What we know as METHI in local language, fenugreek is more than 4000 B C older and native to Indian subcontinent and Pakistan. Largest producer in the world is of course India, but you can find fenugreek in many parts of the world like Egypt, france, spain, turkey, morocco and china. It is interesting to know that fenugreek can work on lowering blood sugars, improve glucose tolerance, reduce joint pains, reduce cholesterol and improve digestibility. Lets see this wonder vegetable in detail.
Nutritional Profile (100 g):
Fenugreek leaves (per 100g of edible portion)
carbohydrates: 6.0 g
protein: 4.4 g
Fat: 0.9 g
Minerals: 1.5 g
calcium: 395 mg
Phosphorus: 51 mg
Iron: 1.93 mg
total Energy: 49 kcal
Medicinal and curative properties:
Fenugreek is very well known galactagouge – a substance that increase milk supply in lactating women.
In one study it is found that fenugreek is efficient in lowering cholesterol and enhances glucose tolerance. Its antidiabetic effects are well accepted.
Traditional Chinese medicine science uses fenugreek as effective pain reliever and a medicine that disperse cold .
In india traditionally fenugreek seeds are soaked overnight and taken on empty stomach to ease joint pain.
When taken regularly along with Ajwain (carom seeds) Fenugreek works towards increasing digestive power.
How to choose best?
There are basically two types of leafy fenugreek, one is with big leaves and less salty, and one is with small leaves ,saltier than the other , this small one is known as “samudra Methi” since it is grown near the sandy tracks along sea side.
How to consume?
As said earlier we can use fenugreek both as leafy vegetable and dried seeds. The seeds can be roasted and used in wide variety of dishes like sambhar, dals, pickles, vegetable dishes etc.
The leaves can be chopped and used to make salads, vegetable dishes etc.
Chose the darkest coloured non wrinkled bunch with biggest of leaves. Remove the stems and store in refrigerator covered in paper or plastic bag.
When to avoid?
Although there are no side effects registered for taking fenugreek, but in certain special cases the leafy veg should be avoided, for example patients undergoing blood thinning medication like warfarine should avoid excess of fenugreek leaves as it contains ample amount of vitamin K.
Lets conclude with one more interesting fact – Kasuri methi, which gives the appetizing aroma to Punjabi food comes from Qusar , Pakistan and they are grown in dry beds of river Sutlej in india and Pakistan. Lets have our own methi.