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Fenugreek: properties, nutritional values, real effectiveness of fenugreek-based supplements and all the information on fenugreek in the kitchen.
Thefenugreekis an annual plant of the family ofFabaceae, its seeds are commonly consumed in typical dishes of the Indian subcontinent.
The origin of fenugreek
The origin of thefenugreekit is uncertain, however, that charred fenugreek seeds have been recovered in Iraq, dating back to the Bronze Age. The seeds of fenugreekwere considered a very valuable food, just think that the dried seeds offenugreekwere found in the tomb ofTutankhamun. Only at a later time, fenugreek was grown as a food source for livestock.
Today, the major producing countries offenugreekthey are Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran, Nepal, Bangladesh, Argentina, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey and a few European countries such as Spain and France.
Fenugreek in the kitchen
The distinctive scent of the fenugreekit is dictated by the stolon or sugar lactone.
Thefenugreekit is used both as a spice (for its scent) and as a vegetable to be used fresh or dried. Of thefenugreekseeds, fresh or dried leaves and tender shoots are consumed. Fenugreek seeds are often roasted, ground and used as a spice. They are used in the preparation of curry and sometimes also of garam masala, another cornerstone of Indian cuisine. Even the leaves offenugreekfresh can be used in the preparation ofIndian curry. The seeds, as well as the sprouts, can be used to flavor salads.
In India, fenugreek is known asSamudra methi, particularly around Mumbai where it is often grown in the sandy soil belt of the coast,samudra, in fact, it means "ocean" in Sanskrit. The fenugreek, samudra methiit is grown in dry rivers in the plains of the Ganges.
In Indian bazaars and markets, the fenugreekit is sold in bundles. When the fenugreekit is marketed fresh, during the harvesting phase neither roots nor soil residues are removed so as to allow it to last longer.
Thefenugreekit is not an exclusive Indian dish. In Turkish cuisine, fenugreek is used to make a paste known asCemen. In Persian cuisine, the leaves offenugreekthey are calledshanbalile and are the key ingredient in ghormeh sabizi and eshkeneh, (herb stews) known as Iran's national dishes.
Again, in Egyptian cuisine, the seeds offenugreekare added to the Aish merahrah mash, a sort of Egyptian pita / flatbread made fromfenugreekand corn. These are loaves about 50 cm in diameter, left to rise with natural yeast for a whole night.
TheYemeni Jewsthey use thefenugreekto prepare hibeh, a condiment with a flavor that vaguely recalls that of curry. Thefenugreekis a ceremonial dish that Yemeni Jews consume on the night of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana.
As is clear, thefenugreekit is a very popular food in different cultures. In Italy it is mainly marketed in the form of supplements, extracts and capsules.
Other uses of fenugreek
Cultivation of thefenugreekit does not have human nutrition as its sole purpose. It is grown to feed livestock but also for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. In Eritrea and Ethiopia, fenugreek is used in natural medicine for the treatment of diabetes.
It is recommended during breastfeeding to stimulate milk production in mothers.
In Italy and other Western countries, the sale of fenugreek is mainly in the form of a supplement. In the past it was assumed that fenugreek could have slimming properties and aiding in weight loss, unfortunately there is not enough scientific evidence to support this belief.
Fenugreek, nutritional values and properties
Every 100 grams of fenugreek leaves provide the following nutritional values.
- Power:calories of fenugreek - 49 kcal
- Carbohydrates, 6 g.
- Fat: 0.9 g.
- Protein: 4.4 g.
- Calcium: 395 mg.
- Iron: 1.93 mg.
- Phosphorus: 51 mg.
- Water: 88.7 g.
Thefenugreekit is an excellent source of calcium and a good source of iron. As stated, in Italy, thefenugreekit is proposed as a dietary supplement for weight control.
The effectiveness of thefenugreekto lose weight, it would lie in the plant's ability to reduce the absorption of sugars in the intestine. Who intends to take tablets based onfenugreekfor weight loss you should know that the active ingredient of this plant is trigonellin. Trigonellin is an alkaloid known for its appetite stimulating properties.
Fenugreek, where to buy it
To make the most of the virtues of fenugreek it is possible to take it in the form of supplements as well as in its food form. For all the info, please refer to the official Amazon page.