Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri Methi) For Cholesterol And Diabetes: Popular Health, Skin And Hair Benefits | Side-Effects
Fenugreek leaves are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and dietary fiber, which makes them a great choice if you want to achieve a healthy lifestyle naturally.
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Methi leaves (Fenugreek) is a popular leafy vegetable in the Indian-subcontinent. In fact, its consumption is so vast and so heavily rooted in the Indian tradition that there is hardly any attention paid to its numerous health benefits. There are dishes like methi ki sabzi, methi-aloo, methi pulao, and methi-chicken are enjoyed by people across India.
Dried methi leaves or kasuri methi is also used widely in dal-tadkas and added as a herb for extra flavor. The bitter-sweet flavor of methi (fenugreek) and its pungent aroma are capable of providing not just good taste, but a slew of health benefits as well.
Used in various cuisines from across the world, ‘fenugreek’ is a Latin word which roughly translates to ‘Greek hay,’ as this herb is also a very convenient food for animals. Along with the leaves, Fenugreek seeds are also used as a spice in various Indian dishes and are also known for their health benefits.
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Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits associated with the consumption of fenugreek leaves.
Table of Contents
Watch: Benefits Of Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri Methi)
Health Benefits Of Fenugreek Leaves
1. Maintains A Healthy Balance Of Blood Sugar Level
A 100g of fenugreek leaves contain about 25g of dietary fiber, which in fact makes it a great natural remedy for diabetics. Why? Well, fiber, which is the non-digestible part of food tends to slow down the digestive process, but also on the other hand, since fiber-loaded food items are harder to digest, the stomach exerts more effort thus increasing the body’s metabolism.
This allows the pancreas to secrete enough insulin, a hormone that helps in the breaking down of sugar molecules and effectively lowers the rising blood sugar levels. There have been various researches that have proven the efficiency of fenugreek leaves in tackling type-2 diabetes (1).
2. Promotes Healthy Cholesterol
Yes, the addition of fenugreek seeds can, in fact, be quite effective in lowering the blood lipid levels. The high concentration of fiber helps in restricting the absorption of cholesterol by the small intestine, this is due to the fact that the fiber in methi leaves is considered as a food for the gut bacteria, which after its consumption discharges certain fatty acids that help in decreasing the production of cholesterol in the liver.
Moreover, a certain polysaccharide compound called Steroidal Saponins reacts with the bile salts to form large molecules that boost the excretion of the salts, thus diminishing the absorption of cholesterol.
3. Aids In Tackling Digestive Issues
Due to its natural soothing properties, the consumption of fenugreek seeds can prove to be quite effective in reducing the severity of stomach ulcers as well as acid reflux.
Moreover, its fiber-rich nature helps in bulking up the stool and getting rid of the undigested waste. The mucilage property of fenugreek leaves helps in creating a protective layer on the inner lining of the stomach wall, which further soothes the pain caused by gastric problems such as stomach ulcers, heartburns, and acid reflux.
4. Promotes Cardiovascular Health
As mentioned before, the incorporation of methi leaves into one’s regular diet can effectively balance the blood lipid levels, which in turn helps maintain a healthy heart. It is highly beneficial in reducing the bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides levels in the body.
5. Aids In Weight Loss
There is no doubt in the fact that the consumption of fiber-rich food helps you shed some kilos. And fenugreek leaves are just the right example for it.
Since fiber-filled food items require more time to get digested, they’ll keep you filled for a longer period of time and prevent you from over-eating. Moreover, due to it being hard for the foods that are rich in fiber to get digested, the stomach tends to apply more effort, thus burning calories.
6. Best For Tackling Skin Diseases
Rich in vitamin B and other anti-oxidants, eating fenugreek leaves can be quite beneficial in maintaining healthy skin cells. The vitamins help in increasing the water retention capabilities of the skin cells which helps in keeping them nourished. The antioxidant nature of fenugreek helps in the prevention of free-radical damage, thus preventing the occurrence of age-related skin issues such as wrinkles and blackheads.
Furthermore, the external application of methi leaves can help in creating a protective layer over the skin and preventing the attack of external pathogens such as bacteria, which might result in the inflammation of skin cells.
7. Healthy Hair Growth
Application of fenugreek leaves on your scalp, and keeping it for at least 40 minutes, might just be what you need to have healthy hair growth, as it helps in nourishing the scalp, lubricating it and clearing out the scalp which in turn open the hair follicles, further aiding in healthy and lustrous hair.
Its application is considered to be quite an advantageous alternative for the chemicals usually found in hair shampoos (2).
Side-Effects Of Fenugreek Leaves
Everything that is beneficial must be consumed as part of a balanced diet, for too much of anything can end being rather destructive for your health. Fenugreek leaves are no exception to this rule. Rich in fiber and loaded with vitamins, this leafy green vegetable can indeed prove to be responsible for some adverse effects. Here are some of those side-effects caused by an unregulated consumption of fenugreek leaves:
1. Weight Gain
It is quite important to note down and regulate your consumption of fenugreek leaves; in fact, the same is true for other fiber-filled food items as well. Fiber takes a longer time to digest, hence they end up keeping you filled up for a longer period of time.
In this case, if you load up on these food items, you might just end up over-eating and gaining weight, thus adversely affecting the very property of weight-loss for which fenugreek is popularly consumed.
2. Blood Thinning Effects
As we have mentioned, the blood-thinning effect of fenugreek leaves does come into its beneficial side, as it helps in preventing the occurrence of various cardiovascular issues such as strokes and heart attacks.
However, upon being heavily consumed, fenugreek leaves can be linked to a further thinning of blood beyond what is desirable. In rare cases, such a condition may lead to excessive and internal bleeding.
3. Allergic Reactions To Fenugreek
Though the reports of people being allergic to fenugreek leaves are quite rare, there is still a chance that you might be too. So before you go adding this beneficial herb into your daily diet, make sure that you consult your physician.
Some of the symptoms related to this situation are the appearance of blemishes on the skin, difficulty to breathe, inflamed skin, and swollen throat.
Though the adverse effects of fenugreek leaves might seem to you as something serious, it is important that you understand that upon being consumed in a balanced rate and responsibly, fenugreek leaves would prove to be nothing but beneficial for your health.