Fennel is a flowering plant from the order Apiales, from the genus Umbelliferae and from the genus Fennel. This plant is rich in compounds similar to the female hormone estrogen (phytoestrogens) and has a warm nature.
Although some people do not like the taste of fennel, but this substance can have many health benefits. Fennel is known for its white color and long green stem.
Fennel is native to southwestern Asia and southern Europe, especially the Mediterranean, but is now cultivated in most parts of the world, including the United States, France, India, and Russia. This plant is mostly harvested in autumn. That is why you will see more fennel in autumn and winter than in other seasons.
Fennel has been used in various cultures for its healing properties. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is used to help with a variety of conditions, such as breastfeeding. This plant helps with abdominal pain, relieves insect bites or treats sore throats.
Nutritional value of fennel:
An average fennel has about 73 calories, 3 grams of protein, 17 grams of carbohydrates. It is low in fat but low in cholesterol.
Fennel has a lot of fiber. Eating the white part provides about 7 grams of dietary fiber. This is equivalent to 28% of the body’s daily requirement of fiber. Most people can’t get enough fiber. Therefore, consuming an average number of fennel per day can enter 7 grams of fiber in the body. The white part of fennel contains 969 mg of potassium and can meet 27% of the body’s need for this mineral.
Potassium is essential for helping lower blood pressure as well as maintaining fluid balance. Fennel is rich in vitamin C and consuming its white part can enter 28 mg of vitamin C in the body. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can slow down the aging process and increase the health of the immune system.
Fennel also provides other important vitamins such as vitamins A, B6, K and folate. This plant is an excellent source of other minerals such as iron, calcium, copper, zinc and selenium.
Properties of fennel:
Due to the calcium in fennel, consuming it will help maintain bone health. Fennel contains 115 mg of calcium and can meet 10% of the body’s need for calcium. By consuming it, you can increase the calcium in your diet . This is great for people who can’t get enough calcium from other sources. But calcium is not the only bone-strengthening nutrient found in fennel. This plant contains magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin K, which play an important role in maintaining bone health.
Improve skin health
Fennel is a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that reduces free radical damage. This prevents facial skin from aging prematurely. Vitamin C is essential for collagen formation and is a powerful tool for protecting the appearance of the skin. Vitamin C deficiency in the body is called scurvy. This deficiency causes the body to not produce collagen properly. This causes bleeding gums and bleeding under the skin. Due to the function of vitamin C in the body, sufficient and appropriate amount of this vitamin is necessary to reduce wrinkles and maintain the freshness and health of the skin.
Lower blood pressure
Fennel can lower blood pressure and inflammation due to its high potassium content and low sodium content. Potassium stands up to sodium, which lowers blood pressure. A high-potassium diet can lower blood pressure. Just keep in mind that these effects do not occur overnight. To be able to enjoy these benefits, you must eat a high-potassium diet for 4 weeks.
Fennel can improve digestion and digestion. Since this plant has about 7 grams of dietary fiber, it can help a lot in the health of the digestive system. The muscles in your digestive system will need dietary fiber.
Since digestive problems such as constipation and IBS are common in adults, consuming fennel can be a smart choice. In addition, fiber acts like a small toothbrush and can clear toxins in the gut. If these toxins remain in the body, they can cause colon cancer.
Fennel itself acts as a laxative and will help eliminate toxins from the body. This is why some cultures chew fennel seeds after a meal to help digestion and eliminate bad breath .
Some of the oils found in fennel will help produce digestive fluid. Fennel is also good for people with acid reflux. Adding fennel to the diet can balance the pH of the stomach.
Fiber has no calories and can keep you full. Humans do not have the enzyme needed to break down fiber. Therefore, fiber is not absorbed as calories in the body. Fennel has about 7 grams of calorie-free fiber.
Studies show that a high-fiber diet can help you lose weight. A 2001 study showed that consuming 14 grams of fiber a day can lead to good weight loss. Adding fennel to the diet can provide a feeling of satiety. This will help you lose a lot of weight .
Improve colic in infants
Colic or colic in infants is a relatively safe medical condition. Colic is the persistent crying for more than three hours a day, which occurs more than three days a week and lasts for at least three weeks. In this situation, the parents do everything to calm the baby.
A drug recently used called dicyclomine hydrochloride to treat colic can have serious side effects. But researchers have found that fennel seed oil can reduce pain in infants and is a natural home remedy for colic. In a 2003 study, researchers compared fennel seed oil with placebo.
The group treated with fennel seed oil experienced 65% less colic. Although this study is promising, the appropriate dose for infants has not yet been determined. Perhaps the safest way to treat colic in infants is for the mother to drink fennel tea.
Related article: What is neonatal colic and how to get rid of it?
Help prevent cancer
Fennel has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries to help treat inflammatory conditions such as insect bites or sore throats. The ability of fennel to reduce inflammation has prompted researchers to study its effects on cancer.
An oil called anethole, found in fennel, is known in some clinical studies as a natural treatment for cancer and can reduce the production of breast cancer cells .
Scientists believe that this oil can reduce the inflammation that leads to the development of cancer. However, more studies are needed in this area.
Other anti-inflammatory substances in fennel such as selenium can help reduce cancer mortality. A large study of 8,000 participants found that selenium reduced cancer mortality.
Reduce the risk of heart disease
Foods high in fiber (especially soluble fiber) can lower blood cholesterol levels. A high-fiber diet can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by lowering blood cholesterol levels.
The high fiber and potassium content of fennel can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Fennel is also a good source of heart-protecting vitamins such as folate and vitamin C.
Macular degeneration is one of the vision problems associated with aging. Although the underlying cause of this condition is still unknown, antioxidants can reduce inflammation in the body and improve vision.
Fennel contains many nutrients that protect eyesight. Due to flavonoids, vitamin C and other minerals in this plant, oxidative stress damage and inflammation can be prevented.
Possible side effects of fennel consumption:
Although most people do not have a problem with consuming fennel, in some cases you should avoid consuming this plant. Some people may be allergic to certain substances. Therefore, they should avoid consuming fennel seeds. Due to the high potassium levels in fennel, people with kidney disease should limit their intake. People who use beta blockers should avoid fennel.
How to choose a good fennel and prepare it?
Fennel has a crisp texture and its taste and aroma are similar to licorice. You can use it in different foods. When you want to choose a fennel, look for a fennel that has a white part. This part can be stored in the freezer for 4 to 5 days. Over time, the aroma and taste will disappear, so it is better to taste it fresh.