Popularly used as a flavoring agent in numerous cuisines around the world, dried fennel seeds rich in essential nutrients are excellent for your overall health. The uses of fennel seeds are many; you can take them orally as supplements or add organic fennel seeds to your favorite recipes.
Read this article to know about the amazing health benefits of fennel seeds and why you should add it to your diet.
What are fennel seeds?
Fennel seeds are the dried seeds of fennel herb belonging to the Umbelliferae family and are the native of the Mediterranean region. The fennel seeds are similar to cumin seeds in size and shape but are greener. These have a sweet, warm aroma and strong aniseed flavor.
Fennel Seeds Nutrition Facts
Fennel seeds have a high nutritive profile. These are rich in dietary fiber and Vitamin C. Besides, these also contain a good amount of copper, potassium, manganese, folate and phosphorous along with some amount of magnesium, iron, pantothenic acid, and niacin.
Benefits of Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds are a storehouse of essential nutrients which makes them excellent for your health. Below listed are some of the splendid benefits of fennel seeds.
1. Regulates blood pressure
Maintaining your blood pressure level is one of the prime benefits of fennel seeds. Studies show that chewing fennel seeds increases the nitrite content in saliva which keeps your blood pressure level under check.
Further, these supply you with an adequate amount of potassium which balances the effect of sodium and regulates the amount of fluid in your bloodstream. Calcium is another essential mineral found in fennel seeds that maintains your heart rate.
2. Weight loss
You can also use fennel seeds for weight loss. These are rich in dietary fiber that keeps your stomach full for longer. It also improves digestion, decreases fat storage and increases nutrient absorption.
Besides, fennel seeds also have diuretic properties that increase urination thus aiding in flushing out the toxins from the body which also contributes to weight loss. Some studies show that consuming fennel tea can curb the appetite in obese people.
3. Improve digestive health
Many people consume fennel seeds for their ability to improve digestion, it is one of the significant benefits of fennel seeds. You can cure troubles like intestinal gas, bloating, heartburn with these fantastic seeds. These can also treat colic in infants.
Fennel seeds have carminative and antispasmodic effects on your body and thus can address severe digestion related troubles like irritable bowel syndrome.
4. Increase breast milk Production
Nursing mothers can greatly benefit from fennel seeds. It is because fennel seeds contain anethole, a compound which is a phytoestrogen. When in the body, anethole compound imitates the functioning estrogen hormone in women and increases the secretion of breast milk.
5. Maintains healthy liver
Fennel seeds benefit your liver too. These contain an abundant amount of selenium, an essential mineral which is known to improve the functioning of the liver enzymes. Further, it also detoxifies your body by adding in the excretion of toxic substances.
Some studies show that fennel seeds can inhibit the growth of liver cancer cells and stimulate the activity of the antioxidants present in it, thus boosting its overall health.
6. Purifies Blood
Yes, fennel seeds can also cleanse your blood, thus boosting your health. Blood clear of toxins ensures adequate absorption of nutrients and proper supply of oxygen as well as the absorbed nutrients to all the parts of your body.
The essential oils present in fennel seeds along with the abundant amount of dietary fiber help in flushing out the toxic substances from your body thus cleansing your blood. So, include organic fennel seeds in your diet for better health and functioning.
How to use Fennel seeds?
The fennel herb has numerous uses. The seeds, bulb as well as the leaves of it are quite useful. Here is how you can use them.
- You can use fennel seeds as a flavoring agent in a variety of food preparations like salads, soups, baking, cooking savory dishes, etc.
- Dried fennel seeds are also popular as a mouth freshener
- Fennel seeds oil is used to ease bronchitis, cough. The oil can also be massaged to relieve joint pain
- Fennel water is given to infants to aid in digestion
- Fennel bulb is a popular vegetable
Fennel seeds recipes
Following are some interesting recipes that you can try to enjoy the numerous benefits of fennel seeds.
Fennel Seed Tea
Fennel seed tea is an aromatic herbal tea which is excellent for your health.
What will you need?
- One to two teaspoons of fennel seeds
- Two cups of boiling water
How to prepare?
- Pour water in a pot and bring it to boil
- While the water is boiling, crush the fennel seeds with a spoon. Crushing releases, the volatile oils found in fennel seeds
- Add the crushed seeds to the boiling water
- Let them boil for about five to ten minutes
- After that strain the mixture in a cup
- You can add honey or sugar to enhance the taste
- Let it cool for about five minutes and serve
Cauliflower and Bean Soup
This Cauliflower and Bean Soup is nutritious as well as satiating. Easy to prepare and delicious to savor, this recipe is a must try.
What will you need?
- 28 ounces of cannellini beans
- One onion (chopped)
- One cauliflower head (cut into small florets)
- Five cups of vegetable stock
- One garlic clove (crushed)
- Four to six tablespoons of parsley (chopped)
- Two tablespoons of fennel seeds
- One tablespoon of olive oil
How to prepare?
- Add olive oil to a saucepan and heat it
- Next, add onion, garlic, and fennel seeds. Cook them about five minutes
- After that, add in half of the total beans and cauliflower
- Then pour in vegetable stock and bring it to a boil
- After that, reduce the heat and simmer for about ten minutes so that the cauliflower becomes tender
- Next, cool the soup and process it in a blender to get a smooth mixture
- Transfer it back to the pan and add the remaining beans
- Add in salt and pepper and stir
- Serve the soup garnished with chopped parsley
Frisée and Celery Salad with Toasted Fennel-Seed Dressing
It is an amazing and hearty salad that you are just going to love.
What will you need?
- Three tablespoons of shallot (finely chopped)
- Two teaspoons of fennel seeds (toasted)
- Half a pound of frisée (cut into bite size pieces)
- Three Belgian endives (sliced)
- Three celery ribs
- Three tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- Half a teaspoon of sugar
- One teaspoon of salt
How to prepare?
- Ground fennel seeds in a grinder
- Transfer the ground fennel seeds in a bowl
- Add in oil and stir. Leave them for about 15 minutes
- Take another bowl and combine in it shallot, salt, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir till the sugar and salt dissolve
- Next add the fennel seed oil slowly while stirring
- After that add, endives, frisée, and celery
- Toss all the ingredients and serve
Fennel Seeds Side-effects
Though fennel seeds are good for your health, consuming them in large amounts can be dangerous. Excess consumption may have the following effects:
- Increased risk of seizures
- Lower blood sugar levels
- It may worsen estrogen-receptor linked cancer conditions like breast, ovarian, etc.
- Consuming fennel makes your skin more sensitive to the sun
- People allergic to carrot or celery may also have an allergy to fennel
- Pregnant women should also avoid them
Fennel seeds serve as an excellent source of some essential nutrients that benefit you in several ways. You can add the seeds to your recipes or take in herbal tea or supplements to enjoy the benefits of fennel seeds. Fennel seeds powder is also available in the market that you can use as a condiment to enhance the flavor of your dishes.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to store fennel seeds?
You must store fennel seeds in an airtight container in a cool and dark place. If properly stored, the seeds will last for about two years.
2. How much fennel can you consume in a day?
In a day, you can consume about five to six grams of fennel seeds. If you are consuming fennel seeds oil, then 0.1 to 0.6 ml is safe.
3. Can you eat fennel seeds during pregnancy?
Women should avoid fennel seeds in pregnancy. A small amount of it in usual recipes is generally safe, but taking in an extra amount of fennel like tea or other supplements can be dangerous.
4. How many calories are there in fennel seeds?
Fennel seeds are low in calories. 100 g of fennel seeds provide you with only 31 calories.