As we get older, there are different aspects of our health that we have to take extra care of. In her later years, a woman might find that she is losing her sex drive. On top of this, troubles with blood sugar and chronic inflammation can contribute to even more health problems. The good news is, the herb fenugreek benefits the body in ways that can help you stay your healthiest self.
Fenugreek is an herb related to soy, and it’s seeds, leaves, and roots have been used traditionally by systems of medicine like Ayurveda (the Indian sister science of yoga) and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Fenugreek has a ton of nutrients like choline, fiber, vitamins A and D, B vitamins, and antioxidants that give it its myriad health benefits.
Fenugreek Benefits for Your Libido
Libido is a hot topic among older women, mainly because along with the hormonal changes that come with age, often comes a lowered sex drive. Luckily, however, research shows that fenugreek could help boost a woman’s libido. In one 2015 study, 80 women were recruited and some took a supplement including 600 milligrams of fenugreek extract while the other group took a placebo. Compared to the placebo group, those taking the fenugreek experienced an increase in free testosterone as well as sexual desire and arousal.
Fenugreek for Blood Sugar
Fenugreek may also be beneficial for those with diabetes and blood sugar issues. The seeds from fenugreek contain high amounts of fiber, which is an essential nutrient for blood sugar management. On top of this, results from a 2009 study showed that a daily dose of 10 grams of fenugreek seeds soaked in hot water helped control blood sugar in subjects with type 2 diabetes. Another study found that eating baked goods made with fenugreek flour, like bread (which you can make at home), helped to reduce insulin resistance in diabetic subjects.
Fenugreek for Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is a condition in which the immune system is in a constant state of stress and response, and begins attacking otherwise healthy cells. Chronic inflammation is linked to a host of health conditions including arthritis, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and more. Fenugreek, because of its high antioxidant count and other nutrients, has been shown to be a powerful fighter against inflammation. Results from one study showed that extract of fenugreek seeds significantly reduced inflammation in subjects with arthritis. The researchers concluded that this was because of the linolenic and linoleic acids found in fenugreek extract.
How to Use Fenugreek
There are plenty of different ways you can use fenugreek to reap all of its health benefits. Note that fenugreek may cause GI upset in some people, leading to things like diarrhea and stomach aches. It has also been reported to cause dizziness and headaches in some, so as always, get your doctor’s OK before trying fenugreek.
You can purchase fenugreek seeds at your local grocery store in the spice aisle, and they have a sweet, nutty flavor that’s common to Indian cooking. You can use them in traditional Indian recipes like masalas, or use them as a supplement by soaking them overnight and then eating them in the morning on an empty stomach. This is said to help with issues like blood sugar control. Otherwise, you can purchase fenugreek extract online and take it according to package instructions. For a product we love, try this one from Amazing Formulas ($9.50, Amazon).
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.