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The Health Benefits of Fenugreek, One of Nature's Top Antioxidant Foods

The health benefits of fenugreek are primarily due to its exceptional antioxidant content. Fenugreek contains significant amounts of the antioxidants vitamin C, quercetin, rutin and superoxide dismutase. Other nutrients include protein, niacin and potassium. It is one of the richest sources of phytoestrogens and is thus a very useful spice for women who have low estrogen levels.

Fenugreek is also one of the richest sources of selenium. Selenium supports the activity of the network antioxidants and enhances their effectiveness. It's also an essential component of two important antioxidant enzymes that are manufactured by your body, glutathione peroxidase and thioredoxin. These enzymes provide you with benefits for your cardiovascular system, as well as strengthening your immune system against a wide range of other chronic diseases. Selenium appears to also have a protective effect against a range of cancers, including those of the colon, lung and prostate, when consumed regularly.

Herbs and Spices are some of the Top Antioxidant Foods

It's a little-known fact that herbs (and spices) have far greater concentrations of antioxidants than any common fruit or vegetable source. Herbs also contain a particularly wide variety of antioxidants as well, making them one of the top antioxidant foods around.

Antioxidants are nutrient compounds found in virtually all plant foods. Antioxidants can be vitamins, minerals, or other phytochemicals (plant chemicals). The primary job of antioxidants is to protect your cells against the oxidative stress caused by free radicals, considered to be the primary cause of the aging process. The benefits of antioxidants include powerful protection against all types of degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, macular degeneration, Alzheimer's disease, and many more.

Antioxidants work together, synergistically, and each one has its own specific characteristics and benefits. One antioxidant may work in places in the body where another one can't go, and neutralize free radicals that other antioxidants miss. Therefore, getting the widest variety of antioxidants is just as important as how much of any one antioxidant you get, and herbs are one of the easiest ways to do this.

The specific health benefits of fenugreek include its use to treat arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, improve digestion, maintain a healthy metabolism, increase libido and male potency, cure skin problems, treat sore throat, and cure acid reflux. Fenugreek is also being studied for its cardiovascular benefits. Due to its estrogen-like properties, it has been found to lessen the effect of hot flashes and mood fluctuations that are common symptoms of menopause and PMS.

Recent studies have shown that the health benefits of fenugreek help lower LDL cholesterol, while raising HDL levels, in your bloodstream. Another health benefit is its ability to reduce abnormal blood clotting associated with heart attacks and strokes.

Fenugreek has similar anti-diabetic properties to cinnamon. It's one of the most valuable spices for the control of blood sugar levels and thus the prevention and treatment of Type 2 diabetes.

Fenugreek has been shown to have a strong effect on glycogen replenishment in endurance athletes. These athletes need to maintain a readily available supply of energy. In order to achieve this, muscle carbohydrates in the form of glycogen must be continuously replenished. When glycogen stores become depleted, the athlete has to rely on external sources of energy such as high carbohydrate drinks, which are inferior to glycogen as an energy source.

Recommendations for Herbs and Spices It's not enough for you to use herbs and spices periodically to get the full antioxidant benefits they offer; you must consume larger quantities on a daily basis. And once you discover all of the health benefits of spices, you'll want to get more than the small bottles you see at the supermarket. Those won't go very far and will cost many times more by the pound than if you buy in bulk.

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