Fenugreek shares a long history of usage and its traces were identified in Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt. The first documented evidence on fenugreek is recorded its presence in 1500 BC. It is highly aromatic which makes it a perfect ingredient for traditional cuisines especially belonging to India and some Middle Eastern regions. In addition to this, it has roles in various medicinal treatments and a new study evaluates its risk to treat type 2 diabetes.
A study published in the journal Ayu, reveals the benefits of fenugreek for diabetic patients. During this study, 60 diabetic patients were investigated to know the potential benefits of fenugreek on their sugar level.
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Half of these people were given 10g of fenugreek per day. These fenugreek seeds were soaked in the water which is a typical way of using them for medicinal reasons. They used these soaked seeds 20mins prior to the meal. The other group was allowed to continue their daily routine which involved taking diabetic medicine only.
The group which consumed fenugreek seeds experienced low sugar in their blood within 5 months of this study. They also experienced low HbA1C levels recorded after 6 months of using fenugreek seeds.
Although this study highlights the positive impact of these seeds for diabetic patients still it requires more detailed analysis to know how fenugreek treats type 2 diabetes. Right now, they only assume that it could have a “synergistic effect” on the patient when added with a controlled diet and moderate activity level.
Typically, the fenugreek seeds are associated with healing digestive issues and skin problems. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (NCCIM) acknowledges its beneficial role in treating eczema and other skin conditions. It also improves blood pressure and digestion according to Kellie Rodriguez who is a certified diabetes educator and serves as director of the Global Diabetes Program in Parkland Health & Hospital System (TX).
The medical experts encourage diabetic patients to maintain desirable body weight and aim to be active by doing any light to moderate physical activity. Contrary to popular opinion, diabetic patients can do any type of exercise including aerobics and strength training. In addition to this, they should eat healthy meals and refrain from processed and sugary foods and beverages.
Fenugreek is available in seeds, powder, and capsule form. These seeds contain a high amount of soluble fiber in them which promotes sugar absorption inside the stomach.
It adds an amino acid named 4-hydroxy isoleucine in the body which promotes insulin production. Also, these seeds are rich in vitamins and minerals all of which are necessary for immunity and cellular repair functions of the body.
Both seeds and leaves of fenugreeks could be used to treat type 2 diabetes. Adding them to food recipes gives them a unique nutty flavor and aroma. If not to add in recipes, one can consume fenugreek capsules as per standard dosage, usually mentioned on the label.
There are no side effects of using fenugreek seeds or supplements but the new users may experience mild diarrhea, stomach main, or bloating which goes away on its own within hours.
People with underlying medical conditions should consult their doctor before taking fenugreek supplements. Those who are taking diabetic medicines, thyroid medicines, or insulin should avoid fenugreek supplements on their own.