(BeWellBuzz) Fennel is an edible herb, with its origin in the Mediterranean region as well as in the south-east Asian countries. Tiny in their appearance, fennel seeds are thin and about 4-8 cms long, varying in their color from brown to light green.
Apart from being an anti-oxidant and containing anti-inflammatory agent, fennel is also known to be an antispasmodic, expectorant, diuretic as well as a stimulant.
In fact, the entire plant including its seeds, roots and leaves have been used as medicinal agents since the ancient times. So much so that fennel is actually listed amongst the World’s 130 Healthiest Foods by the World’s Healthiest Foods Organization.
The goodness quotient of fennel comes from its key ingredients, which include:
— The phytonutrient anethole, which prevents both inflammation as well as carcinogenesis, the process by which regular cells get converted into cancerous ones.
– Dietary fiber, potassium and folate which promote good cardiovascular and colon health.
The 16 Key Benefits
Apart from the above, there are other important ways in which fennel serves as a therapeutic agent, relaxant and stimulant.
Here, we briefly list out various other ways fennel can help you achieve a healthier mind and body.
- Being low in calories at 27 cal per cup, it is excellent for your cardiovascular health
- Rich in minerals such as manganese, calcium and vitamin B3
- Helps in the treatment of digestive problems such as flatulence, bloating, diarrhea, indigestion and infant colic and constipation
- Helps reduce pain, discomfort and other symptoms associated with menstruation
- Being carminative in nature, it prevents gas formation in your intestinal tract
- Constituents like cineole and anetol helps patients of respiratory disorders. Boiling fennel leaves and inhaling the vapors can give relief for symptoms of asthma and bronchitis.
- Provides relief and strength to patients of anemia, due to its high iron content
- Promotes weight loss due to its ability to suppress appetite, improve your metabolic rate, reduce water retention and dissolve body fat
- Helps individuals suffering from sleep disorders when combined with licorice
- Helps young mothers by aiding in lactation and improving the flow of breast milk
- Its diuretic properties help in flushing out the toxins from the body, preventing rheumatism and ensuring sound kidney health
- Can cure sore throats and hoarseness in the voice through gargles
- Helps eye and vision problems, such as night blindness or weakness in the optic nerve. It also helps in problems that might arise due to age, such as macular degeneration
- When grounded and made into a tea, it can serve as first aid in case of insect bites and food poisoning
- Aids in hair care by adding sheen and reducing hair loss
- The tea from fennel leaves and seeds is beneficial for removing intestinal worms and bacteria.
Ways to use
You can incorporate fennel into your daily diet in a number of ways. Here, we’ve listed a few common methods for you to use:
- Sauté with onions as a part of a main course
- Boil in water to make a cup of tea
- Use raw as a part of a salad
- Heat in olive oil for dishes like pasta
- Add leaves of the fennel plant to salads, sauces and soups
- Add raw bulbs to salads
- Have it as a drink by combining fennel with carrots to make a juice
As with everything, moderation is the key. Also pregnant women should avoid fennel.