Part of the carrot family, fennel is a flowering plant that offers many surprising health benefits that are simply too good to ignore. It is a delightfully aromatic herb that features a swollen, bulb-like base. Easily recognizable, fennel features small yellow flowers and green leather-like leaves when it grows. Fennel has been a favorite part of diets, especially where it grows around the Mediterranean region for thousands of years. If you enjoy this herb, you should include more in your diet to take advantage of its many health benefits. Nutritious and tasty, fennel is a delicious additive to meals that can enhance your health in the following ways.
Ward Off Indigestion
With today’s modern diet, there are so many foods that can trigger indigestion. To keep your digestive tract running smoothly, it’s beneficial to add well-known digestive aids such as fennel to your diet. According to research, it has the power to trigger the production of gastric juices. These juices can reduce pain-causing inflammation associated with indigestion. Researchers also suggest that fennel helps the intestinal tract absorb nutrients from food. Also, if you’re suffering from a bout of constipation, fennel can offer relief when you add it to your diet.
Reduce Risk of Heart Disease
If heart disease runs in your family or if you have concerns about your heart health, you should try to eat more heart-healthy foods. Fennel is a heart-healthy food that helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Bad LDL cholesterol is associated with a higher risk for heart disease. Bad cholesterol is associated with an increased risk for the development of atherosclerosis and stroke. By reducing bad cholesterol, you can reduce your risk for these conditions that could prove fatal. Because fennel is so rich in dietary fiber, it is frequently listed as a must for heart-healthy diets recommended by professional dietitians.
Regulate Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a condition that affects many people around the country. High blood pressure is associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke. It is also related to the condition of atherosclerosis. Many people don’t want to take medications to reduce their blood pressure and prefer to attempt to lower it naturally through diet. If your healthcare provider suggests that you should try diet alone to reduce your blood pressure, you should certainly consider adding more fennel to your weekly meal plans. Refreshingly delicious, fennel can complement a wide array of dishes while delivering its important nutrients and health benefits.
Studies suggest that the seeds could be helpful in preventing cancer. Scientists have shown that extracts from fennel seeds can inhibit tumor development. Its seeds are rich in flavonoids, phenols, and alkaloids. These compounds are associated with significant cancer-fighting potential. Scientists believe that extract from fennel seeds can help people prevent certain types of breast cancers. In addition, nutritionists recommend that people undergoing chemotherapy add more fennel to their diet to help protect the body from the effects of the treatment.
Tasty Brain Booster
Fennel is high in potassium, which the brain needs for electrical conduction. The brain acts like a switchboard that sends and receives electrical currents. A diet rich in potassium nurtures this the functionality of this switchboard operation. In addition, potassium is known to support overall brain function and cognitive function. If you have a job the requires intense focus, for instance, you should try to include more in your diet. With its vasodilatory properties, fennel also promotes optimum blood flow to the brain, which will enhance its functionality.
Relieve Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps can bog the body down and may be so severe they stop you in your tracks. Many women are loath to take over-the-counter pain medication during their periods because of the ill effects such medications can have on the body over time. By adding more of this herb to their diets, women can ward off menstrual cramps naturally. With its antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory protections, fennel can greatly reduce and even alleviate severe cramping and menstrual pain. Be sure to include more in your diet just before your period and during the initial days of menstruation to benefit from its pain relief.
Enhance Skin Health
Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, fennel supports skin health by reducing the damage caused by UV rays. Vitamin C is vital for the synthesis of collagen, so by including more of this nutrient, you can support the skin’s natural elasticity. Studies have demonstrated that a lack of vitamin C can lead to greater occurrence of age spots and wrinkles. To keep your skin looking younger longer and guard against UV damage, add some fennel to a couple of meals each week.
Support Bone Health
Many researchers are excited about fennel’s bone-enhancing properties. There is even some belief that it can help ward off conditions like osteoporosis. Even though it is not particularly high in calcium, which supports bone health, it has enough to make it a helpful alternative to dairy products. Now, fennel alone won’t give you all the calcium you need, but it will provide some of the daily calcium intake you need. What makes it so healthful for bones otherwise is because it contains phosphorus and other nutrients that the body needs to promote outstanding bone health.
Cope with Seasonal Allergies
If you suffer from seasonal allergies during the growing seasons, you likely know how they can detract from your overall well-being. Allergists recommend fennel to seasonal allergy sufferers because it has natural decongestant properties, which makes breathing easier. These decongestant properties can also provide relief if you’re suffering from coughs due to a cold. Fennel, as a natural expectorant, can cut through the mucous and phlegm associated with bronchial conditions to provide that much-needed relief.
Promote Weight Loss
Fennel is high in fiber and nutrients but oh-so-delightfully-low in calories. This is great news for dieters who want to add dietary fiber to their diets but not lots of calories. It helps people feel fuller longer. After you eat a meal that contains fennel, you may be less likely to want to snack on foods that could throw your diet off track. It also has diuretic properties, so it naturally helps the body flush out water that may be causing a person to feel bloated.