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Fenugreek for Diabetes Patients – An Expert’s Advise

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Fenugreek, also known as methi, is a fragrant plant with a wide range of culinary and medicinal uses. Fenugreek is an essential component that adds flavour to curries and many Indian preparations.

The plant gets cultivated in South Asia and North Africa, and portions of the Mediterranean. It has small round leaves and bears long pods with distinctively bitter seeds.

Trigonella Foenum Graecum or fenugreek seeds are rich in soluble fibre. It is excellent in decreasing blood sugar levels as the food is responsible for carefully regulated digestion and absorption of carbs.

Fenugreek is one of the healthiest seeds with a mildly bitter flavour. It is used in cooking and medicinal purposes and is well known for having several health advantages. 

Fenugreek seeds control various health conditions such as body fluids, blood pressure, heart rate, and diabetes mellitus.

In addition, fenugreek leaves are rich in vitamins, minerals, iron, calcium, and proteins, thus increasing their culinary value. 

Fenugreek Seed for Diabetes – What Research Says

Fenugreek seeds are frequently used in Indian kitchens to give food a distinctive flavour. However, these tiny seeds are also jam-packed with several health advantages. For example, an animal study has found that compounds in fenugreek contain anti-diabetic properties.

Various other studies as such, suggest that it is high in soluble fibre, fenugreek seeds reduce blood sugar by delaying the breakdown and absorption of carbs. Therefore, it implies that they might work well in treating diabetes. 

Numerous research looks at the potential anti-diabetic properties of fenugreek. Of these, multiple clinical studies revealed that fenugreek seeds could enhance glucose tolerance in people to alleviate metabolic symptoms related to type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

In addition, the seeds may also increase the amount of insulin released and help the body use sugar more effectively.

Benefits of Fenugreek Seeds for Diabetes Patients

Reduce Glucose Absorption

Diabetes patients frequently have high glucose levels in their intestines. Therefore, increasing the proteins that carry salt and glucose can make hyperglycemia more likely.

According to research, fenugreek seeds slow the rate of glucose absorption. Therefore, the risk of hyperglycemia may be reduced if fenugreek decreases the absorption of high glucose levels in the intestine.

Improve Insulin Sensitivity

When insulin sensitivity is high, our body cells use glucose efficiently. The result is lower blood sugar levels. Participants in a study ate fenugreek seeds for ten days and were under observation. The researchers concluded that fenugreek does have insulin-sensitizing properties.

Prolonged Gastric Emptying

Diabetes can lead to postprandial spikes due to fast stomach emptying. These surges may result in problems and digestive issues.

However, a study on diabetic male rats shows that milk thistle and fenugreek seeds can prolong gastric emptying, which lowers blood glucose levels after meals.

The HealthifyMe Note

Fenugreek’s high fibre content may satisfy you and curb your appetite. Although studies have shown that taking fenugreek supplements may make people feel fuller, there is no proof that this causes them to consume less food. But it can support you in weight loss.

Potential Side Effects of Fenugreek Seeds

Not Ideal for Pregnant Women

Pregnant women should not use fenugreek because it can trigger uterine contractions. In addition, according to a study, there is insufficient data about fenugreek’s safety for nursing mothers. Also, research states that women with hormone-sensitive cancer should not take it.

Smelly Armpits

After prolonged use, some people claim that their armpits begin to smell like maple syrup. Interestingly, research proved these assertions. It discovered certain compounds in fenugreek, like dimethyl pyrazine, were responsible for the odour. The chemical composition of the smell produced by this condition is similar to that of fenugreek and maple syrup.

Allergic Reaction

Allergies are another side effect of fenugreek. It is rare in humans. Before including fenugreek in your diet, talk to your doctor about any potential food allergies you may have. 

Hypoglycemia

Fenugreek seeds cause strong hypoglycemic effects. Therefore, it is wise to consult your doctor before adding fenugreek seeds to your diet, especially if you take blood thinners or medications to control your blood sugar.

Other side effects include diarrhoea, headaches and dizziness. If you feel any of these symptoms, consult your doctor immediately. If in doubt and need a convenient solution, connect with coaches at HealthifyMe to find out whether you should add fenugreek to your diabetic diet

How to Consume Fenugreek Seeds for Weight Loss?

There are several ways to incorporate fenugreek seeds into your daily diet:

Using Warm Water

Drinking fenugreek seeds with warm water is the most popular and beneficial approach to incorporating them into your life.

A daily intake of 10 grams of fenugreek seeds steeped in hot water may help manage type 2 diabetes, according to research.

Fenugreek seed water can lower blood sugar levels and enhance the body’s ability to use sugar. It is beneficial for diabetic patients. You can add other herbs and spices that are also proven to control blood sugar.

Sprouted

Fenugreek sprouted seeds have a substantially lower bitterness and are simpler to digest.

Sprouting seeds can be consumed as a snack or added to salads and chats. (You can add a pinch of himalayan pink salt, pepper, and a little squeeze of lemon juice.)

Add it to Baked Goods.

You can add fresh fenugreek leaves to rotis, parathas, dosas, and idlis.

According to a study, consuming baked products like bread prepared with fenugreek flour may help type 2 diabetics with insulin resistance.

Fenugreek Recipes for Diabetes Patients

Fenugreek Seed Tea

Herbal drinks made from fenugreek seeds, lemon, and honey can effectively treat fever.

  • Put a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds and leaves in a glass of hot water
  • Let it steep for 10 minutes.
  • Flavour with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of honey
  • Strain it.
  • Enjoy your cup of hot tea. 

Fenugreek Sprouts Salad

  • Wash the seeds carefully and soak them overnight to start the sprouting process. 
  • Drain them completely the following morning, wash them, and tie them in a muslin towel. 
  • Till the seeds grow with small green leaves, repeat the method five days in a row. 
  • Once fully sprouted, combine two tablespoons of methi sprouts with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicum, or any other vegetables you choose to use. 
  • Enjoy this nutritious salad after seasoning it with pepper and lemon.

The HealthifyMe Note

Extracts from fenugreek seeds boost lean body mass and decrease cholesterol. In addition, it may lower the risk of cardiac diseases. Linolenic acids, which can have potent anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties, are also abundant in fenugreek seed extracts. Initial research is encouraging, but more is required, especially in humans.

Conclusion

Numerous studies claim that fenugreek does have certain anti-diabetic qualities. It includes increasing insulin sensitivity, postponing stomach emptying, and lowering glucose absorption.

However, because fenugreek can have some unintended side effects, more research is required to determine its efficacy and safety as a treatment for diabetes.

Without first consulting a doctor, a patient shouldn’t cease taking any conventional diabetes treatments, including insulin, fenugreek, or any other alternative therapy.

The Supporting Sources

1. National Institute of Health

https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/fenugreek

2. Yilmaz Z, Piracha F, Anderson L, Mazzola N. Supplements for Diabetes Mellitus: A Review of the Literature. J Pharm Pract. 2017 Dec;30(6):631-638. doi: 10.1177/0897190016663070. Epub 2016 Sep 11. PMID: 27619931.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27619931/

3. Gaddam A, Galla C, Thummisetti S, Marikanty RK, Palanisamy UD, Rao PV. Role of Fenugreek in the prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus in prediabetes. J Diabetes Metab Disord. 2015 Oct 2;14:74. Doi: 10.1186/s40200-015-0208-4. PMID: 26436069; PMCID: PMC4591578.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4591578/#:~:text=Research%20in%20the%20past%20two,subjects%20was%20reported%20%5B9%5D.

4. Kiss R, Szabó K, Gesztelyi R, Somodi S, Kovács P, Szabó Z, Németh J, Priksz D, Kurucz A, Juhász B, Szilvássy Z. Insulin-Sensitizer Effects of Fenugreek Seeds in Parallel with Changes in Plasma MCH Levels in Healthy Volunteers. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Mar 8;19(3):771. doi: 10.3390/ijms19030771. PMID: 29518003; PMCID: PMC5877632.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5877632/

5. Kiss R, Szabó K, Gesztelyi R, Somodi S, Kovács P, Szabó Z, Németh J, Priksz D, Kurucz A, Juhász B, Szilvássy Z. Insulin-Sensitizer Effects of Fenugreek Seeds in Parallel with Changes in Plasma MCH Levels in Healthy Volunteers. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Mar 8;19(3):771. doi: 10.3390/ijms19030771. PMID: 29518003; PMCID: PMC5877632.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5877632/

6. Saadh MJ. Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic activity of combined milk thistle and fenugreek seeds in alloxan-induced diabetic albino rats. Vet World. 2020 Aug;13(8):1732-1736. doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2020.1732-1736. Epub 2020 Aug 29. PMID: 33061252; PMCID: PMC7522935.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7522935/

7. Mebazaa R, Rega B, Camel V. Analysis of human male armpit sweat after fenugreek ingestion: Characterisation of odour active compounds by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry and olfactometry. Food Chem. 2011 Sep 1;128(1):227-35. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2011.02.063. Epub 2011 Feb 20. PMID: 25214354.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25214354/

8. Kassaian N, Azadbakht L, Forghani B, Amini M. Effect of fenugreek seeds on blood glucose and lipid profiles in type 2 diabetic patients. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2009 Jan;79(1):34-9. Doi: 10.1024/0300-9831.79.1.34. PMID: 19839001.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19839001/

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