Fenugreek vs Fennel - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
The main goal of this article is to compare two herbs; fenugreek and fennel. We will discuss their nutritional profiles and the impact on human health. Fenugreek and fennel are different in appearance and taste. The fenugreek seed is a legume, while fennel seeds come from the fennel plant.
Fenugreek is also known as methi, a culinary herb, used for the flavor. It belongs to the Fabaceae family and is cultivated worldwide. Fenugreek is native to the Mediterranean region and Asia. The taste is bitter when eaten raw, and sweet and flavorful when it is cooked. Fennel is a flowering plant, belonging to the Apiaceae family. It is also native to the Mediterranean region but cultivates in many parts of the world. Raw fennel has a mild licorice flavor, but when it is cooked, the taste becomes more delicate  .
Fenugreek is mostly used as an ingredient in Indian cuisine. In Indian subcontinent usually uses yellow or amber-colored fenugreek seeds. It is used in vegetable dishes, dal, pickles, and spice mixes. Florence fennel is one of the main herbs that is used in absinthe. The bulb and fruits of the fennel are used in salads, garnishes, or as flavor sauces.
You can find various charts and infographics on the bottom of our page that visually show the nutritional profile of fennel and fenugreek.
Generally, fenugreek is richer in micronutrients than fennel. It contains more fats, carbs, protein, and fiber. Moreover, fenugreek contains less sugar than fennel. On the other hand, fennel has less saturated fat. Both contain no cholesterol .
Fenugreek has more calories than fennel. Its calories amount is 10 times higher. Fenugreek has 323 calories per 100 g, whereas fennel has 31 calories per 100 g.
Overall, fenugreek is richer in minerals, than fennel. It contains 13 times more iron, 3 times more calcium, and 10 times more magnesium. The levels of copper, zinc, and phosphorus are also higher in fenugreek. Nonetheless, the fennel contains less sodium  .
Potassium is an important mineral, which helps muscles work and lowers the risk of kidney stones. Our body cannot produce potassium; it comes from the food we eat. In this case, fenugreek has a higher potassium amount. It contains 770 mg per 100 g, whereas fennel has 414 mg per 100 g  .
The vitamin content of fenugreek is higher than that of fennel. This herb contains 30 times more Vitamin B1, 10 times more Vitamin B2, and 11 times more Vitamin B6 than fennel. The amount of Vitamin B3 and Folate is also higher. On the other hand, fennel contains more Vitamin C and Vitamin A. The amount of this Vitamin C is 3 times higher in fennel. Both nuts contain no Vitamin K and Vitamin D  .
The glycemic index is a value assigned to foods based on how those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels. The difference between glycemic indexes of these herbs is huge. The estimated glycemic index of fenugreek is 0, whereas the glycemic index of fennel is about 45.
Fenugreek has properties that may affect both types 1 and 2 diabetes; moreover, it may increase general carb tolerance . According to one study, people who took 100 grams of fenugreek within 10 days, experienced better blood sugar levels . These benefits are connected to the high fiber level of fenugreek, especially strong effects seen when fenugreek was used in whole powder or seeds. Nevertheless, studies show that this herb has a role in improving insulin function .
Fennel has strong antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and Vitamin A that may help protect cells against damage from free radicals. Besides, fennel contains folate that can play a role in DNA synthesis and repair, which helps prevent cancer cells from formatting . According to studies, fennel contains limonene, which may help reduce the risk of oxidative stress and has been shown to protect rat cells from damage caused by certain chronic diseases .
Dietary fiber is an essential factor in weight management, which helps people feel full longer. Besides, fenugreek contains vitamin B-6, which plays an important role in energy metabolism by breaking down carbohydrates and proteins into glucose and amino acids. Overall, fenugreek contains more calories than fennel and has more fats and carbs. Fennel is more acceptable in low calories, fats, or carbs diets. However, people usually use these herbs in very small quantities, so calories will not matter so much .
Phytonutrient content in fennel and fenugreek, such as fiber, folate, Vitamin B6 can support heart health. According to one study, people who took 4069 mg of potassium daily had a 49.8 percent lower risk of heart disease, while those who consumed 1793 mg potassium had a higher percent . These herbs also contain nutrients like magnesium, and calcium, which play an important role in keeping your heart healthy. In another study, fiber has been associated with heart disease reduction. Daily 7 grams of fiber intake decreased the risk by 9% .
One of the main reasons men use fenugreek is that this herb may boost testosterone. It has beneficial effects, such as increasing libido. According to one study, 30 men took 600 mg of fenugreek extract. Results show that most participants reported increased strength and improved sexual function . On the other hand, fennel seeds are a good source of phytoestrogens, which may help with hormonal balance in women. Using fennel tea daily basis can reduce hormonal issue risks, such as polycystic ovaries and hyperthyroidism .
According to the mice study, fenugreek extract has anti-inflammation effects. These effects are connected to the high level of antioxidants in fenugreek, such as flavonoids. However, more research is needed in humans . Fennel has a very important nutrient, which is called choline. This nutrient is similar to Vitamin B, and can help with sleep, muscle movement, and reduce chronic inflammation .
The vitamin and mineral content in fenugreek is important in building and maintaining bone structure. According to studies, food that contains high levels of magnesium may help in strengthening bones. Besides, iron and zinc are crucial for the production and maturation of collagen. Fenugreek is a good source of these minerals, which means it prevents bone‐related disorders such as osteoporosis .
Downsides and Risks
Both herbs are safe for health if consumed in fewer doses. However, side effects of fenugreek include diarrhea and indigestion. The side effects of fennel may include sun sensitivity and a mild increase in menstrual flow  .
Fenugreek allergy occurs mainly due to a primary allergy to peanuts. The symptoms usually include swelling in the throat and mouth, difficulty breathing, and severe asthma. People who have an allergy to peach, celery, or carrot may have an allergy to fennel. The symptoms include vomiting, hives, and rash  .
Fenugreek contains more vitamins, minerals, protein, fewer sugars than fennel. On the other hand, fennel has lower sodium, saturated fat, and is cheaper. Fenugreek contains 13 times more iron and 30 times more Vitamin B1 than fennel.
Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in glycemic index|
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in price|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low glycemic index diet|
People also compare
All nutrients comparison - raw data values