Top 10 Fennel Health Benefits
Fennel is considered as a root vegetable that originated from the Mediterranean countries of Italy and Greece. Today, fennel is grown in different countries, including the US and it is usually harvested in the fall. Aside from its reputation as a flavorful herb used for cooking, it also has medicinal uses that offer several fennel health benefits for everyone.
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All About Fennel
If you consume one average-sized fennel, it will provide you with 3 grams of protein, 7 grams of dietary fiber, 17 grams of carbohydrates, and 73 calories. It is very low in fat and has zero cholesterol. If you are lacking in fiber, including fennel in your regular diet is a wonderful addition. Fennel can help boost your immune system because it is rich in vitamin C. One fennel bulb contains about 28 mg of vitamin C, which is almost half of the recommended daily allowance needed by adults. Some of the additional nutrients found in fennel include potassium, vitamin A, B6, and K, iron, copper, calcium, zinc, selenium, and folate.
Fennel has a flavor that can be compared to licorice or anise. It is usually added to winter dishes because of its crunchy texture and flavor. When buying fennel in the supermarket or grocery, always choose the fennel bulbs that are still firm and white at the bottom part. The stalks should also be bundled together. Every part of the fennel can be eaten, including the leaves, seeds, and bulb. If you are putting it in the refrigerator, it should be eaten in a few days because it tends to lose its flavor over time. There is a long list of fennel benefits because it is a powerhouse of nutrients that can definitely improve your overall health.
The Best Fennel Health Benefits
Promotes Healthy Skin
Foods that are high in vitamin C are very effective in promoting healthy skin. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals, thus reducing the chances of premature skin aging. Vitamin C also slows down the aging process of your skin because it is needed in the formation of collagen. It also helps in protecting your skin’s appearance, making it look smoother and younger. You need a regular dose of vitamin C to reduce the development of wrinkles and keep the skin healthy. It is recommended to have a 60 mg daily intake of vitamin C from different food sources. Citrus fruits are great sources of vitamin C, but you can also add fennel and other vegetables rich in vitamin C into your diet.
Helps Improve Your Digestive System
It is a common practice in India to chew fennel seeds right after eating. The older people believe that fennel benefits include facilitating good digestion and getting rid of bad breath. Science has backed up this age-old belief since it was discovered that fennel essential oil acts as stimulants that stimulate the secretion of digestive and gastric juices and reduce inflammation in the stomach, thus resulting in a much better absorption of nutrients from the food. This positive reaction in the digestive system also provides protection from different intestinal problems. Another fennel health benefits that help your digestive system is its ability to treat constipation. Its seeds, when in powder form, can act as a laxative. Fennel seeds stimulate the proper peristaltic motion of your intestines, which helps with the excretion through the stimulation of bile production and gastric juices. You will always find fennel as the main ingredient in medicines that treat irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
One of the most popular fennel benefits is that it is antiflatulent. Fennel contains carminative properties of the aspartic acid that stops flatulence. It can even be used for babies and young children to help them expel the excess gasses from their stomach. Fennel benefits also include lowering your risk of colon cancer. Fennel is rich in fiber, which acts as a cleanser that sweeps off toxins in the colon that could cause colon cancer.
Good for Your Cardiovascular Health
Fennel is beneficial for your heart health because it contains high amounts of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is known for reducing the cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. It is good to have a diet high in fiber because it helps maintain a normal blood cholesterol level, thus reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Fennel is not only rich in fiber, but it also contains high amounts of potassium, which also helps in lowering the blood pressure and cholesterol. Fennel is high in potassium and low in sodium, which makes it the perfect addition to your diet if you are prone to cardiovascular disease. Having a diet that is high in potassium can lower the systolic blood pressure by several points. However, this doesn’t happen overnight. You have to continue your high potassium diet for four weeks in order to see a huge drop in your blood pressure.
Lowers the Risk of Cancer
Chinese medicine has discovered the potent ability of fennel to treat inflammatory conditions for many centuries. In the ancient times, Chinese health practitioners used fennel to treat inflammation caused by insect bites and sore throat. This ability of fennel to fight inflammation led the researchers to study if fennel can be used against inflammatory diseases such as cancer. Fennel contains an anti-inflammatory phytonutrient called anethole, which has been discovered in clinical trials to act as an effective remedy for cancer. The use of anethole gave very positive results when it was introduced into breast cancer cells. It works by reducing the inflammation that can lead to the development of cancer. However, it is still on its early stage of research, which means that it still needs further studies to determine what it can really do against cancer.
There are also other phytonutrients that deliver anti-carcinogenic effects such as limonene and quercetin. Selenium is another anti-inflammatory nutrient that is found in fennel that helps decrease cancer mortality rates. A cancer study has found that selenium has been proven to lower the risk of future cancer incidence in a large group of people. As mentioned earlier in this article, fennel is rich in fiber, which helps get rid of the carcinogenic toxins that can lead to colon cancer. Fennel benefits can save lives and keep you stronger against debilitating diseases such as cancer.
Improves Eye Health
As you grow older, the risk of macular degeneration increases. Macular degeneration is the primary cause of blindness for older people. Eye specialists and health experts believe that antioxidants such as vitamin C, flavonoids, and zinc can help slow down the progression of macular degeneration and maintains a proper vision for the elders. Fennel health benefits include the improvement of eye health since it contains all of these vision-saving nutrients. Fennel contains high amounts of vitamin C, flavonoids, and zinc, which fights inflammation and reduce oxidative damage.
The flavonoids in fennel are very effective in protecting against the death of pigments cells due to oxidative stress. Since fennel protects the pigment cells from dying, it can help in keeping your eyes and vision healthy. One study has found that fennel benefits can promote the dilation of blood vessels and reduce eye pressure. This ability helps fennel prevent and treat glaucoma. However, the study is still not 100% conclusive and further tests and evaluation will have to be made. Another study in India has suggested that the trans-anethole in fennel seeds can prevent retinopathy, which is closely linked with blindness and vision loss of people with diabetes. Finally, the leaves of the fennel plant can be used to treat eye fatigue and eye irritation. You need to extract the juice from the leaves and apply it externally to the eyes to reduce eye irritation and fatigue.
Relieves Menstrual Problems and Ease Menopausal Symptoms
Women with menstrual problems should take advantage of fennel benefits that promote regular menstrual flow. There are many women who encounter problems with their regular menstrual cycle because of poor diet, stress, and unhealthy lifestyle. Fennel seeds contain emmenagogue properties that can help women have a regular menstrual cycle. Emmenagogue means that fennel is capable of easing and regulating menstruation by controlling the hormonal actions in the body.
A study done several years ago showed positive results that fennel can lessen dysmenorrheal or painful menstruation. Fennel health benefits also include easing menopausal symptoms. A research has shown that a group of women, who had been postmenopausal for at least 1 year, experienced significant improvements in menopausal symptoms after taking fennel capsules daily for 8 weeks. Fennel was seen as a pain reliever and a relaxing treatment for these menopausal women. The research concluded that fennel can be used to ease menopausal symptoms in women with reduced estrogen levels.
Helps Prevent Obesity
Obesity and being overweight is a major problem in the US today. There are so many diet and workout programs that are being promoted to help people control their weight. If you are having difficulty maintaining a healthy weight, you can try adding fennel to your regular diet. Fennel health benefits can have a major impact on your overall health and help you lose weight in the process.
Fennel is effective in helping you lose weight because it can suppress your appetite and makes you feel fuller. This means that you can avoid overeating during your next meal or snack. Fennel benefits can also work against obesity by boosting your metabolism, thus making it faster and easier to burn fats. Fennel is high in fiber, which is also another way to effectively lose weight. A study has shown that people who added fiber into their regular diet reduced their calorie consumption and lost 4 pounds of weight in about four months. Fiber is the reason why you feel fuller and satisfied, so it is recommended to add fennel and other high fiber foods into your diet to avoid taking in too many calories.
One way to get the maximum fennel health benefits is to grind, dry roast, or sieve the fennel seeds until it becomes powdery. Consume a ½ teaspoon of this fennel powder with warm water twice per day.
Boost Bone Health
It may be surprising to many people that one of the fennel health benefits includes strengthening your bones and improving bone health. Fennel contains high amounts of calcium that can keep your bones strong and healthy. Fennel contains about 10% of the recommended daily allowance of calcium for adults, which is equivalent to 115 mg.
Improving your bone health is important, especially for the older generations, to avoid brittle bones and osteoporosis. People who are not consuming enough calcium and other bone-building nutrients are prone to bone diseases and fractures. A fennel bulb does not only provide calcium for bone strength, but it also contains other nutrients such as vitamin K, phosphorus, and magnesium that has major roles to play in keeping your bones healthy.
Helps Cure Respiratory Disorders
If you are frequently having coughs, congestion, flu, colds, and other respiratory problems, you may need to consume more fennels. Fennel benefits can treat your respiratory disorders since this amazing herb contains Anethol and Cineole, which has expectorant properties. You can choose either fennel powder or fennel seeds, but both are effective in loosening the phlegm that has been building up in your throat and nasal passages.
When suffering from a sore throat or flu, you can make your own fennel tea and drink it 2 to 3 times per day. This will relieve you of the congestion and treat your sore throat and flu. You can also boil 2 tablespoons of fennel seeds in 1 cup of water. Continue boiling until half of the water evaporates and then strain the solution and gargle it.
Good for Your Memory and Brain Function
Fennel benefits are not just good for your body, it also improves your memory and brain function. Intensive research and study have concluded that fennel is a brain food that can improve a person’s cognitive performance. Fennel contains high amounts of potassium, which is an electrolyte that stimulates electric conduction inside the body and contributes to better cognitive abilities. Also, fennel is considered a good vasodilator, which means that the brain receives more oxygen, thus optimizing brain function and neural activity. If you want to have a sharper mind and good memory, you should consume more fennel seeds and bulbs in your regular diet.