Methi Dana (Fenugreek Seeds) Health, Skin & Hair Benefits
Methi seeds are a rich source of important vitamins and minerals. The beneficial properties and its flavorful aroma make fenugreek (methi) a plant that can be a part of your diet without any second thought. We give you a lowdown of all the benefits it has to offer!
Fenugreek seeds, also known as methi seeds in Hindi, is an important kitchen ingredient that has many health and beauty benefits. In fact, over the last few years, the popularity of this Indian spice has grown more on account of it health benefits rather than its use in everyday dishes. Often used in South Indian dishes, methi or fenugreek is used in a variety of ways – from fresh leaves (in subzis), to dried (as kasuri methi) and as methi dana as well. Fenugreek seeds, or methi dana, are essentially the yellow, hard seeds of the methi plant that taste slightly bitter. Methi seeds are sometimes sprouted before consumption to further enhance their flavor and benefits. Once sprouted, the methi seeds taste less bitter. In fact, another way to reduce the bitterness of these seeds is to lightly roast them.
Methi seeds are a rich source of important vitamins and minerals. Some of the vitamins these seeds abundantly have include folic acid, thiamine, niacin and vitamins, K, A and B6. As mentioned, methi seeds are also healthy sources of a variety of minerals like zinc, selenium and magnesium.
Also Read: Benefits of Kasuri Methi| Fenugreek Leaves For Cholesterol And Diabetes
Benefits Of Methi Dana (Fenugreek Seeds)
The beneficial properties and its flavorful aroma make fenugreek (methi) a plant that can be a part of your diet without any second thought. Thanks to its medicinal and healing properties, methi has been used to tackle various problems that keep us away from a healthy lifestyle. As for its historic significance, Ayurveda recommends the consumption of methi in several ways, for a host of everyday health issues.
Also Read: Benefits Of Fennel Seeds | Benefits Of Chia Seeds
Health Benefits Of Methi (Fenugreek)
No matter in what manner you cook the methi plant, whether in the form of a leaf-based dish called saag or alongside potatoes as a subzi, fenugreek’s benefits seem to have no limits.
Some health benefits associated with the consumption of fenugreek (methi) plant are listed below:-
1. Known To Improve Digestion
Considered as a remedy for someone suffering from digestive problems, the fiber rich methi plant is quite helpful when it comes to tackling problems such as constipation. Methi is also recommended as a dietary supplement for people suffering from stomach ulcers, as the anti-inflammatory properties of the methi leaves prevent from further inflammation and relieves from the pain.
2. Improving Blood Glucose Level
Methi leaves, containing a high concentration of water-soluble fiber, is responsible for slowing down the digestive process, thus regulating the blood sugar level as the nutrients are absorbed slowly. And the other factor that aids in maintaining a blood glucose level is that methi seeds help in decreasing our body’s insulin resistance. Thus, methi (fenugreek) leaves or seeds are a proven remedy for people suffering from type-2 diabetes.
3. Lowering The Cholesterol Level
In order to understand how the consumption of methi (fenugreek) helps in lowering our body’s cholesterol level, we must first take note of the high concentration of water soluble fiber present in it. This fiber content present in methi, interacts with the ingested food in a way that makes it hard for the intestine to absorb any cholesterol present in the processed food. Please note that in order to efficiently consume methi for its benefits, it is advised to eat methi leaves that have been soaked in water rather than cooking them.
4. Beneficial For Arthritis
The consumption of methi seeds or leaves cannot exactly improve the damage caused by arthritis, however, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of methi (fenugreek) seeds, it helps in preventing the inflammation caused in the tissues, and can also help provide significant relief from pain.
5. Aids In Weight Loss
If you are on a weight-loss journey, consuming regulated meals at stipulated meal-timings is key. Consuming unnecessary calories in between meals or giving in to hunger-pangs can make your weight-loss path tougher. This is where methi seeds help. Like discussed earlier in this article, methi seeds are high in water-soluble fiber, this further helps adds bulk to the food being digested in the small intestines. This process makes you feel full and satiated for longer. When your stomach feels fuller for longer and you can avoid over-eating, you will automatically be able to your weight goals quicker.
Also Read: Super Foods To Reduce Belly Fat | Spectacular Benefits Of Coriander Seeds
6. Improving Our Kidney’s Functioning
One of the major advantages of methi (fenugreek) is that it has been found to be responsible for protecting our kidney against various chemicals that we ingest through our food. Some of these chemicals may be pesticides, which are added to vegetables or fruits.
7. Reduces The Chances Of Cardiovascular Disease
As we all know, the problems of heart mainly arise due to the imbalance of our blood’s cholesterol levels or its glucose level. However, as methi (fenugreek) is responsible for regulating issues related to cholesterol and sugar, it can also be said that methi is good for maintaining a healthy heart. Consumption of methi dana may reduce the probability of suffering from a heart related disease.
Did you know? The pungent aroma of methi seeds and leaves is the result of a compound called sotolone, which is normally extracted from the fenugreek leaves in order to add flavor and aromatic compounds to artificially manufactured maple syrup.
Skin & Hair Benefits Of Methi (Fenugreek)
Apart from the variety of health benefits that methi (fenugreek) has to offer, it also plays a vital role in our beauty regimen.
Some of the beauty benefits that are generally associated with methi are listed below:
1. It Acts As A Natural Moisturizer
The natural watery texture of methi leaf helps in retaining the moisture of your skin. Moreover, it is responsible for removing the dead cells from our skin, leaving behind skin that is radiant and fresh.
2. Prevents Acne
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory nature, paste made with methi seeds when applied all over the face, creates a thin sheet that prevents our face from getting in direct contact with the external environment. Additionally, its anti-bacterial property prevents external pathogen from attacking our skin and causing inflammation.
3. Reducing Hair-Fall
The property of methi (fenugreek) seeds which enables it to remove the dead cells from the skin, is applicable to your scalp as well. Thus, when methi seeds are rinsed off thoroughly, after being applied to the scalp, it opens up the blocked hair follicles, and also increases the rate of nutrition absorption by the scalp. When applied regularly, this is known to result in the growth of a healthy set of hair.
4. Stops Pre-Mature Greying Of Hair
A paste of methi seeds and curry leaves is known to help prevent greying! When applied to our scalp, it must be kept for more than 30 minutes in order to help achieve its desired goal of preventing your hair from turning grey. It is said that the nutrients present in methi seeds, when absorbed by our scalp help it in retaining its natural color and delaying the process of greying.
5. Reducing Dandruff
Since dandruff is nothing but a fungal growth in our scalp, the anti-bacterial property of methi seeds prevents its growth. Additionally, this also helps in retaining the moisture of the scalp, helps prevent the occurrence of dry and itchy scalp, which could ultimately result in dandruff growth.
Consumed for their beneficial properties, methi (fenugreek) seeds have been popular all over the world for centuries. However, if this consumption of methi is taken in an irresponsible manner, it can also have adverse effects on our health.
Adverse Effects Of Methi (Fenugreek) Seeds
The adverse effects of methi seeds can be the result of an unregulated consumption. However, the side-effects caused by the disorderly consumption of methi seed are less compared to its benefits; but still, they are something to be noted.
Some of the important side-effects of methi seeds to note are:
1. Low Blood Glucose Level
As discussed previously, the consumption of methi (fenugreek) seeds helps in maintaining blood glucose level by increasing the nutrition absorption time and decreasing the insulin resistance of the body. However, an increased and excessive consumption of methi seeds can further reduce the blood sugar level which might be considered dangerous. Thus, it is advised to not consume methi seeds alongside your diabetes medicine, unless your doctor advises you to.
Though the reports of allergies occurring due to the consumption of methi seeds have been rare, it is still considered a serious issue. Some of the symptoms shown by people allergic to methi seeds include problems in breathing, nausea, and swelling of the face. Thus, it is advised to first consult your doctor before consuming methi seeds.
A high consumption of methi seeds is sometimes seen as causing an irregular pattern in breathing in adults, which may lead to asthma in severe conditions.
However, even if the side-effects of methi seeds appear to be scary, a regulated consumption can hardly cause any. Thus, everything is safe and beneficial when taken in an organized and responsible way.
How To Consume Methi Seeds | Simple Ways Of Eating Methi (Fenugreek) Seeds
There are various methods of consuming methi seeds for achieving a healthy diet. And as for the steps involved, all the methods require minimal amount of work.
The methods of consuming methi seeds in a beneficial way are listed below:
1. Methi Seeds Soaked In Water
This method of consumption is done so in order for the methi seeds to aid in weight loss. The seeds are first soaked overnight in water, and then eaten after draining out the water. Some people also like to drink this water first thing in the morning. It is also important to note that this process is most effective when followed first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach.
2. As An Additive In Food
Methi seeds can also be used as an additive in various cuisines. For example, the seeds can be ground in order to form a paste that can be added to a curry, and it can also be added as a seasoning due to its flavorful aroma.
What’s Methi All About
To eat methi seeds for their beneficial nature is something that has contributed to its recent popularity. However, if the consumption is not orderly, and if taken in higher concentration, it can negatively affect the body. Thus, for a healthy lifestyle, methi (fenugreek) seeds can be an apt choice only if consumed responsibly.
- What is the nutritional profile of Methi dana?
100 grams of fenugreek seeds provide 1,350 kilojoules (323 kcal) of food energy and contain 9% water, 58% carbohydrates, 23% protein and 6% fat, with calcium at 40% of the Daily Value. Fenugreek seeds (per 100 g) are a rich source of protein (46% DV), dietary fiber, B vitamins, and dietary minerals, particularly manganese (59% DV) and iron (262% DV)
- Can Methi seeds be replaced by Methi leaves, when cooking?
While fenugreek seeds and ground fenugreek can usually be swapped for each other, fresh fenugreek leaves are a different matter altogether. Fenugreek leaves have a sweeter, far less bitter taste and are used like spinach or chard in curries and stews. If a recipe calls for fenugreek leaves, neither seed nor powder will achieve the same result, and may make your dish too bitter.
- What else can the Methi seeds be used for?
Fenugreek seeds can also be used as dietary supplements. In many countries, they are manufactured from powdered seeds into capsules, loose powders, teas, and liquid extracts. Powders may also be used as a topical medication or dressing for skin wounds or eczema. There is no evidence these products have any clinical effectiveness.
- Can people be allergic to Methi seeds?
Some people are allergic to fenugreek, including those with peanut allergies or chickpea allergies. Fenugreek seeds can cause diarrhea, dyspepsia, abdominal distention, flatulence, perspiration, and a maple-like smell to urine or breast milk. There is a risk of hypoglycemia particularly in people with diabetes and it may also interfere with the activity of anti-diabetic drugs.
- Can Methi seeds help increase breastmilk supply?
Yes, methi seeds have proven to be a galactagogue which means that consuming these seeds will lead to stimulation of the lactation glands in women, thereby increasing milk supply. Since it is easy to consume and can be consumed in multiple forms-
Fenugreek Tea: Simply soak some fenugreek seeds in water overnight. In the morning you can boil them for about 5 minutes in water and strain the seeds. What's left is fenugreek tea which you can sip on daily till you feel the milk supply has increased as per expectation
Capsules: You can also try buying fenugreek capsules which are easily available at medical stores. Consuming as per the label times will do the trick.
Eat whole Fenugreek Seeds for Lactation: Take some fenugreek seeds, roughly half a teaspoon and swallow them with a glass of water. They may not taste pleasant, but they can help boost the breastmilk supply. Additionally, you may also gulp down some soaked methi seeds for boosting lactation
Powdered form: You can grind fenugreek seeds and store them in advance. Eat half a teaspoon with your meals in your curries and dals
Sprouts: One of the healthiest and tastiest forms you can have fenugreek is in a sprouted form. Mix fenugreek sprouts with salad veggies to make a wonderful salad and enjoy with your meals