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If you are trying to lose weight, maintain your weight or are looking at general wellbeing, the best results come from a combination of diet management as well as exercise and lifestyle/mindset changes. But some supplements can support your efforts and give your health journey a boost. And fenugreek can help in multiple ways.
Fenugreek is one of the oldest medicinally used plants, with roots in both traditional Indian and Chinese systems of medicine. People use its fresh and dried seeds, leaves, twigs, and roots as a spice, flavouring agent, and supplement .
But fenugreek seeds are touted for its medicinal properties. These tiny seeds are packed with nutrients essential for the body like potassium, magnesium, phosphorous and have properties that help tackle a range of common ailments.
Galactomannan, a water-soluble fibre found in fenugreek seeds, curbs your appetite by enhancing the feeling of fullness, which helps in weight management. Galactomannan also increases the body's metabolism, which boosts fat burning as well as overall health . Furthermore, the thermogenic herb complements exercise and weight loss efforts by increasing energy in the short term and potentially modulating carbohydrate metabolism. It also reduces blood sugar levels after eating .
The best way to consume the fenugreek seeds: Fenugreek is a staple in an Indian diet and is commonly used in the tempering over vegetables and curries. But the benefits increase when we soak the seeds for a few hours and consume its water as well as the seeds.
Why Should We Soak Fenugreek And Consume?
When we soak the seeds for a few hours, the nutrition becomes more bioavailable to the body. Soaking begins the germination process of the seeds. Researches have proven that soaking the seeds decreases the fat content and increases the protein digestibility of the seeds .
Benefits Of Fenugreek Seeds And Water
Fenugreek water, like the other herb waters, comes with a host of benefits. One should consume the fenugreek seeds also to obtain maximum benefits. Fenugreek is a rich source of many beneficial vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, vitamin B6, protein, and dietary fibre. It also contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Most of the health benefits of fenugreek are credited to the presence of saponins and fibres in it. Due to its high-quality fibre content, fenugreek helps in digestion and preventing constipation .
Improves digestion: Fenugreek water can prove to be a boon when consumed in colder months as it warms the body and helps in easy digestion of food. It is also a natural antacid and proves beneficial in controlling symptoms like bloating and gastritis .
Controls water retention and bloating: Fenugreek water reduces water retention and bloating in the body. This, in turn, also leads to a reduction in body weight .
Controls blood sugar levels: Taking fenugreek seed may lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Doses of at least 5 grams daily seem to help. Lower doses don't seem to work. Soaked fenugreek seeds give the maximum benefit .
Eases menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea): Taking 1800-2700 mg of fenugreek seed powder three times daily for the first three days of a menstrual period followed by 900 mg three times daily for the remainder of two menstrual cycles reduces pain in women with painful menstrual periods. The need for painkillers was also reduced .
Cleanses skin: Fenugreek is antioxidant in nature. It cleanses the blood of toxins and thus gives a clearer glowing skin.
Improves hair health: Fenugreek seeds have been used in oils for decades. Grind fenugreek seeds and mix with cold-pressed mustard oil. Let it seep in for a few days before applying. Applying this oil on the scalp rejuvenates the hair making it healthier. It also helps in enhancing the scalp health and increasing the strength of the hair follicle .
Manages constipation: Eating soaked fenugreek seeds helps relieve constipation. It is rich in soluble and insoluble fibre, thus helps in relieving all digestive issues .
Promotes weight loss: Soaking fenugreek seeds overnight and consuming them the next morning along with the water helps to increase metabolism, give a feeling of fullness due to its high fibre content and thus helps in managing weight by curbing appetite .
Reduces fat intake: Eating fenugreek seeds consistently for an extended period has shown to decrease the voluntary fat consumption by obese individuals. A fenugreek seed extract selectively reduces the spontaneous fat intake in overweight subjects .
How Much Fenugreek Can You Consume A Day?
1 tsp per day is good enough for beginners.
A word of caution: Fenugreek is considered safe and is widely used as an excellent tonic for various health benefits. However, the herb/spice is not recommended during pregnancy as it may cause miscarriage because of its strong effect on the female reproductive system.
Using or consuming compounds in fenugreek may cause uterine contractions during pregnancy and worsen hormone-sensitive types of cancer.
On A Final Note…
The content, including the suggestions, is purely for educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice.