Benefits Of Fenugreek For Weight Loss

What is fenugreek?

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) is a clover-like plant native to the Mediterranean. It is now grown in different parts of the world, especially in Asian countries like India, where its seeds are referred to as Methi dana. These delectable seeds have a unique scent and flavour reminiscent of maple syrup, which is why they are commonly used in spice blends. 

Though commonly used to season food in numerous Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines, Ayurvedic, Tibetan, and Chinese cultures take advantage of the health benefits associated with fenugreek by using the seeds for alternative medicine. Its most notable applications include the treatment of diabetes, blood pressure regulation and boosting breast milk production. In recent years, the use of fenugreek has increased because the herb has been proven to promote weight loss.

As with alternative medicine, there is limited research into the mechanisms underlying the benefits of fenugreek seeds. However, some studies have identified a range of beneficial phytoconstituents in the seeds which could explain these qualities.1 This article will explore these findings, with a primary focus on the properties that enable it to promote weight loss.

Benefits of fenugreek for weight loss

When combined with exercise and a healthy diet, fenugreek can promote weight loss significantly. This is because the herb suppresses appetite, lowers caloric intake, increases satiety and boosts metabolism. This section will explore the properties underlying these beneficial properties.

Fenugreek suppresses appetite

Having one cup of fenugreek tea a day can promote weight loss by inducing appetite suppression, and this was observed in a study conducted on a sample of overweight Korean women. Women who consumed fenugreek tea had a significantly lower appetite than those in the control group that drank a placebo tea .2

It is not just fenugreek tea that induces this effect. Similar studies conducted in the US and Malaysia on obese adults concluded that incorporating fenugreek in one’s diet resulted in sustained lower appetite hours after consumption.  3, 4

With this suppressed appetite, weight loss can be achieved easily because caloric intake is decreased. Therefore, with regular exercise and a balanced diet, consuming fenugreek daily will undoubtedly promote weight loss.

Fenugreek seeds are rich in fibre

Fenugreek seeds are incredibly nutrient-dense and primarily composed of fibre. A notable fibre in these seeds is a prebiotic carbohydrate called galactomannan, and it is highly beneficial in promoting weight loss and for gut health. This quality was observed in a study on obese rats in which a range of weight loss characteristics were observed in the specimens that were given fenugreek extract. 5These traits included a lower body mass index(BMI) and a reduced adipose tissue weight, along with a decreased rate of weight gain. These changes were induced because galactomannan promotes the complete digestion of fat, thereby preventing its accumulationand consequently promoting weight loss.5, 6

Fenugreek improves metabolism

Another way in which fenugreek promotes weight loss is by increasing the rate of metabolism via the induction of increased insulin sensitivity. As described above, consuming these seeds increases dietary fibre and this significantly reduces blood sugar levels. This quality makes fenugreek effective in managing diabetes by decreasing insulin resistance , which induces standard glucose tolerance and this metabolic pathway promotes weight loss.

Other health benefits of fenugreek

In addition to weight loss, fenugreek also has a range of other health benefits, some of which were introduced in the opening section of this article. The leading advantage of fenugreek is the herb’s anti-diabetic properties, which can be attributed to the associated fibre-induced increase in insulin sensitivity and blood glucose regulation. Fenugreek also has high potassium levels, which support blood pressure reduction in hypertensive individuals. Fenugreek is also effective in boosting immunity because it is rich in flavonoid antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties.8 Furthermore, fenugreek is a known galactagogue because it consists of numerous components that increase breast milk production in new nursing mothers.9 Finally, the latest news identifies a correlation between fenugreek consumption and improved sexual health, along with hormonal regulation. 

Nutritional facts

The nutrient composition of 1 tablespoon (which is 11.1 grams) of fenugreek is 

  • Energy: 35.5 Kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 6.4 g
  • Fibre: 2.7 g
  • Proteins: 2.5 g
  • Fats: 0.7 g

The superfood is also rich in minerals like iron, copper, magnesium and manganese .

How can you introduce or increase your fenugreek in your diet?

This article shows that fenugreek supplementation is highly beneficial, so this section includes a few tips on how to best prepare and incorporate the herb into your diet.

A delicious way of incorporating the spice into your diet is to add fenugreek seed powder to your food. This is a common practice in certain Asian cultures. For instance, in India, Methi seeds are commonly used to enhance the taste of different curries.

Alternatively, you may prepare some fenugreek tea by brewing 1-3 teaspoons of the seeds in one cup of boiling water and drink it on an empty stomach. You could also soak the seeds in warm water overnight. In the morning, you can get your nutritious dose of the herb by eating the soaked seeds or drinking fenugreek water.

Finally, the most convenient way to take a fenugreek supplement is either in capsule form or as a seed extract.

Side effects and other concerns

Potential side effects of fenugreek include bloating, stomach upset and diarrhoea. It also may induce dizzy spells and headaches. While the effects of large doses of the herb are yet to be studied, theory suggests that excessive consumption of fenugreek could cause an extreme decline in blood glucose levels (hypoglycaemia) .

Furthermore, some studies indicate a greater risk of congenital disabilities in babies exposed to fenugreek during gestation, so the herb should be avoided during pregnancy . Because of this correlation, nursing mothers should cautiously consume fenugreek while lactating despite the milk production benefit .10


Overall, fenugreek has a range of beneficial health properties and this article explored the mechanisms behind these qualities, with a focus on the herb’s role in promoting weight loss. The daily consumption of this natural fibre-dense supplement supports weight loss by inducing satiety which suppresses appetite and increases metabolism. Additional phytotherapy research is required to further understand these beneficial qualities of fenugreek.


  1. Idris S, Mishra A, Khushtar M. Recent therapeutic interventions of fenugreek seed: a mechanistic approach. Drug Res (Stuttg) [Internet]. 2021 Apr [cited 2023 Jan 18];71(04):180–92. Available from:
  2. Bae J, Kim J, Choue R, Lim H. Fennel and fenugreek  tea drinking suppresses subjective short-term appetite in overweight women. Clin Nutr Res [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2023 Jan 18];4(3):168. Available from:
  3. Mathern JR, Raatz SK, Thomas W, Slavin JL. Effect of fenugreek fiber on satiety, blood glucose and insulin response and energy intake in obese subjects: fenugreek fiber and satiety. Phytother Res [Internet]. 2009 Nov [cited 2023 Jan 18];23(11):1543–8. Available from:
  4. Robert SD, Ismail AAS, Wan Rosli WI. Trigonella foenum-graecum seeds lowers postprandial blood glucose in overweight and obese individuals. J Nutr Metab [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2023 Jan 18];2014:964873. Available from:
  5. Kumar P, Bhandari U, Jamadagni S. Fenugreek seed extract inhibit fat accumulation and ameliorates dyslipidemia in high fat diet-induced obese rats. BioMed Research International [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2023 Jan 18];2014:1–11. Available from:
  6. Hamden K, Jaouadi B, Carreau S, Bejar S, Elfeki A. Inhibitory effect of fenugreek galactomannan on digestive enzymes related to diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and liver-kidney dysfunctions. Biotechnol Bioproc E [Internet]. 2010 Jun 1 [cited 2023 Jan 18];15(3):407–13. Available from:
  7.  Hadi A, Arab A, Hajianfar H, Talaei B, Miraghajani M, Babajafari S, et al. The effect of fenugreek seed supplementation on serum irisin levels, blood pressure, and liver and kidney function in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A parallel randomized clinical trial. Complementary Therapies in Medicine [Internet]. 2020 Mar [cited 2023 Jan 18];49:102315. Available from:
  8. G S, G. L. S, Pushpan CK, Nambisan B, A H. Evaluation of anti-arthritic potential of Trigonella foenum graecum L. (Fenugreek) mucilage against rheumatoid arthritis. Prostaglandins & Other Lipid Mediators [Internet]. 2018 Sep [cited 2023 Jan 18];138:48–53. Available from:
  9. Vaughn CJ. Drugs and lactation database: lactmed. Journal of Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries [Internet]. 2012 Oct [cited 2023 Jan 19];9(4):272–7. Available from:
  10. Shawahna R, Qiblawi S, Ghanayem H. Which benefits and harms of using fenugreek as a galactogogue need to be discussed during clinical consultations? A delphi study among breastfeeding women, gynecologists, pediatricians, family physicians, lactation consultants, and pharmacists. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2023 Jan 19];2018:1–13. Available from: 
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Brenda Ayebare

Master of Science- MSc, Global Public Health and Policy, Queen Mary University of London

My name is Brenda, and I am an aspiring healthcare communications professional from Uganda. I have a life-science background with a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical science, along with experience as a medical laboratory technologist and a molecular biology research assistant. I pursued my Master’s in Global public health and policy because I am passionate about applying the knowledge generated through life-science research. As a medical writing intern with Klarity health, I aim to apply my life science and public health expertise to enrich your understanding of different diseases, therapeutic areas and lifestyle decisions. I hope you enjoy reading this article and learning from it! presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
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