Fenugreek Saponins are derived from Trigonella foenum-graecum an annual plant in the family Fabaceae, with leaves consisting of three small obovate to oblong leaflets. Fenugreek is cultivated worldwide as a semiarid crop and its seeds are a common ingredient in dishes from South Asia. Fenugreek seeds have two distinct parts, the fibers and the bitter Saponins.
Saponins are glucosides with foaming characteristics. Saponins consist of a polycyclic-aglycones attached to one or more sugar side chains. The aglycone part, which is also called sapogenin, is either steroid (C27) or a triterpene (C30).
Fenugreek is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber and a wide variety of nutrients. It is high in minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium and zinc. It contains good amounts of vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folic Acid and Pyridoxine (vitamin B6). Fenugreek contains non-starch polysaccharides such as Saponins, Mucilage, Hemicellulose, Tannin and Pectin which help in lowering the levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood.
The Fenugreek seeds contain several phytochemical compounds such as Choline, Gitogenin, Trigonelline Diosgenin, Tigogenin, Yamogenin and Neotigogens, all of which contribute to the medicinal properties of fenugreek. The 4-hydroxyisoleucine is an amino acid found in fenugreek seeds helps lower the rate at which glucose is absorbed in the intestines, thus lowering the blood glucose levels in diabetic patients when consumed regularly.
Fenugreek is used in the Management of Blood Sugar and serum cholesterol levels in people with diabetes. The intake of fenugreek decreases the blood glucose level in type-2 diabetes patients by delaying digestion of sucrose and increases insulin secretion.
Another application of Fenugreek is in weight management. Fenugreek promotes early satiety and is less calorically- dense and lower in fat and sugars. It is also used in the management of ypercholesterolemia, Gastrointestinal tract related diseases and Hypertension. Studies by Indian scientists stated that fenugreek included in the diets of type-1 diabetic patients, assisted to decrease urinary sugar level by 54%. A particular amino acid (4-hydroxyisoleucine) in fenugreek promotes the secretion of insulin therefore, 15-20 grams of fenugreek consumed everyday is good for managing blood sugar levels.
Feenugreek Saponins have a great role to play in:
· Controlling blood-sugar levels
· Lowering cholesterol
· Improving libido
· Improves exercise performance
· And has excellent anti-inflammatory properties.