Fenugreek is an herb with edible leaves that is mostly found parts of western Asia and Europe. The seeds are used to treat diabetes by lowering the blood sugar. Fenugreek can be found in different forms including tea, spice, supplement, and skin cream.
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Diabetics can take the supplements after meals to control their blood sugar levels. Ensure you consult with your doctor before using fenugreek.
Why Use Fenugreek for Diabetes?
- Improves Glucose Tolerance
Fenugreek helps to lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. One study revealed that taking 10 grams of fenugreek on a daily basis can help people with type 2 diabetes. Fenugreek was also shown to ease insulin resistance among type 2 diabetes patients when added to baked products.
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- Improves Digestion
Fenugreek seeds helps to slow down digestion and sugar/carbohydrates absorption because they are rich insoluble fiber and various chemicals. They can also help improve the body’s use of sugar and increase insulin release.
- Lowers Cholesterol
Though cholesterol is not directly related to diabetes, but fenugreek seeds can help lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the body and enhance the release of good cholesterol.
How to Use Fenugreek for Diabetes
- Consult your doctor
Ensure you discuss with your doctor before taking fenugreek because the herb can interact with diabetes medications and blood thinners and there’s a chance it might interfere with your treatment progress.
- Add Fenugreek to Your Food
You can take fenugreek with your food by sprinkling the seeds directly into your food as a garnish or search for fenugreek recipes. The taste of fenugreek is bitter. So, to mask the taste, you may add it in your favorite curry or rice. Ensure to always add it to cooked food. Avoid cooking fenugreek because heat tends to destroy a lot of the nutritional value. Ensure you follow your doctor’s dietary recommendations to keep your diabetes in check when using fenugreek.
- Go for the correct dosage
The dosage ranges from 2.5- 15 grams per day for diabetes. Your doctor should be able to help you choose the right dosage based on your weight and other considerations. Make sure you stick to the recommended dosage. The most popular dosage is 12.5 grams taken two times a day.
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- Drink with Hot Water
Taking fenugreek tea gives the best results, according to studies. In one study comparing fenugreek tea with fenugreek yoghurt, those that took the tea showed considerably better results than those who took yoghurt. Both groups consumed a total of 10g per day.
To prepare fenugreek tea, crush 2.5 grams of fenugreek seeds using a food processor, pestle or mortar. Pour the resulting powder into a mug and add about 8oz of boiling hot water. Stir well and wait for the mixture to cool before drinking.
Are there side effect of taking fenugreek?
The side effects of consuming fenugreek, whether cooked or raw are mild and have no long-term effects on your health. You should expect the following:
- Large doses may cause gas and bloating in some people.
- Those on diabetes medication should consult with their doctor as mentioned earlier. This is because fenugreek is known to react with medication.
- Pregnant women should avoid raw fenugreek because it is known to induce early labor. You can take cooked fenugreek during pregnancy under doctor’s prescription.
- Taking fenugreek for diabetes can lower your blood glucose levels in some cases especially when self-prescribed.