Fennel benefits have been used in many cultures for treating various health conditions since ancient times. Fennel is highly appreciated for its licorice-like flavor and the numerous health welfares it provides. This celery-like winter vegetable is originally cultivated in the Mediterranean, and it remains particularly prevalent in Italian and Greek cuisine – although its influence has spread worldwide over the years.
It’s easily recognized by its long green stalks and pale bulb, and could be grown almost anywhere. Every part of the fennel plant – including the stalk, bulb, stalk, seeds, and leaves – is edible and contribute a fine blend of flavor to many other foods.
Fennel is an incredible source of Vitamin C. Plus, it contains a significant amount of fiber that helps lower the levels of cholesterol in the blood, thus decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Here are some of the greatest, possible health benefits of fennel.
Fennel benefits are so excellent due to its high content of Vitamin C. The support system of the skin, collagen, relies on vitamin C as a crucial nutrient, which works in the body as an antioxidant to prevent damage caused by the smoke, pollution, and the sun. Vitamin C also promotes the ability to collagen to smooth wrinkles and improve complete skin texture.
Consuming vegetables and fruits of all sorts has long been linked to a decreased risk of many lifestyle-associated health conditions. Some studies have suggested that increasing intake of plant foods as fennel reduces the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and overall mortality, and promotes an increased energy, healthy complexion and hair, and overall lower weight.
- Bone Health
The calcium, manganese, zinc, magnesium, vitamin K, iron, and phosphorous content present in this vegetable, all contribute to maintaining and building bone strength and structure.
- Zinc and iron play vital roles in the maturation and production of collagen.
- Low intake of Vitamin K has been linked to higher risks of bone fracture.
- Bone matrix formation needs manganese, and zinc and iron play crucial roles in the production of collagen.
- Adequate consumption of Vitamin K is significant for good health as it acts as a converter of bone matrix proteins, increase calcium absorption and can reduce urinary excretion of calcium.
- Though calcium and phosphate are both significant in bone structure, the balance of the 2 minerals is essential for proper bone mineralization – ingestion of too little calcium and too much phosphorus intake could result in bone loss.
- Heart Health
Fennel benefits are excellent in lowering cholesterol levels and supporting heart health.
- Due to its great amounts of fiber, fennel can help lower the complete amounts of cholesterol in the blood, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- In one study, people who took 4,069 mg of potassium a day had a 49 percent lower risk of death from heart disease compared to people who took less potassium (around 1,000 mg a day).
- Folate and Vitamin B-6 prevent the buildup of a compound called homocysteine.
- Blood Pressure
Keeping a low sodium intake is important to decreasing blood pressure, though increasing the intake of potassium might be just as essential due to its vasodilation properties. Fewer than 2 percent of adults in the U.S. meet the daily recommendation of 4700 mg, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Additionally, magnesium, calcium, and potassium (all present in fennel) have been proven to lower blood pressure naturally 1 2 .
Dietary nitrates present in some foods as fennel have been shown to lower blood pressure and keep your heart safe because of their vasoprotective and vasodilatory effects. One research conducted by the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences found that contributors’ blood pressure levels were lower after consuming nitrate supplements, which contained nitrate quantities equal to 150-250 grams of nitrate-rich veggies than after taking a placebo 3 .
Selenium is a mineral that isn’t present in most vegetables and fruits, but could be found in fennel. It helps detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in the body and plays a great role in liver enzyme function. Furthermore, selenium can prevent inflammation and can decrease tumor growth rates, too.
- Fiber intakes from vegetables and fruits like fennel are linked with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.
- Beta-carotene, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C function as potent antioxidants, which help protect cells against free radical damage.
- Fennel benefits just go on! It also contains folate that plays an important role in DNA synthesis and repair, therefore preventing the formation of cancer cells from DNA mutations.
- Weight Management
Dietary fibers are well-known as significant factors in weight loss and management by functioning like “bulking agents” in the digestive system. Therefore, these compounds reduce appetite and increase satiety, making you feel fuller for longer and lowering your total calorie intake.
Fennel also contains choline, which is a very significant and versatile nutrient that helps with muscle movement, memory, learning, and sleep. Choline also aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, reduces chronic inflammation, and assists in the absorption of fat and.
Fennel is a good source of vitamin B-6 that plays an essential role in energy metabolism by breaking down proteins and carbohydrates into amino acids and glucose. These small compounds are more easily used for energy in the body.
Estrogen that is found naturally in this vegetable, is vital in regulating the female reproductive cycle and could also affect fertility. According to a study conducted at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, estrogen also plays a significant role in controlling factors which contribute to body weight, such as energy expenditure and appetite.
As I mentioned before, fennel contains selenium, which has also been proven to improve immune response to infections by stimulating the production of killer T-cells 4 .
Due to its fiber content, this vegetable helps to promote regularity and prevent constipation. So, consume fennel regularly for a healthy digestive tract!
- Increasing Iron Absorption
Iron deficiency a leading cause of anemia. Eating foods like fennel, which are high in vitamin C and foods that are iron-rich, can maximize the ability of your body to absorb iron.
Fennel Nutrition Facts
According to the United States Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Service, 1 raw fennel bulb contains about 5 :
- 73 calories
- 0 milligrams of cholesterol
- 17 grams of carbohydrate
- 5 grams’ fat
- 9 grams’ protein
- 7 grams’ dietary fiber (28% of the daily value)
- 10% of daily magnesium requirements
- 27% of daily potassium requirements
- 6% Vitamin A
- 46% Vitamin C
- 9% iron
- 11% calcium
- 5% Vitamin B6
- 5% sodium
Fennel also contains zinc, manganese, niacin, folate, beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin K, choline, phosphorus, copper, pantothenic acid, selenium, zeaxanthin (vision), and lutein.
In addition to all of these nutrients, this vegetable also contains dietary nitrates and is a natural source of estrogen.
How to select fennel?
Fresh fennel could be readily available in the local farmer markets in spring or early autumn seasons. But, you can also buy them through the year, mostly in the supermarkets. In America, bulb fennel is labeled as “anise” in the groceries, due to its anise-like flavor.
To harvest, firmly hold at fennel’s bulb base and slightly pull the whole plant off the ground. Then, trim roots and cut off the top green leafy stems of the fennels since they rob nutrients off its front.
How to store fennel?
In the groceries, choose fresh pearly white fennel bulbs which are compact and heavy in the hand, and nice-looking anise-like sweet flavor. Purchase medium-sized bulbs each weighing around 5 to 10 ounces.
Over-mature and very large bulbs are pretty stringy and have a less intense flavor. You should avoid shriveled and dried out bulbs, and fennels with yellow discoloration, splits, bruise, and spots.
At home, put them in a plastic bag (zip pouch) and store inside the vegetable compartment of the fridge just like you do in case of leaks. They stay fresh for up to 5 days, though, prolong storage could lead to loss of flavor and nutrients.
Preparation and Serving Methods
Fennel bulb is used to add flavors to many dishes, especially in stews, soups, and salads. The blanched fennel bulb has a unique aroma and a light and sweet, delicate licorice taste. One of the favorite winter season veggies in the whole of Italy and France is the sweet fennel.
In order to prepare, simply trim off the base as you do in onions. After properly washed and prepared, you can cut its clear white front into cubes, slices, or sticks, as you may want to add in the recipes.
Tip: Try a big handful of fennel sautéed in butter with chopped tomatoes, thinly sliced sweet onions, and pasta for a really divine meal paired with some seared wild Alaskan salmon. You can also add some chopped carrots for even better taste.
Fennel benefits are excellent for the health, and when cooked – this versatile vegetable makes the meals incredibly tasty. Main reason for its versatility is that each part can be used: the tender, the bulb root, the seeds, and the wispy leaves.
Fennels add a sweetly musky flavor in combination with some other great vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and beets, with savory roast fish and meats, pasta dishes, and raw in salads.
The essential oil of fennel is used for treating many digestive problems in the Asian medicine. Clinical trials have found this vegetable to have anti-aging properties and skin-softening, and extracts have been found to eliminate colic in children 6 . And fennel benefits don’t just stop here! Vitamin C is by far its most significant nutritional attribute, though, other phytonutrients and minerals, combine to help prevent colon cancer, high blood pressure, and cholesterol build-up.