Health Benefits of Fennel
Fennel is a common herb and spice used in various culinary around the world. It belongs to apiacaea family and is known for its aroma and the unique blend of flavour it brings to various dishes. The best part about fennel is its each and every part is edible. The bulb, foliage and its seed can be consumed. The bulb of fennel is eaten raw, boiled or grilled. It is even added in various stews and curries. Fennel seeds however are used as an important spice in various vegetable dishes and hot curries. So, let us have a glance at the nutritional and health benefits of fennel.
Nutritional Benefits of Fennel
Fennel is a healthy food. It contains only 30 calories for 100 grams of its consumption and is loaded with variety of nutrients. It is high in dietary fibre, Vitamin-A and Vitamin-C. Minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and phosphorous can also be found in it. Traces of protein and fats are also present in fennel.
Health Benefits of Fennel – Enhances Digestion
Fennels contain essential oils which help in the formation of digestive enzymes. These enzymes help in the proper disintegration of food in the body. It contains anethole which helps in absorbing the nutrients and also decreases inflammation in stomach and intestines. Consumption of fennel can help in reducing bloating and flatulence. Aspartic acid is found in fennel which has carminative properties. It also has laxative properties and can be helpful in treating constipation.
Fennel improves Heart Health
Fennel is high in fibre. It can be used for lowering cholesterol and fats accumulated in the body. Moreover it contains negligible amount of cholesterol and fats. LDL cholesterol can be lowered by its consumption as it is rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Rutin, quercitin, and various kaempferol glycosides show antioxidant properties and help in reducing LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Even good HDL cholesterol is increases by fennel consumption.
Fennel contains folates which are known to suppress the actions of homocysteine molecules. These molecules can damage artery walls and can result in heart strokes. Potassium present in it is known to reduce high blood pressure. This makes fennel a heart friendly food.
Health Benefits of Fennel – Prevents Cancer
Fennel is high in anti-carcinogenic compounds like antioxidants, flavonoids, alkaloids and phenols. Fennel seeds extract are known to be have these properties. Fennel contains anethole which has anti-inflammatory properties and is considered to inhibit the development of cancer. Quercetin is a flavonoid which inhibits the action of nitric oxide and can trigger the metabolism of cancer cells. Limonene is also a phytochemical which is known to restrict the onset of breast cancer.
Thus, fennel is extremely beneficial in restricting cancer and we must add this food to our diet.
Fennel improves Brain activities
Fennel is known to improve cognitive functions in a person. Potassium found in it can help in maintaining the electrical conduction of the body. It is also helpful in the proper circulation of oxygen to the brain cells and nerves which make them active. Memory is enhanced by its consumption.
Other Health Benefits Of Fennel
- Diarrhea can be prevented by its consumption. It contains amino acid known as histidine that is beneficial in proper digestion and can prevent such diseases.
- Immunity of the body can be significantly increased as it is high in Vitamin-C, antioxidants, minerals and phytonutrients.
- Fennel is known to prevent respiratory problems. It contains various essential oils like cineol and anetol which helps in providing heat to the body. Bronchitis, cough and cold can be kept at bay by its consumption. It helps in providing a soothing effect to the throat and nasal passage.
- Fennel is diuretic and thus can be helpful in flushing out the toxins from the body and providing healthy body.
- Fennel is helpful for lactating mother as it promotes the production of milk. Moreover it also helps in proper regulation of menstruation cycle by regulation of hormones. Effects of PMS can also be reduced by this food.
- Antioxidant properties of fennel make it beneficial for skin. It can protect from free radical damages and can prevent early aging and wrinkles.