What is Fenugreek?

what is fenugreek

We know it’s been a while, but we haven’t forgotten to elaborate about fenugreek.  Many of the readers that have been with us for a long time know that we’ve talked about fenugreek before.  We’ve told you about the benefits and how awesome it can be, enhancing your sex life, improving your digestive system, and lowering your cholesterol.  You know about the risks that may be involved when it comes to fenugreek supplementation, especially for diabetics.  What we haven’t really talked about is exactly what fenugreek is.  It’s probably a good idea to understand what you’re putting in to your body, where it comes from, and how it’s made.

Fenugreek History

To give you a bit of history; Fenugreek was first formally farmed and marketed in the eastern civilizations, over in Asia.  For thousands of years, humans have cultivated and consumed fenugreek.  We have found seeds in the middle east that can be dated back to 4000 BC and even in the tomb of Tutankhamen.  King Tut was around back in 1300 BC.  It’s unlikely that our ancient ancestors used fenugreek for anything other than a meal compliment though.  We didn’t learn about the health benefits until modern medicine came around [1].

What is Fenugreek?

Fenugreek is actually a type of bean from the Fabaceae family of plantae.  Like most beans, fenugreek can be dried and eaten as a snack, though the taste can be bitter without any sort of flavor additives.  Some curries around the world use fenugreek as an ingredient, especially potato curries created in India and the surrounding countries.  In Egypt, it’s common to discover mashed fenugreek seeds mixed with maze to create pita breads, which are a mainstay in the Egyptian menu book.

Why Should You Use Fenugreek

Apart from being used in foods of the different cultures around the world, fenugreek is purchased by big pharma to be manufactured in to medicines and supplements for people with ailments or looking for a little life assistance.  This brings us back to the different benefits that we care about in the health and fitness world.  An eight week study completed by the Journal of Sports Science Medicine found that combining fenugreek extract with creatine leads to improved athletic performance.  Professional athletes have made the combination ubiquitous in their training since there are few side effects [2].

Where To Get Fenugreek?

Hardy enough to be grown, cultivated, and harvested in most environments, the preferred climate is always a dry one.  India is a monster producer, accounting for something like 50% of the entire world’s supply of fenugreek.  European and North American countries also dabble in fenugreek production.  You’d think this would cause prices to drop but that’s not really the case since many supplements now include fenugreek.  With very few side effects and no reported cases of allergic reactions, one can understand the appeal and allure.  Fenugreek extract can be found in both pre and post workout shake mixes as well as in tablet or capsule form for those who wish to avoid ingesting other ingredients commonly used in the shake mixes.

References

  1. Chris Poole,1 Brandon Bushey,1 Cliffa Foster,1 Bill Campbell,2 Darryn Willoughby,3 Richard Kreider,4 Lem Taylor,1 and Colin Wilborncorresponding author1
    The effects of a commercially available botanical supplement on strength, body composition, power output, and hormonal profiles in resistance-trained males
    J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010; 7: 34.
    Published online 2010 Oct 27. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-7-34
  2. Lem Taylor,1,2✉* Chris Poole,3,* Earnest Pena,1,* Morgan Lewing,1,* Richard Kreider,4,* Cliffa Foster,1,* and Colin Wilborn1,2*
    Effects of Combined Creatine Plus Fenugreek Extract vs. Creatine Plus Carbohydrate Supplementation on Resistance Training Adaptations
    J Sports Sci Med. 2011 Jun; 10(2): 254–260.
    Published online 2011 Jun 1.
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