Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Miller) is a plant with an abundance of benefits that have been widely used as herbal medicines and spices. The plants from the Mediterranean and southern Europe is becoming an export commodity that is highly sought.
Fennel characterized as annual herbs, the stems is hollow, segmented, green and white. If the fennel stalk bruising will release a fragrant smell. Blue-green fennel seeds while still young, and will be a brownish green if it is old. Fennel seed shape is oval and has a strong scent, while the fruit have a slightly sweet and slightly spicy.
Since the days of Ancient fennel has been used as a spice until for drug purposes. Fennel in the form of herbal tea can stimulate the secretion of the glands, especially glands mother, in this way increasing the quantity and quality of breast milk. Fennel is also believed to relieve headaches, calm and very useful in cases of brain fatigue, problems with the bronchi and cough. Not only that, fennel is also very believable promote digestion, relaxes the intestinal muscles and therefore is recommended for those who suffer from constipation.
Another use of fennel is associated with intestinal fermentation problems and therefore recommended intake in case of problems flautulenza and mutterings. Fennel seeds also possess a breath freshener, these characteristics would be nice. Fennel Seeds could be a solution to overcome the problem of late menstruation.
Nutrition Fact of Fennel Seeds
Fennel is composed of 9.50% water, 50% carbohydrates, 17.7% protein, 14.6% fiber, ash and fat, minerals calcium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, selenium, manganese, copper and zinc . The content of vitamins on fennel seeds are vitamin A, vitamin B (B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6), vitamin C.
|Nutritional value per 100 g based on USDA|
|Dietary fiber||3.1 g|
|Pantothenic acid||0.232 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.047 mg|
|Vitamin C||12 mg|
Health Benefits of Fennel Seeds
Most commonly, fennel seeds contain high amounts of flavonoid anti-oxidants like kaempferol and quercetin. These anti-oxidants help to protect your body from cancers, infections, heart disease, high cholesterol, stroke, aging and other degenerative diseases. The antioxidants in fennel seeds can help reduce cancer risk associated with free radical damage to cells and DNA. They also work alongside fiber to cleanse the colon and protect from colorectal cancer.
Rich In Mineral
Fennel seeds are concentrated source of minerals like copper, iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, selenium, zinc, and magnesium. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation. Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the powerful anti-oxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
High In Antioxidants
Fennel seeds are high in the antioxidant known as flavonoids. Research have found that flavonoids are effective combatants of free radical damage to cells in the body, a known cause of many different types of cancer. Flavonoids can also help reduce oxidative stress to the cardiovascular system and protect from neurological disease.
Some studies show that the antioxidants in fennel seeds have anti-inflammatory properties. They may be an effective treatment for arthritis and Crohn's disease, however more research is still needed to confirm these reports.
High In Fiber
100 grams of fennel seeds provides over 150% the DV of dietary fiber. Fiber helps balance the metabolism, aids in digestion and cleanses the colon and easing constipation condition
In India it is common to chew fennel seeds after meals to facilitate digestion – they help prevent and treat flatulence, expelling gases from your stomach. They contain numerous essential oil compounds such as anethole, limonene, anisic, pinene and cineole which have digestive, carminative, and anti-flatulent properties. The oils in fennel seeds help facilitate proper absorption of nutrients in your stomach and intestines. The oils also contain anti-acidic properties.
Some reports claim that chewing fennel seed may help to reduce the symptoms of asthma, clear sinuses, and stabilize breathing. More research is needed to confirm the connection between fennel and healthy breathing.
Culinary Use of Fennel seeds
- Fennel seed is widely used as a savory spice. It is principally added in cooking as a condiment and flavoring base.
- The seeds are widely used in fish, cheese spreads, and vegetable dishes.
- In India, fennel seeds are being used as part of curry powder (Bengali paanch pooran). In addition, sugarcoated fenel seeds (saunf) have been used as a condiment after food to improve digestion in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
- As in caraway, fennel seeds are used to flavor breads, dough, cakes, biscuits, and cheese.
Fennel seed should be avoided in large doses. Compounds in fennel may be neuro-toxic in higher concentrations and may cause hallucinations and seizures. It may exacerbate estrogen receptor-linked cancer conditions like endometrial, breast, ovarian. etc., due to high concentration of estrogenic compounds in it. Pregnant women may be advised to avoid eating fennel in large amounts.