Fenugreek is a plant grown all across South Asia, North Africa, and the Mediterranean region. Used widely as a spice, fenugreek offers a number of health benefits that many of you are not aware of. The rich content of vitamins and minerals, presence of antioxidants, have made this aromatic plant one of the most sought-after herbal treatments for diabetes and other ailments. Having a rich content of what is known as soluble fiber, Fenugreek is considered one of the greatest remedies for controlling diabetes in different parts of the world.
Let us see how the plant is used for the effective management of diabetes in the article that follows:
Fenugreek Benefits for Diabetes
Several studies have shown that fenugreek seeds contain high amounts of fiber that slows down the fat absorption in blood leading to lowering of blood sugar levels. Also, it increases the amount of insulin produced by pancreas. More effectively the insulin is produced, more effectively it absorbs the blood glucose and lesser it paves the way to diabetic symptoms like high cholesterol and obesity. Here is a snapshot of the major benefits of fenugreek in controlling diabetes.
1. Stay Satiated with Proteins
The amino acid content in fenugreek seeds lets the body feel satiated for longer periods decreasing the hunger cravings and thus, excess blood sugar. They also increase insulin sensitivity to enable glucose absorption by cells.
2. Soluble Dietary Fiber
Perhaps this is one of the biggest factors why fenugreek seeds are so beneficial for diabetics. A fenugreek seed consists of 98% dietary fiber, called Galactomannan. This fiber results in high glucose tolerance.
Best Ways To Consume Fenugreek for Diabetes Control
Fenugreek finds home in every Indian kitchen. Be it South Indians cooking sambhar, Bengali fish curry or Punjabi methi paratha, the spice is used in various forms. For management of blood sugar, fenugreek can be used in following ways.
1. Roasted Fenugreek Seeds
Put a handful of methi dana in a non-stick pan. Roast them in medium to high heat while constantly stirring. As they turn crisp golden, take them out in a spice box. Now you can add these seeds to curries, stir-fry dishes, salads or uttapams.
2. Herbal Fenugreek Tea
Both its leaves and seeds can be used to prepare herbal fenugreek tea. If you are using the seeds alone, first crush them in a mixer. Next, put them in boiling water and let them boil for 5 to 6 minutes. Now take a cup and pour some lemon juice in it followed by few droplets of honey. Filter and pour out the boiling water in the cup. And here goes your home made herbal tea!
Another alternative to this recipe is to use the combination of fenugreek leaves and seeds. Herein, boil both the seeds and leaves in a container with boiling water. Using a sieve, filter out the seeds and leaves. Drink the resulting water. When repeated twice a day for a few weeks, the tea significantly reduces blood sugar levels.
3. Fenugreek Extract
If you have a packed schedule, this would be the most convenient method for you to take fenugreek. Crush the seeds and leaves slightly in a pestle and mortar. Take out the mixture in a bowl. Now pour a cup of boiling water over it. Stir continuously till it becomes a paste. Store the paste in a jar and take a small spoon twice to thrice a day.
4. Raw Fenugreek Leaves
Wash and dry the leaves. Eat them raw or use them in chapattis, parathas, idlis, or dosas.
5. Sprout Salad
Soak the seeds in a container, preferably a plastic sprout maker or a steel bowl. Cover it with a glass lid. Make sure the lid has holes to let air in. Keep them soaked till you see the sprouts shooting up from the seeds. When sprouted completely, mix them with vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, onion, mint and capsicum. If you are fond of spicy taste, put in a pinch of chat masala, squeeze a lemon and there you go. What a mouth watering breakfast, plus healthy too.
Risks Associated with the Consumption of Fenugreek for Diabetes
1. Allergic Reactions
Fenugreek seeds are known to cause allergies. Not only that, the fiber content in the plant could come in the way of the body reacting to different type of medicines and drugs that you might be taking. As such, it is of great importance that you need to take an expert advice before including fenugreek and its different forms in your regular diet.
2. Maple Syrup-Like Smell
The regular consumption of fenugreek in its various forms have been known to cause a maple syrup like smell. This is particularly caused under the armpits of the person taking the same. After regular research, it has been concluded that this peculiar smell is caused due to the presence of a chemical named dimethylpyrazine.
We hope that the above article has been helpful in bringing forth the importance of fenugreek in diabetes treatment and how the same can be used in different forms to manage diabetes effectively. However, do take into consideration some of the risks that might be involved and consult an expert before including the same as part of your diet!