Eat Fenugreek to Reduce Blood Sugar Levels, But NOT too Much?
Fenugreek is actually a plant which grows in parts of Western Asia and Europe. The leaves of this plant are edible. However, this plant is famous thanks to its small brown seeds and their use in medicine.
The first initial use of fenugreek was in Egypt and it is dating back to 1500 B.C. Furthermore, across South Asia and the Middle East the seeds of this plant were traditionally used as medicine and spice.
You can purchase fenugreek as skin cream, spice (powdered or whole form), tea and supplement (liquid form and concentrated pill).
How Does Fenugreek Affect Diabetes?
The seeds of this plant also known as fenugreek seeds might be useful and helpful to people that have diabetes. As a matter of fact, these seeds have a fiber and other different chemicals.
These chemicals might slow down digestion and the absorption of the body of sugar and carbohydrates. Also, these seeds might help improve the way the body uses sugar and increases the amount of released insulin.
Some studies report that fenugreek can be an effective treatment for some conditions. Many of the studies focus only on the fenugreek seeds and their ability to reduce blood glucose in people that have diabetes.
According to one study, 10 g of fenugreek seeds soaked in warm water as a daily dose might help in the control of type 2 diabetes.
On the other hand, another study reports that consuming baked goods like bread with fenugreek flour might lower insulin resistance in people that have type 2 diabetes.
Furthermore, an additional study came to the discovery that taking daily high doses of fenugreek for several weeks leads to significant improvements in the levels of plasma glucose.
However, the long-term levels of plasma glucose were not measured in this specific study. According to the NIH, i.e., National Institute of Health at this point, there is weak evidence when it comes to fenugreek seeds and its ability to reduce blood glucose.
Other Health Benefits of Fenugreek
The fenugreek seeds are abundant in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They help protect the cells of the body from any possible damage by the free radicals i.e. unstable molecules.
Thanks to their potent antiviral properties, the fenugreek seeds are usually used as herbal remedy for sore throats and colds. Also, researchers think that these seeds might be effective when it comes to treating several conditions.
Those conditions are high cholesterol, arthritis, heartburn, kidney ailments, skin issues (boils, wounds, and rashes), upset stomach, bronchitis, constipation, abscesses, and hair loss.
Possible Risk of Fenugreek
You need to be aware that the consumption of fenugreek is not totally safe. Fenugreek might lead to effects on peripheral neuropathy and sciatic nerve issues. That can make you lose feeling in the nerves or lead to weak muscles.
After extended use some individuals report certain smell from their armpits, they describe that this smell is similar to maple syrup.
One particular study confirmed these claims. This study found that in the fenugreek there are certain chemicals like dimethylpyrazine that induce this smell.
However, do not confuse this smell with the one which is caused by MUSD, i.e., maple syrup urine disease. This condition MUSD makes a smell which has the same chemicals as those of the smell of maple syrup and fenugreek.
Furthermore, fenugreek can lead to allergic reactions. Before adding this plant to your diet, you need to consult your doctor about food allergies and do some tests to find out whether you can consume fenugreek.
In addition, fenugreek contains fiber which can make the body to be less effective when it comes to absorbing oral drugs. Pregnant women should avoid fenugreek or limit its use and use it only in cooking because there is possibility to cause labor.
Where Can You Buy It?
Fenugreek seeds and leaves, i.e., methi are found in Asian food stores. On the other hand, the herbal supplements that have fenugreek seed extract and fenugreek seed powder in the form of a capsule are available in health food companies.
How to Add Fenugreek In Your Usual Diet
You should know that the fenugreek seeds have a nutty, bitter taste. These seeds are usually used in spice blends. Indian recipes use these seeds in pickles, curries and also other sauces.
When it comes to consumption, you can sprinkle fenugreek powder over your yogurt or simply drink fenugreek tea.
If you do not feel comfortable using fenugreek or you are not sure how to properly use it you need to consult a dietitian. Your dietitian can help to include fenugreek in your usual diabetes meal plan.
Traditional Diabetes Treatments
There are other options regarding diabetes treatment along with fenugreek. To maintain high-quality life with a diabetes diagnosis, you need to keep your blood glucose at normal levels.
In order to aid your body to maintain the healthy blood sugar levels, you need to make few lifestyle changes, such as:
- Being active 5 days per week at least 30 minutes on a daily basis.
- Maintaining a diet with high amounts of fiber, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. And at the same time reduce on processed foods.
- Choosing healthy fats and lean protein sources, avoiding sweetened beverages, excessively processed meat, and processed and boxed foods.
Taking proper medication can help you keep the blood glucose at healthy levels. Medications can help control your body’s use and creation of insulin.
Word of Caution
Consult your doctor in case you have any questions about diabetes drugs. This herb comes with risks as other different herbs that reduce the blood sugar.
Fenugreek can lead to too low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia) if you take it alongside the prescribed drugs for diabetes. As a result, you might need to change your dose of anti-diabetic medication.
Before making any changes to your medication, diet, and lifestyle, you need to consult your doctor. Your doctor will tell you which treatments and activities are best for you.
Remember you are stronger than diabetes.