Fenugreek for PCOS: Recommended or Rejected?

Dr. Pakhi Sharma (MBBS)
Dr. Pakhi Sharma (MBBS)

General Physician | 6+ years

Fenugreek for PCOS
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As more and more health-conscious people turn to their kitchens to find ingredients that are great for them, a lot of Indian spices are in the spotlight. This includes fenugreek or methi. How is fenugreek beneficial for your health? Are there any benefits of fenugreek for PCOS? All the answers to your questions are right here! Keep reading!

Contents:
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Nutritional Profile of Fenugreek
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Is Fenugreek Good for PCOS?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Fenugreek Seeds: Benefits for PCOS
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    What is the Best Time to Have Fenugreek Seeds for PCOS?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    How to Use Fenugreek for PCOS?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Risks of Overconsumption of Fenugreek in PCOS
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    What are the Other Health Benefits of Fenugreek?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Don’t Have Time To Read?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    FAQs
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Nutritional Profile of Fenugreek

Fenugreek or methi is a herb and spice commonly used in Indian households. It belongs to the Fabaceae family. Though the leaves of the fenugreek plant are edible, the seeds are the most widely used part of the plant over centuries. It has been used not just as a spice but also for its medicinal properties.

Let’s find out more about fenugreek and how good it is for PCOS.

The nutritional value of 1 tablespoon (11.1 g) of fenugreek seeds is as below:

Nutrient

Amount

Energy

35.9 kcal

Water

0.981 g

Protein

2.55 g

Fat

0.712 g

Carbohydrate

6.48 g

Fibre

2.73 g

Vitamin C

0.333 mg

Vitamin B6

0.067 mg

Calcium

176 mg

Iron

33.5 mg

Potassium

770 mg

Phosphorus

296 mg

Sodium

67 mg

Source: USDA (Food Central)

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Is Fenugreek Good for PCOS?

PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a hormonal imbalance in women, characterised by unpredictable ovulation, irregular menstrual cycle, weight gain, acne, and other symptoms It is believed to be caused by various contributory factors such as high androgen levels, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, obesity, and genetics.

Fenugreek has numerous health benefits for your body when consumed as a spice as it is abundant in fibre and minerals such as iron and magnesium.

In case of PCOS, you need to be extra mindful of your daily diet to avoid any adverse effects on your health condition. Fenugreek may be good for PCOS in several ways. Keep reading to know the benefits of fenugreek seeds for PCOS.

Fenugreek Seeds: Benefits for PCOS

Spices and herbs are one vital way to add that extra hint of nutrition and taste to your diet and palate. Fenugreek is a spice which is available in several forms such as seeds, powdered form, supplements, etc. However, using fenugreek seeds is hands down the easiest way of adding fenugreek to the diet.

Some of the benefits of consuming fenugreek seeds for PCOS include:

1. May Improve Insulin Sensitivity

Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes due to increased insulin resistance in PCOS. Fenugreek seeds are rich in fibre and may slow down the process of digestion, curbing your hunger for a longer period of time. This may further improve the way your body uses insulin and reduce spikes in blood sugar levels.

2. May Aid in Weight Loss

Excess weight gain is another common symptom of PCOS due to the increased production of androgens (male hormones). Therefore, it is essential for women with PCOS to keep a track of their weight management tactics to prevent sudden weight gain. Fenugreek may aid your weight loss struggles by reducing your appetite and promoting satiety which prevents you from binge eating.

3. May Reduce Cholesterol Levels

Fenugreek seeds are rich in chemical compounds such as saponins and coumarins, which have been linked by several studies to reduced total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. They may even reduce the risk of developing high cholesterol-related conditions such as high blood pressure.

4. May Reduce the Risk of Heart Conditions

Prevention is better than cure! Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of developing heart conditions such as preeclampsia and eclampsia during pregnancy, which can be life-threatening.

Also, elevated blood sugar levels, weight, and blood pressure are risk factors in PCOS and pose a huge risk to the development of cardiovascular diseases. Fenugreek may improve cholesterol levels along with a significant improvement in blood pressure, which further reduces the risk of heart conditions.

What is the Best Time to Have Fenugreek Seeds for PCOS?

The best time to consume fenugreek seeds for PCOS can be early in the morning on an empty stomach in the form of a tea. This may reduce your appetite, promote satiety and decrease your calorie intake. It may also boost your metabolism and prevent any further spikes in your blood sugar levels.

How to Use Fenugreek for PCOS?

For safe consumption of fenugreek or fenugreek seeds, it is best to consult your doctor about the dosage. Some of the ways you can use fenugreek for PCOS include:

  • Use fenugreek seeds as a spice for cooking your regular meals.
  • Add freshly chopped fenugreek leaves to your curries or rice dishes. 
  • Drink fenugreek water or methi water by soaking 1-2 tablespoons of seeds overnight and consuming it in the morning.

Risks of Overconsumption of Fenugreek in PCOS

Some of the associated risks of overconsumption of fenugreek in PCOS can be:

  • Fenugreek can also act similarly to oestrogen in the body, so it may negatively impact people with hormone-sensitive cancers.
  • In higher doses, it can cause mild side effects such as nausea, diarrhoea and other digestive symptoms.
  • Since fenugreek can reduce blood sugar levels, diabetics on medication need to be cautious about its dosage.
  • Some studies suggest that when taken in high doses, fenugreek may affect fertility and pregnancy.
  • Pregnant women should generally avoid using fenugreek as it contains compounds that can stimulate contractions.

[Note: Before adding any kind of supplements, including fenugreek, to your diet, make sure to consult your doctor to avoid any adverse effects on your health]

What are the Other Health Benefits of Fenugreek?

Fenugreek may not only help relieve symptoms of PCOS such as insulin resistance and weight gain, it also has some other essential health benefits.

  • It may increase breastmilk production in new mothers.
  • Studies suggest that fenugreek can relieve the symptoms of heartburn.
  • The antioxidants such as flavonoids present in fenugreek may help reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Research suggests that fenugreek contains compounds called alkaloids which can provide pain relief including menstrual pain.

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • Fenugreek is a commonly used spice in Indian households. Though the leaves of the fenugreek plant are edible, the seeds are the most widely used part of the plant.
  • Fenugreek has numerous health benefits for your body as it is abundant in fibre and minerals such as iron and magnesium.
  • Some of the benefits of consuming fenugreek seeds for PCOS include that it may improve insulin sensitivity, aid in weight loss, reduce cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart conditions.
  • The best time to consume fenugreek seeds for PCOS can be early in the morning on an empty stomach in the form of a tea. This may reduce your appetite, promote satiety and decrease your calorie intake, further improving your blood sugar levels.
  • For safe consumption of fenugreek or fenugreek seeds, it is best to consult your doctor about the dosage. To use fenugreek for PCOS, you can use it as a spice for cooking meals, add its leaves in curries and rice dishes, and drink fenugreek water or methi water by soaking 1-2 tablespoons of seeds overnight.
  • Some of the associated risks of overconsumption of fenugreek in PCOS can be an increase in testosterone levels, mild side effects such as nausea, diarrhoea, etc., and extremely low blood sugar levels for diabetics on medication.
  • Fenugreek may increase breastmilk production in new mothers, relieve the symptoms of heartburn, help reduce inflammation, and provide pain relief including menstrual pain.
  • Start your PCOS management journey with Phable. Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading gynaecologists, endocrinologists, nutritionists, and dieticians; order medicines; book lab tests; and get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Check out our store to order healthy treats, weighing scales, fitness bands, and more! We also have a PCOS Management program that provides ‎360º care.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can drink fenugreek water for PCOS daily to help alleviate the symptoms of PCOS. However, it is best to limit your daily consumption to 1 glass of fenugreek water that contains 1 tablespoon of seeds.

Some of the best drinks for PCOS include fenugreek or methi water, aloe vera juice, apple cider vinegar, herbal teas, etc. Know how to prepare and drink these here.

There are some concerns that fenugreek may adversely impact female fertility in high doses. However, there is not enough evidence to establish this conclusively. 

You should avoid any consumption of fenugreek if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, taking medication for diabetes or diuretics or taking other health supplements. It is best to consult your doctor before adding fenugreek to your diet as a remedy to any health issue.

No, fenugreek does not cause weight gain. Instead, it promotes weight loss. Fenugreek seeds are high in fibre and thus may help reduce your appetite, promote stomach fullness and satiety and thus lower your daily calorie intake.

No, neither fenugreek seeds nor any other food can help cure PCOS. PCOS cannot be cured. However, you can manage the condition effectively by incorporating healthy lifestyle choices such as a balanced diet, regular movement, and adequate sleep. To use fenugreek for PCOS, add the seeds or leaves to your balanced meals and it can help you manage PCOS symptoms as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Dr. Pakhi Sharma
Dr. Pakhi Sharma, MBBS
(General physician, 6+ years)
An expert in obstetrics and medical emergencies, Dr. Pakhi Sharma, an alumni of Sri Devaraj Urs University of Higher Education and Research Centre, is a general physician working at Phablecare. She has 6+ years of work experience spread across gynaecology and obstetrics, family medicine, and medical emergencies at renowned hospitals and clinics.

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