Fennel is a delicious celery-like winter vegetable full of amazing health benefits. The white bulb, long green stalks, seeds, and leaves are all edible. Fennel is harvested in the fall and traditionally seen in fall or winter recipes. Fennel as a vegetable can be steamed, sautéed, chopped in salads, blended or juiced in health drinks (see anti-aging health drink recipe below) or added to soups. Fennel seeds or seed powder is also used to make teas.
Fennel’s medicinal properties are documented in many cultures from ancient Ayurvedic, Egypian and Chinese medicine for a variety of ailments such as chest congestion, colicky stomach upset or to reduce heat and inflammation in the body.
BENEFITS OF FENNEL
- WEIGHT LOSS : An average fennel bulb and stalk on has about 70-100 calories and has a delicious slightly sweet, light licorice flavor that satisfies the taste buds. Fennel is high in fiber and can help detoxify the colon and aide in weight loss. In Ayurvedic Medicine fennel seeds are known to increase metabolism and reduce aama .
- REDUCES DIGESTIVE DISEASES: Fennel seeds have been used to make tea for thousands of years for colic, gas, bloating, stomach acidity, gastric reflux and improving overall digestion. In Ayurveda it is often recommended to chew a 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds after a meal to promote digestion and leave you with good breath. Brewing a tea from fennel seeds is preferred for treating I.B.S or if you have diverticulosis. Fennel’s high fiber content reduces carcinogenic toxins from the colon and reduces the risk of colon cancer.
- REDUCE CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE: Studies have shown that inflammation is a significant contributor to the development of cardiovascular disease. Fennel contains phytonutrients and a volatile oil called anethole that combats that risk of cardiovascular disease with its strong anti-inflammatory effect. Fennel’s high fiber content also reduces cholesterol levels. An average fennel bulb contains 900 mg of potassium which can reduce blood pressure and balance body fluid levels. A word of caution though: if you have kidney failure, are on dialysis, or take certain medications such as Beta Blockers large amounts of fennel should be avoided or else potassium can become too elevated.
- OBGYN: Fennel is excellent for reducing pre-menstrual bloating and helps regulate healthy menstrual flow. Fennel also improves the flow and purity of breast milk. If you are going through menopause, fennel can ease the transition by reducing hot flashes and gently boosting estrogen levels.
- SKIN BEAUTY: Fennel’s is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants which reduce to appearance and development of wrinkles. Vitamin C promotes skin health and the formation of collagen which makes skin fuller and youthful. In addition fennel helps detox the liver which is responsible for a beautiful complexion.
- JOINT AND BONE HEALTH: Fennel is a good source of bone strengthening minerals: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin K and copper. Fennel’s anti-inflammatory effect also reduces joint inflammation.
- BLOOD HEALTH: Fennel contains iron and folate to help treat and prevent anemia.
Consider adding fennel to your diet as a vegetable. I love this health drink below.
ANTI AGING HEALTH DRINK RECIPE
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1/2 cup fennel root with stalk
- 1-2 teaspoons honey
- 1/4 inch raw ginger root
- 2 cups water
Blend in a blender till smooth.
Always consult a your family doctor before starting any new nutritional regimens or new supplement. Visit HealthierVibrations.com for more healthy living education, online classes and certifications.
Dr. Christie Smirl has over 25 years of medical experience. She completed a Doctorate of Ayurvedic Medicine from American University of Complimentary Medicine as well as Nurse Practitioner and Master of Science from Loma Linda University. Dr. Christie is also an E-RYT 500 Yoga Teacher Trainer YACEP, Reiki Master/Teacher, Tantric Energy Healer and Musician.