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F for Fenugreek Seeds: A to Z of Indian Foods | The Health Pantry

Despite its Greek roots, today, Fenugreek is now considered Indian for all intents and purposes. It has become a forgotten ingredient in the land it originates from. In India, however, Fenugreek, especially the seeds, have earned themselves a very good reputation. This reputation comes as a result of both, the flavour it impacts and its health benefits. Fenugreek seeds have a very distinct bitter and nutty taste. Traditionally, fenugreek seeds are added into spice mixes, temperings and rice batters from the South.

What interests me, as a Nutritionist & Diabetes Educator, is the special role it can play in everything health. Read on to know why and how you can make this wonder ingredient work for you!

English Name

Fenugreek seeds

Common Indian Names

Methi dana, Methi dane, Venthiyam, Menthulu

How we eat it
      1. Soaked and consumed raw  – this is the most popular remedy for diabetes, cholesterol, hypertension and PCOS in India. Almost everyone who is diagnosed with anything in the above universe tries this remedy as a first step. Methi seeds are soaked overnight in water. In the morning, both the water and the seeds are consumed on an empty stomach.
      2. Fenugreek seeds dosa/idli batters. The seeds contain Beta Glucan (the same fibre that makes Oats so healthy). This Beta Glucan holds the air pockets that are created during the fermentation process leading to a more fluffy final product.
      3. Fenugreek seeds are added to curry powders for the bitter flavour it imparts.
      4. Sprouted fenugreek seeds are added to curries.
      5. Methi ki launji or chutney is a popular accompaniment across North India. You will find the recipe in my recipe book here.
      6. Fenugreek seeds contain “galactagogues”. These are compounds that increase milk production in lactating mothers. Hence, the popular post-pregnancy “methi ke ladoo”
      7. Methi seeds are added to dahi kadhi to offset the sourness of curd.
Claim to fame

Fenugreek is now being used in glucose management supplements across the globe!

Health Benefits
      1. Fenugreek seeds are rich in galactagogues (a compound that promotes or increases the flow of a mother’s milk), thus enhancing breast milk production in breastfeeding mothers
      2. Fenugreek seeds lower cholesterol.
      3. Fenugreek seeds contain high amounts of fiber, vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and many other minerals like calcium, iron, and zinc.
      4. They are rich in antioxidants that protect your body from oxidative damage.
      5. Daily consumption of soaked methi seeds can relieve constipation.
      6. It has been reported that fenugreek fibre helps to decrease the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood by decreasing bile salts reabsorption in the colon.
      7. Also, the fibre binds to toxins in the food and helps to protect the colon mucus membrane from cancer toxins.
What makes it so special for diabetics

Fenugreek seeds are excellent for anyone with Insulin Resistance related disorders like type 2 diabetes, obesity, PCOS, elevated uric acid levels (i.e. hyperuricemia), irregular lipid profile (i.e. dyslipidemia) and non-alcoholic fatty liver. They reduce post-prandial blood glucose spikes by slowing down the absorption of sugars that are produced when your food is digested. They also lower LDL cholesterol without affecting HDL cholesterol. Daily consumption of fenugreek seeds lowers HbA1c levels as well.

Soak 1 tbsp of fenugreek seeds in water overnight and chew the soaked seeds first thing in the morning and then have the water in which the seeds were soaked. Alternatively, add ½ tsp of fenugreek seeds powder to 1 portion of your roti dough.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, it can get confusing and intimidating to figure out a diet that works. You can start your health journey with these simple changes or you can sign up for my one-on-one diabetes reversal program.





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