An aromatic herb, fenugreek is used both medicinally and in cooking. It is a vital component of curries and other Indian dishes.
The plant, which is commonly cultivated in South Asia, North Africa, and some regions of the Mediterranean, has tiny round leaves and also develops long pods that contain seeds that have a characteristic bitter flavour.
The leaves, also known as methi, are either sold as a vegetable (fresh leaves, sprouts, and microgreens) or a herb (dried leaves), whereas the seeds are used as a spice both whole and in powdered form.
Fenugreek is a well-liked cooking ingredient that is also utilised in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. It has a number of health advantages.
How does it affect diabetes?
Soluble fibre, which is abundant in fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenum graecum), lowers blood sugar by delaying the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. This implies that they might work well for the treatment of diabetes.
Numerous studies have been conducted to look at the possible anti-diabetic properties of fenugreek.
Of these, multiple clinical studies revealed that fenugreek seeds can reduce blood sugar levels and enhance glucose tolerance in people to alleviate the majority of metabolic symptoms related to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
According to one study, patients with insulin-dependent type diabetes who added 100 grams of defatted fenugreek seed powder to their daily diets saw significant drops in their fasting blood glucose levels, improvements in their glucose tolerance, and reductions in their LDL or “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides.
In a separate study, it was discovered that taking 2.5 grams of fenugreek twice daily for three months decreased blood sugar levels in people with mild, but not severe, type 2 diabetes. This was in contrast to a controlled trial where adding 15 grams of powdered fenugreek seed to a meal consumed by people with type 2 diabetes reduced the rise in post-meal blood glucose.
What other health benefits does it have?
Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in fenugreek seeds are abundant and aid in preventing free radicals from harming the body’s cells.
Nursing women have used them for centuries—and they still do—to encourage the production of breast milk both during pregnancy and after delivery. They are frequently utilised as a herbal treatment for colds and sore throats because of their potent antiviral effects.
Additionally, researchers think fenugreek seeds may be helpful in treating conditions like heartburn, arthritis, high cholesterol, bronchitis, abscesses, hair loss, constipation, upset stomach, kidney problems, male impotence, and other sexual dysfunctions.
Where can I buy it?
Fenugreek leaves (methi) and seeds can be found in most Asian food stores, while herbal supplements containing fenugreek seed powder and/or fenugreek seed extract in capsule form are available through most health food companies.
Before using fenugreek to treat your lower blood sugar, consult your GP and diabetes healthcare team to ensure it is safe. As with other blood sugar-reducing herbs, there is the risk that fenugreek may cause your blood sugars to go too low ( hypoglycemia ) when taken alongside prescribed diabetes drugs. As a result, the dose of your anti-diabetic medication might need to be changed .