Evidence suggests fenugreek seeds boast blood-sugar lowering properties. Fenugreek seeds are derived from an aromatic plant that is a staple in curries and other Indian recipes. The seeds can be consumed both whole and in powdered form as a spice.
According to Diabetes.co.uk, fenugreek seeds (trigonella foenum graecum) are high in soluble fibre, which helps lower blood sugar by slowing down digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. "This suggests they may be effective in treating people with diabetes," explained the health site.
Multiple studies have been carried out to investigate the potential anti-diabetic benefits of fenugreek.
Notably, several clinical trials showed that fenugreek seeds can improve most metabolic symptoms associated with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in humans by lowering blood glucose levels and improving glucose tolerance.
In one study, researchers in India found that adding 100 grams of defatted fenugreek seed powder to the daily diet of patients with insulin-dependent (type 1) diabetes significantly reduced their fasting blood glucose levels, improved glucose tolerance and also lowered total cholesterol, LDL or 'bad' cholesterol and triglycerides.
Over time, high levels of LDL cholesterol can damage a person's arteries, contribute to heart disease, and increase their risk having a stroke.
In another controlled trial, incorporating 15 grams of powdered fenugreek seed into a meal eaten by people with type 2 diabetes reduced the rise in post-meal blood glucose, while a separate study found that taking 2.5 grams of fenugreek twice a day for three months lowered blood sugar levels in people with mild, but not severe, type 2 diabetes.
Furthermore, research suggests that eating baked goods, such as bread, made with fenugreek flour may reduce insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes.
A certain superfood has also been shown to lower blood sugar levels.
What is the best diet for managing blood sugar?
Low-carb diets offer myriad health benefits for people with type 2 diabetes. As Diabetes.co.uk explained: "The diet has allowed many people with type 2 diabetes to resolve their diabetes, that is to get their blood sugar levels into a non-diabetic range without the help of medication."
The benefits for blood sugar control are primarily down to cutting down on carbohydrates. "Carbohydrate is the nutrient which has the greatest effect in terms of raising blood sugar levels and requires the most insulin to be taken or be produced by the body," explained the health site.
The diet is also rich in vegetables and natural, real foods which aids weight loss - another key component of blood sugar control.
What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?
Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make a person feel unwell.
According to the NHS, symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
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