You may have already heard about fenugreek as a dietary supplement. It popular as a digestive aid and as a way to manage blood sugar/glucose levels. But did you know that there are links between fenugreek and weight loss?
As always, if you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight, the best results come from a combination of diet management as well as exercise and lifestyle/mindset changes. But some supplements can support your efforts and give your weight loss a boost. Here is how fenugreek can help you to lose weight.
What Is Fenugreek?
Fenugreek (also known as fenigreek, or Greek hay) is an annual herb indigenous primarily to China, Ukraine, India and southern (Mediterranean) Europe. The herb’s dry, ripe seeds contain vitamins (riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, folic acid, as well as vitamins A, B6, C and E), minerals (iron, calcium, copper, selenium, potassium, magnesium, manganese and zinc). Fenugreek leaves are also remarkably rich in vitamin K.
Fenugreek extract (NOT the raw seed powder or seeds alone) can be easily found as an over-the-counter supplement, most frequently available in powder or capsule form. Tradition and research have shown many cosmetic and health benefits that come with the consumption of fenugreek extract.
What Are The Benefits Of Fenugreek?
Some of the health benefits derived from the consumption of fenugreek are generally accepted to include the following (to some degree):
- Lower Cholesterol. Studies have shown that individuals who consistently consume two ounces of fenugreek daily (over a 24-week period) can significantly lower blood cholesterol levels, as well as notably decrease their risk of suffering a heart attack (two ounces of fenugreek powder can easily be sprinkled over food, or taken in capsule form).
- Better Digestion. Fenugreek contains mucilage, an adhesive substance that battles digestive inflammation by coating the lining of your stomach and intestines. It can be used to treat dyspepsia, indigestion, diarrhea and stomach ulcers (sprinkle a tablespoon of fenugreek powder onto your food or take a tablespoon of the powder with water or juice before eating).
- Clear Complexion. Fenugreek has been hailed for its ability to heal, clear up and soothe minor topical cuts, scratches and infections. Studies have also shown the herb to be an especially effective remedy for skin issues such as eczema, boils, abscesses, burns and even gout (fenugreek powder can be mixed with warm water to create a paste that can then be soaked and dabbed with a cloth onto any affected areas). Fenugreek seed tea is also frequently used as a fever remedy.
- Enhanced Libido. Studies have noted a significant positive effect of fenugreek on physiological aspects of a male’s libido and that it also assists in maintaining normal healthy testosterone levels. Additionally, the estrogenic effects already mentioned are effective in enhancing female libido.
“Our report on the chemistry and biological activity on fenugreek seed extract and isolates is novel,” the researchers reported, also noting in their report that the seed extract and isolates found by them “demonstrated anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.”
They went on to assert that fenugreek seeds are “one of the leading functional foods with health-beneficial claims.”
Researcher S. Kaviarasan noted that “Fenugreek seed extract prevents ethanol-induced toxicity (toxic effects of consuming alcohol) and apoptosis (programmed cell death) in Chang liver cells.”
In other words, Fenugreek seed extract is also shown to alleviate liver dysfunction, particularly the type caused by alcohol consumption.
Fenugreek And Weight Loss
Fenugreek is rich in soluble fiber, which is known for promoting weight loss, by causing your digestive tract to expand. This effect can make you feel full and goes a long way to controlling your appetite better. Furthermore, the thermogenic herb complements exercise and weight loss efforts by increasing energy in the short term and potentially modulating carbohydrate metabolism. As noted earlier, it also reduces blood sugar levels after eating.
So, in measured doses, fenugreek extract is healthy and good for you, and there is a link between Fenugreek and weight loss. Just be sure to not overdo it. Remember not to use any supplement alone without consulting your physician. Also, you should maintain a balanced diet coupled with an exercise program, eliminate alcohol, and get plenty of rest.