Have you ever heard of fenugreek plants? Maybe most of you are not familiar with this type of plant. Although the name of this plant sounds familiar, but you should not underestimate the benefits of fenugreek. Fenugreek is believed to be able to treat certain medical conditions, one of which is diabetes.
Just like other plants, fenugreek or kelabat is often used as a food seasoning, especially in the Middle East, India, and Egypt. Besides being used as a spice, the plant called Latin Trigonella foenum-graecum is also often used in medicine. Usually, the part that is used for treatment is the brown seeds. The benefits of fenugreek for the health of the body can be taken from the nutritional content in it, namely carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and fat. Fenugreek also contains vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B, folate, iron, manganese, potassium, natrum, zinc, calcium, and magnesium.
Fenugreek and Diabetes
Over the past centuries, fenugreek seeds have been trusted and used to treat diabetes. Some studies even show that eating foods that have been mixed with fenugreek seeds is thought to reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
In other studies, type 2 diabetes can be controlled if you consume 10 grams of fenugreek seeds that have been soaked in hot water per day. There are also other studies that suggest that eating foods made from fenugreek flour can help reduce insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes. The benefits of fenugreek are also seen to help prevent diabetes because of its effects which can control blood sugar levels in the body.
No one knows for sure, how fenugreek seeds can work to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics. However, fenugreek is thought to contain fiber and other chemical compounds that can slow down the rate of digestion, absorption of carbohydrates, and sugar. Not only that, fenugreek is believed to improve sugar metabolism in the body and increase the amount of insulin produced.
Apart from diabetes, fenugreek appears to be beneficial in reducing body fat and treating various other diseases, such as high cholesterol, and can help improve the body’s metabolism. Fenugreek is also often used as an herbal supplement to increase milk production.
While claims of the benefits of fenugreek for conditions of digestive disorders such as constipation and heartburn, gout, hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), fever, low libido in men, baldness, gout, and cancer still need evidence and further research.
Fenugreek Side Effects
Although natural, fenugreek consumed as an herbal supplement can cause side effects such as flatulence, abdominal pain, diarrhea, urine becoming smelly, coughing, wheezing, to swelling on the face. Fenugreek supplementation should also not be used by patients with kidney and liver disease. Fenugreek supplements are also not recommended for consumption if you are undergoing treatment for diabetes.
For those of you who are pregnant, it is advisable not to consume fenugreek plants or supplements. This is because fenugreek risks causing uterine contractions and fetal disorders. And if you consume fenugreek to stimulate milk production (ASI), it is recommended to consult a doctor first, considering the benefits of fenugreek to increase breast milk is still not supported by strong scientific evidence.
If you are curious about the benefits of fenugreek and want to try it to treat diabetes, it is advisable to discuss it with your doctor first to ensure the safety of using fenugreek for your condition and its interactions with the drugs you consume, and to avoid dangerous side effects.