Fennel isolated on white background

Fennel

Although one might need to develop a taste for the vegetable, fennel provides an enormous amount of health benefits. It has time and again been used in multiple cultures for its medicinal properties.

The plant was first cultivated in the Mediterranean countries of Italy and Greece but is now grown in many other countries too, such as France, USA, India and Russia.

Read on to know more!

Product Description

Fennel (scientific name: Foeniculum vulgare) is a hardy, flowering plant belonging to the carrot family. It is a perennial herb having yellow flowers and feathery leaves. The plant was first cultivated in the Mediterranean countries of Italy and Greece but is now grown in many other countries too, such as France, USA, India and Russia.

The edible vegetable is recognised by its white coloured bulb and green stalks. It is akin to other stalk vegetables such as parsnips and celery. The entire fennel bulb, the seeds, stalk, and leaves are edible.

Fennel’s aromatic taste is distinctive and markedly similar to that of liquorice and anise, so much so that fennel is often mistakenly referred to as anise in the marketplace. Its texture is similar to that of celery, having a crunchy feel.

Although one might need to develop a taste for the vegetable, fennel provides an enormous amount of health benefits. It has time and again been used in multiple cultures for its medicinal properties.

In ancient Greece, Fennel was called as Marathon (because it grew at a battle site named Marathon), and it was used as an icon of victory. It was used by the Greeks as an effective solution for losing weight; they also believed that it gave bravery and extended life. It was consumed by Greek athletes with the hopes that it would improve their performance. It was also prescribed it as a remedy for weak memory.

The Romans, on the other hand, called it foeniculum, which means fragrant hay. The name was later modified in the Middle Ages to Fanculum , and this gave birth to its other popular name, ‘fenkel’. It was believed that the seed was effective against stings, bites and poisons.

In mediaeval times, it was used against evil influences along with St. John’s Wort and other herbs. People would hang it over their doors on the Midsummer’s Eve to ward off evil spirits

Selection: Choose small to medium-sized fennel bulbs that are heavy, firm, mostly firm at the bottom. Avoid bulbs that are too large, have moist spots or appear shrivelled and dried out. Both the bulbs and stalks should be free of cracks, splits, and any discolouration or bruising. The stalks should be bundled together and not flowering.

 

Storage: The fennel bulb tends to lose its flavour with the passage of time. Therefore, It must be consumed as soon as possible.

However, it can last in the refrigerator for about 4 to 5 days.

 

Cutting: To prepare the fennel bulb first cut the stalks off the bulb where they sprout. Then slice the bulb vertically into thin slices depending on the recipe you choose.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 100 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 31
% Daily Value
Total Fat 0.2g 0 %
   Saturated Fat 0.1g 0 %
Sodium 52mg 2 %
Total Carbohydrate 7.3g 2 %
   Dietary Fiber 3.1g 12 %
   Sugar 3.9g
Protein 1.2g 2 %
Vitamin A 19 % Vitamin C 20 %
Calcium 5 % Iron 4 %
Daily values are based on 2000 calorie diet.

 

Source: https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Fennel%2C_raw%2C_bulb_nutritional_value.html

  • Maintains bone health:

Bone-strengthening nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin K are present in good amounts in Fennel’s bulb that help in maintaining bone health.

 

  • Lowers blood pressure:

Fennel is rich in potassium – a mineral that aids in lowering blood pressure. Thus, it is good for cardiovascular health.

 

  • Maintains the body’s cholesterol level:

As fennel is rich in soluble fibre, it helps in absorbing bad cholesterol in the bloodstream. This reduces the overall risk of heart attacks and stroke.

 

  • Digestive relief:

Carminatives are herbs that help in the body gas movement. Fennel is one such herb that has good amounts of essential oils that help in relaxing the stomach and stimulate the movement of the digestive system. This process prevents gas formation.

Therefore, fennel has since a long time been used not only to relieve flatulence, bloating and gas discomfort but also to stimulate appetite and digestion.

 

  • Eye health:

Due to its high flavonoid, vitamin C, and mineral content fennel can help in reducing oxidative damage and inflammation. This in turn aids in the prevention of macular degeneration.

 

  • Prevents constipation:

The fibre content of fennel acts as a bulking agent and ensures smooth movement of stools.

 

  • Increases satiety:

Fennel consumption gives a feeling of fullness. Increasing fibre intake, by adding fennel and other high fibre foods to the diet may be a simple way to feel more satisfied. This will discourage you to consume more food unnecessarily and aid in weight loss.

 

  • Good source of antioxidants:

Fennel contains vitamins A and C which are quite powerful antioxidants. They protect the body from free radicals that are unstable molecules capable of damaging cells. According to researchers, these antioxidants have also been linked to reduced risk of cancers.

 

 

Sources:

https://draxe.com/fennel-benefits-nutrition-fantastic-recipes/

https://www.livestrong.com/article/122851-properties-fennel-seeds/

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=23

  • People having kidney problems should regulate their fennel consumption because of the high amount of potassium content in it.

 

  • Some people might be allergic to fennel.

 

  • The potassium level in people taking beta-blockers (prescribed to keep blood pressure in control) might get increased by fennel consumption. So, they need to watch its consumption.

 

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-311/fennel

https://draxe.com/fennel-benefits-nutrition-fantastic-recipes/

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