A household item in India, fenugreek seeds [methi] are touted in Ayurveda for their therapeutic properties. These bitter, yellow-coloured seeds of a green leafy vegetable are worth including in one’s daily diet.
Fenugreek seeds are rich in protein, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron and sodium.
These seeds also have traces of zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. They contain a plant substance called diosgenin, which acts as a phytoestrogen [a plant extract that mimics the activity of female hormone, oestrogen].
Including fenugreek seeds in your diet has a lot of health benefits.
- Consuming 25 – 30g of methi seeds daily can slow down the absorption rate of sugar into the blood, thereby regulating blood sugar levels
- Including the seeds in your regular diet helps reduce your chances of a heart attack by more than 25 per cent by lowering your cholesterol levels.
- Fenugreek seeds increase libido in women and lessen the effects of hot flashes and mood fluctuations.
- Being rich in iron, fenugreek seeds prevent anaemia. These seeds stimulate the production of breast milk in lactating mothers.
- Fenugreek seeds aid in improving digestion and curing constipation. They are also used to cure sore throat and as an expectorant.
Ways to the stomach
Methi seeds are commonly used in various Indian foods. They are added in dals and vegetables as a spice [roasting it before adding it to food neutralises its bitterness].
They can be sprouted and added in salads. Soaking and grinding these seeds [along with rice and black gram] when making dosa batter helps make crispier dosas.
A warning about fenugreek
Fenugreek seeds should be consumed in moderation for the following reasons:
- In pregnant women, consuming methi seeds might induce premature labour;
- If consumed in high dosages, the seeds cause gastrointestinal discomfort;
- These seeds interfere with the absorption of oral medications like antibiotics;
- Overdose of fenugreek can result in allergies, diarrhoea, and low blood sugar in diabetic patients.
Soak some methi seeds overnight. The next morning, grind them to a paste and apply it evenly on the scalp. Leave it on for 30 minutes and rinse. This is an excellent remedy for dandruff and also makes hair soft and manageable.
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