Fenugreek is an herb with nutritious seeds. It can be brewed into a tea or sold as supplements that promise to lower your blood sugar and improve your gut health. Some even claim fenugreek can help you lose weight, but there’s not much actual evidence to back this up.
Here’s what you need to know about using fenugreek for weight loss.
Fenugreek (aka methi) is an herb that’s similar to clover. The seeds and extracts are used in cooking, supplements, and even some beauty products. Fenugreek seeds are hard and reddish-yellow in color. They kind of smell like maple syrup but they have a bitter taste.
Fenugreek is also packed full of vitamins and minerals, like:
Mixing fenugreek seeds or powder with hot water creates a tea called methi water. This tea is marketed to burn belly fat, lower blood sugar levels, and promote better digestion overall. But there isn’t much evidence to support the claim that it can help you lose weight.
Should this be your go-to supplement for losing weight? Here’s the facts behind fenugreek.
Fenugreek might help you eat less fat
If you’re looking to curb cravings, you may be in luck. In one study, fenugreek extract helped healthy, overweight participants eat less dietary fat. But there wasn’t an observed difference in weight after this 6-week study.
But fenugreek won’t help you lose weight alone
You can get your daily dose of fenugreek in a few different ways. If you’re looking to reduce hunger, a cup of hot tea can hit the spot. You can order fenugreek tea bags, or you can brew your own at home.
How to make fenugreek tea (methi water)
- Steep 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds or powder in hot water for 10 minutes.
- Strain the mixture with a coffee strainer or straining device.
- Add cinnamon, ginger, lemon and honey to taste.
You can drink fenugreek tea up to 3 times a day — first thing in the morning and either before or after meals to curb appetite.
What about Fenugreek supplements?
Fenugreek supplements are available on the shelves of grocery stores and pharmacies, but that doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed to work. The rules behind manufacturing and distributing dietary supplements aren’t as strict as those placed on medicines.
Federal regulations do require that companies have some evidence that their dietary supplements are safe, though. Their labels also need to be truthful and direct about the benefits of the product.
Fenugreek, in moderate doses (like what you’ll typically find in food), is considered safe. However, if you overdo it, your blood sugar levels could drop. That could lead to dizziness or even fainting.
If you’re never tried fenugreek before, remember that it’s possible you could be allergic. Make sure to take it slow.
Don’t take fenugreek supplements if you’re pregnant. They have been linked to an increased risk of birth defects.
Other possible side effects of fenugreek include:
Fenugreek alone won’t help you lose weight. A healthy, active lifestyle and a balanced diet will not only help you reach your goals, but sustain them. Add these weight loss tips to your weekly agenda for real results.
- Get some exercise. The CDC recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and at least 2 days of strength training each week.
- Hydrate. Drinking water is good for your whole body. Try to get 9 to 13 cups of water per day, depending on your body’s needs.
- Rest up. Skipping Zzz’s can actually hurt your weight loss efforts. If you’re not a morning person, reschedule that early a.m. workout to get the sleep you need.
- Fenugreek is an herb with nutritious seeds.
- Its seeds can be made into a tea called methi water.
- Fenugreek could help reduce the amount of dietary fat you eat.
- More research is needed, but evidence doesn’t show that fenugreek is effective for weight loss.
- In moderate amounts, fenugreek is considered safe, but you shouldn’t take a supplement while pregnant.
- Ask your doctor before trying fenugreek for weight loss.