Fenugreek reduces blood sugar and cholestrol
Diabetes and heart disease are some of the common diseases seen among our people. They lead to many other health complications as a result of high blood sugar or high cholesterol levels. The National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, has found out through its researches that seeds of fenugreek (methi) have a beneficial effect on both these conditions. Consumption of methi seeds acts as a supportive measure to the usually prescribed treatment for such conditions. Details of amounts of fenugreek seeds to be consumed, the form of consumption and other precautions to be taken are given below.
- Fenugreet (methi) seeds, a common condiment used in Indian cooking, are avilable in grocery shops.
- In view of the high fibre content (50%), fenugreek seeds have a beneficial effect on diabetics, reducing blood and urinary glucose and lowering cholesterol levels in patients with high serum cholesterol. Both raw and cooked methi seeds have these properties.
- Fenugreek leaves (methi sag, commonly used as a green leafy vegetable) don’t show any such effect.
- The quantity of fenugreek seeds to be consumed depends upon the severity of diabetes and serum cholesterol levels. The doses vary from 25 g. to 50 g.
- To begin with, 25 g fenugreek seeds may be taken daily in two equal doses of 12.5 g. each (approximately two teaspoons) along with the two principal meals -lunch and dinner.
- The seeds can be consumed as such after an overnight soaking in water or in a powder form or along with a glass of water or buttermilk, 15 minutes before the meal.
- Debitterization involves certain procedures. Presently, debitterized methi seeds are not available in the market.
- The seed pulp (seeds after overnight soaking) or the powder can be incorporated in the preparations such as chapati, curds, dosa, adai, idli, pongal, upma, dalia, dhokla, dhals and vegetable curries. Bitterness of the seeds is partly masked in such recipes. The preparatiions can be made salty or sour according to individual taste.
- Fenugreek has to be taken as long as high blood and urinary sugar levels persist.
- In addition to the use of fenugreetk seeds, regular physical exercise such as walking is beneficial. Reduction in body weight also improves the action of insulin. Dietary calorie intake particularly from saturated fats and simple sugars should be restricted.
- A few patients initially may develop diarrhea or excess flatulence (gas formation), on methi consumption.
- Fenugreek seeds are only useful as dietary supportive therapy and the usual antidiabetic treatment should be continued. However, the requirement of anti-diabetic drugs may be reduced with the use of fenugreek. Advice regarding the individual optimal dosage schedule of antidiabetic drugs cannot be given. Your physician alone can decide the appropriate drug and its dose depending on your specific condition. During acute complications of diabetes immediate medical advice should be sought.
Source: National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad
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