In addition to their common use as a mouth freshener, Fennel seeds are considered quite helpful in relieving multiple ailments, ranging from stomach gas and congestion to diabetes and asthma. The contents of the seeds are highly nutritious and powerful. Fennel seeds help relieve a number of health problems due to their carminative, antispasmodic, expectorant, emmenagogue, anti-inflammatory, stomachic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, diuretic, depurative and anti-carcinogenic properties. The nutritional profile and health benefits of fennel seeds are mentioned in detail in the article.
Read on to know more!
In India it is a common practice to chew fennel seeds at the end of meals to freshen the mouth but never did we know that the spice has much more to it than just fighting bad breath!
Fennel seeds or more commonly known as saunf, are dried seeds of the fennel herb which is aromatic and flavorful having culinary as well as medicinal uses. The seeds are approximately 4 – 8 mm in length and look like grooved grains of rice or perhaps like greener versions of cumin seeds and have a sweet taste and aroma.
India is the largest exporter of fennel seeds. They are a rich source of minerals like calcium, copper, zinc, potassium, iron, manganese, vitamin C, magnesium and selenium. They also contain good amounts of phytonutrients and have a high concentration of volatile oils.
In Ayurveda, fennel seeds are considered quite valuable. They were extensively used in various ancient Indian recipes which goes for a saying that the age – old health secrets can be found in the simplest items in our homes; We simply need to unveil them!
In addition to their common use as a mouth freshener, Fennel seeds are considered quite helpful in relieving multiple ailments, ranging from stomach gas and congestion to diabetes and asthma. The contents of the seeds are highly nutritious and powerful. Fennel seeds help relieve a number of health problems due to their carminative, antispasmodic, expectorant, emmenagogue, anti-inflammatory, stomachic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, diuretic, depurative and anti-carcinogenic properties. The nutritional profile and health benefits of fennel seeds are mentioned in detail in the following sections of this article.
You can take advantage of the health benefits of these sweet-tasting seeds by sprinkling them on breads or cakes prior to baking, by adding them in fruit salads, by making fennel tea after boiling them in water, or by just chewing them post meals.
Fennel seeds can easily be bought from most supermarkets and convenient stores.
Selection: Select those seeds that are bright green in colour indicative of their quality and freshness. Otherwise, they can be of pale and tan-green colour too. Look for plump, unwrinkled seeds with a strong fennel fragrance.
Storage: Dried fennel seeds should be stored in an airtight container in a cool and dry location where they will keep for about six months. Storing fennel seeds in the refrigerator will increase their life.
|Serving Size||100 g|
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value|
|Total Fat 15g||23 %|
|Saturated Fat 0.5g||2 %|
|Sodium 88mg||4 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 52g||17 %|
|Dietary Fiber 40g||160 %|
|Protein 16g||32 %|
|Daily values are based on 2000 calorie diet.|
Read the full nutritional analysis on https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Spices%2C_fennel_seed_nutritional_value.html
- Treatment of Asthma symptoms and other respiratory problems-
The phytonutrients in fennel seeds help in clearing sinuses which in turn can alleviate asthma symptoms. Using these seeds is a useful way to treat respiratory disorders like cough, congestion, bronchitis, etc. also due to their expectorant component. For instance, you can drink warm fennel tea 2-3 times a day to relieve cough and a sore throat or you can boil 2 tablespoons of the seeds in 1 cup of water until half the water evaporates and then strain the solution and gargle with it.
- Lowers cholesterol level-
The fibre content of fennel seeds prevents the reabsorption of cholesterol by binding the bile salts, which consequently helps in keeping the heart healthy.
- Fights bad breath-
Fennel seeds are often chewed or consumed in the form of tea after meals to prevent bad breath. Its antimicrobial properties fight the germs that cause this problem. The seeds increase the production of saliva – thereby washing out the bacteria. Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties also soothe sore gums.
- Good for the digestive system-
Because of the oil found in these seeds, fennel seeds are known to relieve indigestion, bloating, flatulence, constipation, colic, intestinal gas, heartburn, and even irritable bowels.
- Prevents water retention-
As it works as a diuretic, drinking fennel tea regularly aids in flushing out the excess fluids from the body. If you have puffy eyes due to fluid retention, apply fennel tea to the area. Also, fennel seeds help in removing toxins and reducing the vulnerability to urinary tract problems.
- Regulation of blood pressure-
The potassium, calcium, fibre, nitrites and magnesium content in fennel seeds helps in regulation of blood pressure.
- Good for the eyes-
The vitamin A content of fennel seeds helps in improvement of eyesight. It is also found to be helpful in preventing or treating glaucoma- a vision-impairing disease.
- Aids weight loss-
Apart from giving a feeling of fullness, fresh fennel functions as a natural fat buster by enhancing the body’s metabolism and breaking down fats and as mentioned earlier also, it helps prevent water retention – a common reason behind temporary weight gain.
- Prevents cancers-
Fennel bulb can help decrease the risk of developing colon cancer because it helps remove carcinogenic toxins from the colon.
- Fennel seeds are known to cause skin problems such as photodermatitis (occurrence of rashes and pain when exposed to sunlight), dermatitis (skin inflammation and an outburst of blisters) and allergic reactions.
- Fennel seeds interfere with the functioning of drugs administered to patients of for seizure disorders or epilepsy and aggravate the situation.
- Fennel tea is one of the leading causes of thelarche- a condition which marks the starting of breast development in women at the beginning of puberty.
- Sausage, fennel & rocket fusilli – https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2358637/sausage-fennel-and-rocket-fusilli
- Fennel pork chops – https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/21402/fennel-pork-chops/?internalSource=recipe%20hub&referringId=1139&referringContentType=recipe%20hub&clickId=cardslot%2024
- Carrot and fennel – https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/70136/carrot-and-fennel/?internalSource=recipe%20hub&referringId=1139&referringContentType=recipe%20hub&clickId=cardslot%2029
- Fennel soda bread – https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/43624/fennel-soda-bread/?internalSource=recipe%20hub&referringId=1139&referringContentType=recipe%20hub&clickId=cardslot%2032