Fennel is grown all over the world. It has a pale bulb and long green stalks.every part of the fennel plant is edible. It is used to add flavor to the food. The scientific name of fennel is Foeniculum vulgare which isan aromatic herb.it has been originated in the Mediterranean region and has many culinary and medicinal uses. Fennel is also one of the main components of the alcohol absinthe, although the plant does not have hallucinogenic properties.
The health benefits of fennel include relief from anemia, indigestion, flatulence, constipation, colic, diarrhea, respiratory disorders, and menstrual disorders. It also aids in eye care. It is widely used around the world in mouth fresheners, toothpaste, desserts, antacids, and in various culinary applications.
1. Bone health
The vitamin and mineral content in fennel contributes to building and maintaining bone structure and strength in the following ways:
- Phosphate and calcium are both important in bone structure.
- Iron and zinc are crucial for the production and maturation of collagen.
- Bone matrix formation requires the mineral manganese.
- Low intakes of vitamin K have been associated with a higher risk for bone fracture.
Vitamin K is important for health, as it modifies bone matrix proteins, improves calcium absorption, and may reduce the excretion of calcium in urine.
2. Blood pressure
Fennel contains potassium, calcium and magnesium that helps to decrease the blood pressure naturally. It also protects the heart as it contains vasodilatory and vasoprotective properties in it.
3. Heart health
Fennel contains lots of nutrients like fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and phytonutrient which protects the heart from any disease. It promotes heart health and reduces cholesterol.
Fennel contains selenium which other fruits and vegetables mostly does not have. It helps to prevent inflammation, decrease tumor growth rates and reduces the risk of cancer especially colorectal cancer.
Selenium promotes the production of killer T-cells. It also helps to improve the immune system in response to infection.
Fennel contains chlorine which is an important nutrient which helps in improving sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory. It also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat, and reduces chronic inflammation.
Fennel is a source of vitamin B-6, which plays a vital role in energy metabolism by breaking down carbohydrates and proteins into glucose and amino acids. These smaller compounds are more easily used for energy within the body.
8. Digestion and regularity
The fiber content in fennel helps to prevent constipation and promotes regularity for a healthy digestive tract.
9. Weight management and satiety
Dietary fiber helps to s increase satiety and reduce appetite, making an individual feel fuller for longer and so lowering overall calorie intake which helps in reducing the weight of an individual.
10. Increasing iron absorption
Fennel is rich in iron which helps to improve the ability of the body to absorb iron.
Estrogen occurs naturally in fennel. It plays a central role in regulating the female reproductive cycle, and it can also determine fertility.
12. Premenstrual syndrome
Fennel extract may help in reducing the effects of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Fennel contains vitamin C which works as an antioxidant to help prevent damage caused by the sun, pollution, and smoke. Vitamin C also promotes the ability of collagen to smooth wrinkles and improve the overall texture of the skin.
14. Prevents Anemia
Fennel contains iron which is the chief constituent of hemoglobin, histidine stimulates the production of hemoglobin and also helps in the formation of various other components of the blood. Thus, helping in the treatment of anemia.
15. Relieves Indigestion
Fennel is used to improve digestion and relieves in bad breath. It also helps to reduce in inflammation in the stomach and intestines, and facilitating proper absorption of nutrients from the food. Fennel is also helpful in treating constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and other intestinal issues.
.16. Removes Flatulence
Fennel is a popular antiflatulent it helps to reduce flatulence and to expel excess gas from the stomach. It is commonly used in medicines to reduce symptoms of non-ulcer dyspepsia and flatulence in infants and young children.
17. Improves Brain Function
Fennel contains potassium which helps to increase electrical conduction throughout the body. It is also used to increase brain function and cognitive abilities through this quality.
18. Effective Diarrhea Remedy
Fennel contains amino acids, anethol and cineole which is used in promoting digestion. Thus, curing diarrhea which is caused due to indigestion.
19. Alleviates Symptoms of Colic
Fennel helps to reduce the symptoms of colic. It contains some antispasmodic qualities which also help it relax muscles and reduce the discomfort associated with the colic.
20. Regulates Menstruation
Fennel eases and regulates menstruation by properly regulating hormonal action in the body. It reduces the symptoms of PMS, and it is also used traditionally as a soothing pain reliever and relaxing agent for menopausal women.
21. Promotes Breast Enlargement
Fennel contains flavonoids which increase the amount of estrogen thereby acting as a stimulant and tonic. It increases the formation of new cells and tissues in the breast. Thus, increasing the size of the breast.
22. Eye Care
Fennel contain lots of antioxidants like amino acids, vitamin C, detoxifiers and stimulants which protects the eye from inflammation and macular degeneration. It also contains flavonoids which protects us from oxidative stress.
23. Treats Respiratory Disorders
Fennel contains cineole and anethole which protects us from many respiratory diseases such as congestion, bronchitis, and cough. It also helps in loosening up the toxins and buildup of the throat and nasal passages for elimination from the body to ensure quick recovery from respiratory conditions.
24 Great for Acne:
Fennel provide the body with lot of nutrients like zinc, calcium and selenium which help the hormones to be in balance and maintain the oxygen level. It also keeps skin cool and gives a healthy glow.
Fennel can be consumed at any time of day. Fennel goes well with all kinds of herbs, spices and vegetables.
Uses of fennel
- Colic in breast-fed infants. Giving fennel seed oil can relieve colic in infants 2-12 weeks old. Also, breast-fed infants with colic who are given a specific multi-ingredient product containing fennel, lemon balm, and German chamomile seem to cry for a shorter period of time than other infants with colic. In addition, giving a specific tea containing fennel, chamomile, vervain, licorice, and balm-mint can reduce colic severity in infants.
- Fennel herb products are available in a variety of forms including capsules, caplets, tea bags, seeds, and extract oils.
- Many of the medicinal uses of fennel such as eye washing call for fennel water. In this case, essential oil with fennel extracts will be needed. Simply mix one pint of water with eight drops of fennel oil to create fennel water. Fennel water can be ingested (up to 8 tsp. per day) or used for things such as flea-guarding homes. Fennel oil itself can be mixed in with other massage oils or used on its own and is said to produce a warming sensation and a delightful aroma to add to the soothing properties of massages.
- Fennel fruits/seeds have an extremely sweet taste and are commonly used as breath fresheners. The seeds can be eaten as part of a meal or used to create a fennel tea, which is then gargled. It helps freshen the breath.
How to Select and Store
Buy fennel that have bulbs that are clean, firm and solid, without signs of splitting, bruising or spotting. The bulbs should be whitish or pale green in color. Both the stalks and the leaves should be green in color. There should be no signs of flowering buds as this indicates that the vegetable is past maturity. Fresh fennel should have a fragrant aroma, smelling subtly of licorice or anise. Store fresh fennel in the refrigerator crisper, where it should keep fresh for about four days.
Ways to use fennel
Fennel can used in a variety of ways.
- Healthy sautéed fennel and onions make a wonderful side dish.
- Combine sliced fennel with avocados, and oranges for a delightful salad.
- Braised fennel is a wonderful complement to scallops.
- Next time you are looking for a new way to adorn your sandwiches, consider adding sliced fennel in addition to the traditional toppings of lettuce and tomato.
- Top thinly sliced fennel with plain yogurt and mint leaves.
- Fennel is a match made in Heaven when served with salmon.
Season in which fennel is available
Fennel is all available all year round.
How to make Saunf Aloo (Fennel Potato Curry) Recipe
- 5 Potatoes (Aloo), halved with skin
- 2 teaspoon Fennel seeds (Saunf), crushed
- 2 teaspoon Red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi)
- 1/4 cup Fresh cream, or 1/2 cup milk
- 4 sprig Coriander (Dhania) Leaves , finely chopped
- To begin with Saunf Aloo, heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add turmeric powder, salt, red chilli powder and crushed fennel seeds till the fennel seeds turns golden in colour.
- Now add the potatoes and mix it properly with the masala. Sauce it for 2-3 minutes and then add enough water to cover the potatoes in the cooker.
- Switch the heat after two whistles and once the pressure is released, open the lid of the pressure cooker.
- The next step is to add the cream or milk and mash a few potatoes to get a thicker consistency. Let it cook for 5 more minutes or until the cooker releases 2 more whistles.
- Garnish the Saunf Aloo with some roasted saunf and chopped coriander.
- Serve Saunf Aloo along with Amritsari Dal and Whole Wheat lachha Paratha for a weekday meal.
How to make Roasted Curried Fennel
- Fennel Bulb-1 sliced thinly from top to bottom
- Curry Powder-2 tsp
- Red Chili/paprika/cayenne-1 tsp
- Salt-to taste
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil-2 tbsp
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Mix the spices in a bowl.
- In a greased baking sheet arrange the sliced fennel and sprinkle the spice mixture generously on both sides.
- Pour some EVOO all over.
- Bake in the oven for about 20 mins until all golden.
Fennel can cause allergic reactions to some people. People who are suffering from allergic reactions to fennel should not eat them.
Fun facts about fennel
- Fennel develops erect, branched stem that can grow up to 8 feet in height. Stem is bluish-grey colored.