Fenugreek is a herb that is widely used in Asian Cuisines and is known for its medicinal properties. It is a good source of fibers, proteins, and some essential minerals like calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and iron. It also has little content of fat in it.
Fenugreek can be consumed in many different ways. You can soak them, germinate them, or even roast them. Studies have suggested that the way Fenugreek is prepared causes some change in its chemical composition levels. There are many health benefits of fenugreek seeds especially when soaked in water.
When you soak the seeds in water the levels of fat, carbohydrate, and fiber content reduces while the protein and the antioxidant content increase.
Opting to use fenugreek in your hot water instead of reaching for a tea bag can unlock the following amazing health benefits.
The Science-Backed Health Benefits of Fenugreek Seeds Soaked in Water:
1. Fenugreek is Great Source of Antioxidant:
If you are looking for a natural source of antioxidant Fenugreek may be a great option for you.
Antioxidants help balance out the damage that is caused by the free-radicals in our bodies. If left unchecked the inflammation caused by the free-radicles can lead to or precipitate several conditions including cancer, premature aging, atherosclerosis, degenerative joint diseases, dementia, and many more. Antioxidants are protective against these conditions so, a cup of fenugreek tea every day might help you live a better quality of life into the older ages.
2. Fenugreek Is Great for Both Type 1 and 2 Diabetes
Fenugreek can be a good natural addition to your lifestyle if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus. Studies have shown that soaked fenugreek seeds help lower the blood glucose levels in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Fenugreek seeds have a rich fiber content. Fibers are digested very slowly in our body, and therefore they don’t cause a sudden rise in blood sugar levels.
Apart from that, Trigonelline, a component of fenugreek, increases insulin secretion and promotes other enzymes involved in glucose metabolism.
In addition to that, Fenugreek lowers down the unhealthy cholesterol levels in the body; a common association with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Trying out fenugreek can be a good option for you if you are having difficulty managing your sugar levels with medications.
Note. Maintenance of blood sugar levels is essential in diabetes. If you are under insulin and/or oral hypoglycemic drugs make sure that your blood sugar levels are in the normal range. Hypoglycemia caused due to the action of both drugs and very high doses of fenugreek can be life-threatening. Therefore, start with a lower dose and see how much change is occurring in your blood sugar levels. Manage your dose accordingly or speak with your healthcare provider.
3. Fenugreek Is Cardio-Protective in Nature
Not only does Fenugreek help with diabetes, but it is also great for your heart.
High levels of cholesterols in our body are one of the major reasons for heart diseases. The bad cholesterol (LDL and triglycerides) are the ones that over time cause thickening, narrowing, and hardening of your blood vessels, which eventually causes high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.
Studies suggest that regular consumption of soaked fenugreek seeds lower the levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides levels in our body, without affecting the levels of HDL cholesterol (the cardioprotective cholesterol).
4. Fenugreek Promotes Weight Loss
Fenugreek can also come in handy if you are trying to shed a few pounds.
Firstly, as already established, it reduces the cholesterol levels in our body.
Secondly, it helps in controlling the appetite. A study showed that with only 14 days of daily fenugreek consumption, the participants experienced a spontaneous reduction in consumption of fat-based food intake, indicating that it can support your weight loss journey.
The high fiber content of fenugreek may be responsible for this. Fibers are digested slowly and therefore keep the stomach full for a longer time.
5. Fenugreek Seeds Helps With Hair Loss
Fenugreek seeds may also be helpful if you suffer from low to moderate hair loss. Some studies suggest that Fenugreek use can help reduce hair loss and promote hair growth.
It can be orally consumed or can be applied as hair masks. Prepare the mask by soaking the fenugreek seeds overnight in water and then grinding it. Apply for 10-20 minutes and then rinse off.
6. Fenugreek Improves Brain Function
Attributed to Trigonelline, fenugreek is neuroprotective in nature.
It protects from diabetes-induced auditory neuropathy, as well as has anti-migraine action and improves memory.
Apart from that it also protects against age-related neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.
7. Effects of Fenugreek on Testosterone
Fenugreek has a positive effect on male sexual health as well.
While it's not recommended to depend on fenugreek to increase your testosterone levels, it can be a good supplement. However, if you have conditions like erectile dysfunction you should consider seeing a doctor. Fenugreek won't help in these cases.
8. Fenugreek and Breast Milk Production
Breastfeeding is extremely essential for the early development of neonates and infants. Unfortunately, some women have issues with not enough milk production post-delivery.
Some studies suggest that fenugreek can come for rescue here too. Fenugreek is a galactagogue, which means that it promotes breast milk production.
One study noted that the increase in milk production was about 49% after 2 weeks of consumption and by 4 weeks an increase of a 103%
These results are pretty impressive, and you can use it as a supplement to increase breastmilk production. But consult your doctor first if you are experiencing low breast-milk production at any stage.
How to Make Fenugreek Tea
Take 1-2 tablespoon of fenugreek seeds, depending on your preference of taste. You can soak the fenugreek seeds in water if you wish to increase its antioxidant content. Crush the seeds a little and then put it in a pot filled with water. Crushing the seeds will help bring out its content better.
Boil the crushed seeds for 10 minutes. Once done, strain the boiled water. You can consume this water as it is, or you can steep your tea in this water. Feel free to add other herbs as well, if you like. Experiment and find out what combinations you like the best. Add honey or stevia for taste if the taste is too bland for you.
Fenugreek seed is also available in powder form. You can use that as well.
Fenugreek is quite safe to use. In usual circumstances, it has a very low risk of side-effects. However, some side-effect can occur.
- You may experience GI upset when consuming high doses of fenugreek.
- It has also shown to have anti-implantation and an abortifacient effect in rats. Therefore, avoid a high dose of fenugreek if you are pregnant or if you are trying to conceive.
- Avoid fenugreek if you are allergic to it, or if you are allergic to peanuts and chickpeas.
- People with chronic asthma should also avoid using fenugreek.
Fenugreek is great with many proven health benefits. From providing protection to the brain, heart, and maintaining sugar levels to preventing hair loss and increasing breastmilk production; there isn't any reason why you shouldn't consume fenugreek in typical circumstances.
However, take necessary precautions if you are pregnant, trying to conceive, or if you are allergic to fenugreek.
Also, consider keeping an eye on your blood sugar levels if you are a diabetic under medication. Maintaining healthy blood glucose levels is absolutely essential.