Scientific Name: Trigonella foenum-graecum
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is native to southern Europe and Asia. Fenugreek seeds are yellow with a bitter taste and a distinctive maple syrup-like aroma. If the seeds are heated, they have a sweet taste similar to maple syrup or brown sugar. The seeds are ground and used as an ingredient in curry. Fenugreek is also used medicinally to treat diabetes.
Fenugreek seeds contain many vitamins and minerals which have antioxidant properties that may be important for the immune system and other bodily functions. The B vitamins in the seeds are important for maintaining overall health, in which thiamin (21% daily value [DV]) is essential for glucose metabolism, and it plays a role in nerve, muscle, and heart function. Riboflavin (22% DV) is involved in the metabolism of nutrients, red blood cell building, and iron absorption in the body. Vitamin B6 (30% DV) is important for the immune system. This B vitamin may also reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease and support nerve health.
Fenugreek seeds are a good source of minerals like potassium (22% DV), iron (186% DV), phosphorus (30% DV), magnesium (48% DV), manganese (61% DV), and copper (56% DV). Potassium is involved in controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Iron is essential for red blood cell production. Phosphorus aids in building strong and healthy bones, strengthens muscles, regulates heart rate, and supports nerve conductivity. Magnesium promotes calcium absorption, helps the body build new bone cells, and regulates nerve and muscle activities. Fenugreek seeds are also a rich source of dietary fiber (98% DV), which helps with smooth digestion, relieves constipation ailments, and better regulates blood sugar levels. Because the seeds increase the feeling of satiety, they may help suppress one's appetite.