Fennel

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 18 Sep 2017 11:47:09


 

Fennel is an aromatic herb belonging to the parsley family. It is used as a spice and possesses a sweet taste that is similar to anise. Fennel seeds are not only tasty but are also very healthy owing to their nutritional content. Fennel bulb is also eaten as a vegetable. The health benefits of fennel includes: 

Nutritionally Rich: Fennel contains vitamin A, B, C, and E. It is a rich source of minerals like magnesium, iron, cobalt, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, silicon, and zinc. It also provides high levels antioxidants, carotenoids, and flavonoids. High levels of antioxidants neutralise free radicals in the body, preventing cell damage.


Reduce Water Retention: Drinking fennel tea, regularly helps flush out excess fluids as it works as a diuretic. In addition, fennel seed helps remove toxins and reduces the risk of urinary tract problems. It also has diaphoretic properties that stimulate perspiration.


Dietary Fiber: Fennel seeds contain a good amount of dietary fiber that is essential for the body. The fiber content helps improve digestion in the body, by facilitating timely breaking down of food molecules that make energy reactions possible.


Cholesterol Absorption: Cholesterol absorption in the arteries is prevented by the action of the fiber binding to the bile salts. Fiber present in fennel seeds decreases reabsorption of cholesterol, thereby preventing any heart-related diseases.


Red Blood Cells: Production of Red Blood Cells is enhanced by the consumption of Fennel Seeds. Copper, which is required by the body for the production of red blood cells, is present in these seeds.


Heart Rate And BP: These days, when people face tensions in their day to day lives, it is very important to maintain the blood pressure and keep the heart rate balanced. Fennel Seeds help a lot in this process. The potassium content helps in maintaining the blood pressure and hence the heart rate is also maintained.


Digestion: The anti-spasmodic properties of fennel juice can reduce intestinal cramps, bloating, and flatulence. The essential oils present in fennel juice stimulate the secretion of digestive juice, reducing stomach inflammation. It also improves the absorption of nutrients from the foods we eat. Fennel juice is widely used as an antacid. The roughage in fennel juice balances the digestive tract, promoting regular bowel movements. Fennel also reduces bad bacteria and increases good bacteria in the gut.


Anemia: The high concentration of iron and histamine in fennel makes it a good natural remedy for anemia. It also prevents the formation of blood clots in the body.


Eye Health: Fennel contains several essential nutrients, which helps to improve vision. The antioxidants and amino acids in fennel juice rejuvenate the eyes, preventing macular degeneration. Fennel juice, when applied to the eye, can reduce eye irritations and fatigue. The flavonoids present in fennel juice are very useful in preventing oxidative stress, which helps to prevent macular degeneration.


Beats Bad Breath: Munching on a few fennel seeds will sweeten and refresh your breath after a meal and especially get rid of bad breath after an odorous meal. Its antimicrobial properties fight the germs that cause bad breath. Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties also soothe sore gums. In addition to chewing on a fennel seeds, you can swish lukewarm fennel tea in your mouth and gargle with it to reduce bad breath.


Post Menopause Benefits: Fennel contains phyto-estrogen, a chemical that is similar to the hormone estrogen in structure. Thus, it is very useful for women suffering from menopause and pre-menstrual problems. It also contains folate, which prevents birth defects in unborn babies. Fennel juice eases menstruation problems by regulating hormonal actions in the body. It is good for lactating mothers.


Mental Health: Fennel juice is believed to release endorphins into the bloodstreams, which relieve depression associated with certain diseases and creates a mood of euphoria. Potassium in fennel juice increases brain function and the cognitive abilities of the brain. In addition to this, fennel juice is also a vasodilator, which increases oxygen supply to the brain and delays the onset of dementia.


Antispasmodic: Spasms are violent and involuntary contractions of the organs, respiratory tract, intestines, muscles, and nerves. It can lead to chronic cough and acute pain and inflammation. Severe cases of spasms can lead to fainting and even death. Fennel essential oil is an active antispasmodic agent, which relaxes the intestines, muscles and nerves. It provides instant relief from spasms.


Antiseptic: Fennel essential oil contains many chemicals, which exhibit antiseptic and bactericidal characteristics. Fennel oil helps prevent wounds from turning septic. Fennel essential oil prevents tetanus and other post-surgical infections as well.


Reduces Acidity: Fennel bulb offers natural cooling and neutralising benefits. Thus, it is used to treat the problem of acidity in the duodenum. It makes intestines active and eases the process of absorption. Hence, the toxins get separated from useful minerals. The separated toxins are easily flushed out of the body. Hence, the normal PH level is restored which results in relief from acidity.


According to Ayurveda - Fennel seeds reduce all 3 Trodosha (Vata, Pita, Kapha). The seeds have a cooling effect on the body. It is a good idea to consume a fennel seed drink during the scorching summer, to relieve heat from the body. The oil found in the seeds is carminative in nature, hence it is used in massage blends, especially in Ayurveda to calm the nerves and promote mental clarity.


Potential health risks of fennel: Although for most people fennel is a great, healthy vegetable choice, people with certain medical conditions may have to limit or avoid the consumption of fennel. Some people may be allergic to certain spices, therefore should avoid consuming fennel seeds.


Due to high potassium content, those with kidney disease should limit the amount of fennel they eat. People taking beta-blockers, which is typically prescribed to help control blood pressure, can also have elevated potassium levels and may need to avoidit.


It is important to remember that a single food cannot prevent disease and improve overall health, but an overall healthy diet can. A variety of fresh foods is the key to good health.