Nutrition

How To Use Fenugreek Seeds for Diabetes?

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Fenugreek is an aromatic plant that is widely used for culinary and medicinal purposes. The plant, which is widely grown in South Asia, North Africa and parts of the Mediterranea, has small round leaves and also produces long pods that contain distinctive bitter-tasting seeds.

Fenugreek lis available and sold in many forms -

  • Fresh Leaves (Methi)
  • Sprouts
  • Microgreens (Young greens sized 1–3 in, with aromatic flavor & concentrated nutrient content)
  • Dried Leaves (Herbs)
  • Seeds (Whole and Powdered)

Nutrient Profile of Fenugreek Seeds

Fenugreek seeds are highly nutritious and contain the following elements

  • Proteins
  • Starch
  • Fibre
  • Vitamins : A, B, C, and Folic Acid.
  • Minerals : Iron, Zinc, Sodium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Calcium, Magnesium

What are the Health Benefits of Fenugreek Seeds?

  • It is high in soluble fibre, which assists in maintaining uniform blood sugar levels. It has also been shown to increase insulin production.
  • Fenugreek seeds have been used for ages by lactating mothers to increase breast milk production.
  • Fenugreek seeds also aid in weight loss.
  • Fenugreek seeds also possess antioxidant properties, which protect the cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.
  • Studies suggest that Fenugreek seeds can also act as anti-cancerous by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. It should not be taken, though, for hormone-sensitive cancers.
  • It also relieves the painful symptoms of dysmenorrhea and is also helpful for some symptoms in postmenopausal women.
  • The high potassium levels in Fenugreek seeds help maintain a healthy blood pressure range and reduce the risk of stroke.
  • Fenugreek seeds are recommended for the treatment of arthritis, heartburn, kidney disorders, stomach problems, fertility issues, sexual dysfunction in men, high cholesterol, bronchitis, skin abscesses, wounds, rashes, boils, hair loss, etc.

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What are the Benefits of Fenugreek Seeds in Diabetes?

In recent years, fenugreek has been the subject of several studies investigating its potential role in managing diabetes.

  • Fenugreek seed extract significantly improves blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Daily consumption of fenugreek seeds for three months can aid in improving fasting blood sugar levels and HbA1c levels.
  • Taking 15 grams of powdered fenugreek seed with a meal reduced the increase in post-meal blood glucose.

How do Fenugreek Seeds help in managing Blood Sugar Levels?

  • Fenugreek seeds are a natural way to help manage diabetes and may offer some benefits for blood sugar control.
  • Fenugreek seeds are high in fibre, which slows down digestion and absorption of carbohydrates and sugars by the body. This helps to regulate blood sugar levels and prevent sudden spikes or falls.
  • They contain a compound called 4-hydroxyisoleucine, which has been shown to increase insulin secretion and improve glucose tolerance.

How should Fenugreek Seeds be consumed?

A common query about Fenugreek that most people with diabetes wonder is how to take it. There are several ways in which Fenugreek seeds can be consumed for better control of diabetes:

  • Fenugreek water - Soak a teaspoon of Fenugreek seeds in a glass of water overnight. In the morning, strain it, and drink on an empty stomach to lower the fasting blood sugar levels.
  • Fenugreek tea – Coarsely crush a teaspoon of Fenugreek seeds and add to a cup of boiling water. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover the vessel, and let it stand for 5 minutes. Strain and drink. You can also add tea leaves or mint leaves for additional flavour.
  • Fenugreek sprouts - Fenugreek sprouts can be made by soaking Fenugreek seeds overnight and tying them in a cotton cloth in the morning. It will sprout in 2-3 days and can be eaten in small quantities daily. They are high in fibre content, which helps regulate blood sugar levels.
  • As a spice or condiment - Fenugreek seeds can be added while cooking vegetables, rice dishes, etc. Fenugreek seeds powder can be added to soups or yoghurt too. It is also added to certain pickles.
  • Concoction - Fenugreek seeds can also be combined with other herbs for increased efficacy. Mix Amla powder (Indian gooseberry), fenugreek seeds powder, and turmeric in equal quantities, and consume a teaspoon of this mixture thrice daily with water to control diabetes.

Bottomline

Fenugreek plays a crucial role in controlling blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. It is a natural way of lowering blood sugar levels. This herb has high soluble fibre content that slows digestion and absorption of carbohydrates and sugars. It also increases insulin secretion and improves glucose tolerance.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much Fenugreek seeds should I take in a day for diabetes?

You can take 5-10 g of Fenugreek seeds with meals in a day to help control your diabetes.

2. Is it safe to eat Fenugreek seeds for people with diabetes?

As Fenugreek seeds lower the blood sugar levels, you must inform your physician before starting it so that he can monitor your sugar levels and adjust your antidiabetic medications to prevent hypoglycemia.

3. Are there any side effects of Fenugreek seeds?

Overconsumption of Fenugreek seeds can cause allergic reactions in sensitive people, such as bloating, headache, foul smell from armpits, diarrhoea, etc.

4. Is it safe to consume Fenugreek during pregnancy?

No. Fenugreek should not be consumed during pregnancy as it can induce uterine contractions.

5. Are there any interactions of other medications with Fenugreek seeds?

Fenugreek seeds are high in fibre, so it might hinder with proper absorption of certain oral medications. It is advisable to keep a difference of a few hours between taking your regular medications and Fenugreek seeds. You can also talk to your doctor about it.

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