirable kilos and keep them off for good. The soluble fibre in fenugreek swells and fills the stomach; and consequently suppresses your appetite, quells those hunger pangs and facilitates weight loss. Indeed, fenugreek is a powerful belly-fat crusader that burns tummy fat by revving up your metabolism, boosting the release of fat from fat cells, and enhancing digestion.
4. Maintains an optimally working gastric system. Research demonstrates that numerous digestive troubles such as acidity, constipation, bloating and indigestion can be effectually tempered by fenugreek. The generous amounts of fibre and antioxidants help flush out injurious toxins from the body and boost digestion appreciably. Begin your day with a glass of methi paani – it allays indigestion, constipation and stomach pain, if you are prone to indigestion. Reduce bloating, lose weight and feel better with this super-food!
5. Combats menstrual cramps. Methi is chockfull of estrogen-like chemicals which greatly diminish the discomfort and anguish of menstrual cramps. They also deal with hot flashes and mood swings that are fairly common before the period commences. Importantly, women tend to suffer from iron deficiency and including this leafy green in your diet provides you with a good amount of iron. A healthy dose of methi leaves or methi seeds can be the miracle cure that you've desperately needed to relieve agonizing menstrual cramps. Taking a decoction of methi seeds during the first three days of your period proffers wonderful results. You could also add a generous amount to your dals and curries or slip some in to your dosa batter.
6. Methi is an excellent galactagogue. Fenugreek has been used traditionally to augment the milk supply in lactating women. And now, research claims it to be an excellent galactagogue – which is primarily due to the presence of diosgenin in the seed which increases the manufacture of milk in nursing mothers. You can include methi sprouts and methi leaves into your diet; however, do confer with your OB/GYN before embarking on a specific routine. Fenugreek sprouts benefits are now quickly gaining ground and fitness enthusiasts kick-start their day with a spoonful of these powerhouses.
7. Guarantees a radiant skin. Fenugreek is a good source of vitamin C, which acts as a highly potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. It helps to tackle skin ailments giving you a blemish-free radiant complexion. Methi is perfect to tackle pesky acne, it helps get rid of those unsightly scars and also treats eczema, dermatitis and infections. It is a beauty food which helps build a gorgeous skin from the inside out. Make sure you integrate plenty of the leafy greens into your diet and also incorporate methi seed powder into your skin care routine by using it as a scrub and a masque to slough off dull, unhealthy skin and enhance your complexion significantly.
Adding methi to your diet
1. The best way to consume methi seeds for medicinal purpose is to make a decoction. Soak the seeds for an hour; thereafter, boil for a few minutes, strain and drink. The benefits of drinking methi water are noteworthy and almost instantaneous. Those looking to make a lifestyle overhaul should begin their day with this brew.
2. You can also roast the seeds for a few minutes; then grind them into a powder and use a smidge daily in your curries and gravies.
3. A devious way of getting your supply of methi dana, and quantifying the methi dana benefits, is by adding it to the dosa batter! Soak a handful of the seeds along with urad dal and rice for 6 hours and then make the batter.
4. Yet another one of the uses of methi dana is by preparing methi laddoo - a rather unconventional dessert option of getting in loads of methi dana into your diet. One laddoo provides you with a burst of energy to jump-start your day and also promises to stabilise blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels. Actually, the methi ladoo can be your go-to wholesome dessert that is sure to delight your taste buds and shape your waistline! However, do remember that the thing with desserts is that they are - sweets, so they do have jaggery, sugar and calories. Hence, it’s a matter of portion sizes; don’t go overboard!
5. Methi malai matar is by far the yummiest way of having fenugreek. The combination of flavours is subtle yet dramatic! The fabulous balance of the creamy milk, the peas and the fenugreek is simply divine! At the heart of the dish is methi – fresh leaves and dry leaves; and it helps fight diabetes, reduce cholesterol, blast fat and manage a long list of other ailments.
6. Methi roti is a truly wholesome way of integrating the fantastic green into your meals! A nutritious bread which is an ideal option since it combines whole wheat flour and fresh fenugreek leaves. Make it restaurant-quality by dusting with black sesame seeds and adding a dollop of butter!
7. Fenugreek sprouts deserve an important place in your menu! Sprouted methi seeds have many benefits on metabolic disorders and impart powerful antioxidant effects shielding the body from free radical damage. The process of sprouting seeds considerably enhances their nutritional value as well as digestibility. Soak the seeds overnight in warm water; next morning, you can add them to your smoothie, salad, or soup.
Now that you know the multiple ways in which methi in its various forms can help you achieve better health, make sure you make the maximum use of this wonderous ingredient.
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