Methi or fenugreek seeds and leaves form an important ingredient in Indian households. It is used in almost every Indian preparation be it dal, paratha or curry. But what you might not know is that methi or fenugreek is a rich reservoir of medicinal properties that imparts many health benefits. Here are 15 reasons why you should include methi in your diet more often.
#1 Lowers blood cholesterol
According to studies  fenugreek helps to reduce cholesterol level, especially that of the low density lipoprotein (LDL). They are known to be rich source of steroidal saponins that prevent the absorption of cholesterol and triglycerides. Here’s how to reduce cholesterol levels naturally.
#2 Reduces risk of heart disease
Due to the presence of galactomannan, fenugreek plays a key role in maintain your heart health. It also contains high amount of potassium that counters the action of sodium to help control heart rate and blood pressure. Read about yoga for healthy heart.
#3 Controls blood sugar levels
Diabetic must include methi (either in the form of seeds or leaves) in their diet. Because galactomannan, a natural soluble fibre present in fenugreek slows down the rate of sugar absorption into blood. It also contains amino acid responsible for inducing the production of insulin. Here’s why methi ladoo is good for diabetics and how to prepare it.
#4 Aids digestion
As fenugreek is rich in fibre and antioxidants, it helps in flushing out harmful toxins from the body and thus, aids digestion. In some cases, fenugreek tea is used to relieve indigestion and stomach pain. You can even drink fenugreek decoction early in the morning to deal with constipation.
#5 Helps counter acid reflux or heartburn
One teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in your food can be an effective remedy for acid reflux or heartburn. Mucilage of fenugreek seeds coat the lining of the stomach and intestine and soothe irritated gastrointestinal tissues. Before consuming, you can soak the methi seeds in water to make their outer coat mucilaginous.
#6 Helps you lose weight
Include fenugreek in your weight loss diet by chewing soaked methi seeds in the morning on an empty stomach. The natural soluble fibre in the fenugreek can swell and fill the stomach thereby suppressing your appetite and aiding your weight loss goals.
#7 Remedy for fever and sore throat
Fenugreek when taken with a teaspoon of lemon and honey can work wonders to reduce fever by nourishing the body. The soothing effect of mucilage in fenugreek also helps to relieve cough and pain from sore throat. Here are 5 foods to relieve sore throat.
#8 Increases breast milk production in lactating women
Fenugreek ranks high among the ‘must haves’ for nursing mothers. This is due to the presence of diosgenin in the spice which increases milk production in lactating mothers. Here are 10 foods that can increase breast milk supply in mothers.
#9 Induces and eases child birth
Fenugreek has been known to be helpful in inducing childbirth by stimulating uterine contractions. It also reduces labour pain. But here’s a word of caution. Excess intake of fenugreek seeds during pregnancy could put you at risk of miscarriage or premature childbirth.
#10 Helps reduce menstrual discomfort
Fenugreek contains compounds like diosgenin and isoflavones with oestrogen-like properties which help reduce symptoms like discomfort and menstrual cramps associated with PMS. These compounds also ease menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and mood fluctuations. Women are more prone to iron deficiency during adolescence (initiation of menstrual periods), during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Including green leafy veggies like fenugreek (methi) in your diet can supply a good amount of iron. But make sure to add tomatoes or potatoes to the preparations to enhance the iron absorption. Here are more ways to reduce your menstrual discomfort.
#11 Helps slightly increase breast size
The oestrogen-like property of fenugreek can help in breast enlargement by balancing hormones in women. You may also like to read about 10 ways to get better breasts.
#12 Helps prevent colon cancer
The fibre content (saponins, mucilage, etc.) of fenugreek binds to toxins in the food and flush them out. This in turn helps to protect the mucus membrane of the colon from cancer. Here is a detailed information on cancer.
#13 Helps soothe skin inflammation and reduces scars
While Vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant, fenugreek also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that aid in the treatment of various skin problems like burns, boils and eczema. The seeds are known to help in getting rid of scars. All you need to do is apply a clean cloth soaked in methi seed paste to fight skin inflammation.
#14 Helps treat skin problems
Fenugreek or methi can be used in face packs to help prevent blackheads, pimples, wrinkles, etc. Washing your face with water boiled with fenugreek seeds or applying a paste of fresh fenugreek leaves for twenty minutes on your face can work wonders for your skin. Read more about methi can help treat beauty problems.
#15 Can help resolve hair problems
Using fenugreek as a part of your diet or as a paste to directly apply on your hair makes your hair shiny and black. Massaging your head everyday with boiled fenugreek seeds soaked overnight in coconut oil can be an excellent remedy for thinning of hair and hair fall. What more? Fenugreek is also great to keep the dandruff away. Also read how you can use methi or fenugreek for better health. Here’s a complete guide.
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- Petropoulos, G. A. (Ed.). (2003). Fenugreek: the genus Trigonella. CRC Press.