What is fennel?
Fennel plants are green and white, with feathery leaves and yellow flowers.
Both the crunchy bulb and the fennel plant seeds have a mild, licorice-like (anise) flavor. Yet, the seeds have powerful essential oils that give them a more potent flavor.
Aside from its many uses in the kitchen, fennel and its seeds offer many health benefits and may provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial effects.
What are some health benefits of fennel?
1. May maintain a healthy heart
Vegetables like fennel are a good source of fiber and heart-friendly nutrients like potassium and folate and may support heart health. Studies report that an intake of vegetables in the diet appears to lower blood pressure and may help manage cholesterol.
2. May support healthy skin
Fennel contains beta-carotene (which converts to vitamin A in the body) and vitamin C, which are important for collagen production and tissue repair. Both these nutrients play an important role in maintaining skin health and the mucous membranes that protect organs like the respiratory tract.
3. May reduce inflammation
Fennel is packed with antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation. A diet rich in a wide variety of foods containing protective polyphenols is linked to a lower risk of a number of chronic diseases.
4. May aid weight management
Because it’s low in calories but full of flavor, fennel is a valuable ingredient to include in a weight management plan. With a low glycaemic index (GI) and high fiber contribution, fennel may help moderate blood sugar release as part of a meal.
5. May improve the symptoms of anemia
Fennel is a good source of folate, which is needed to form healthy red blood cells. Increasing your intake of folate-rich foods may improve symptoms of anemia. (Folate is also an important nutrient to include in your diet during pregnancy.)
Let’s get some fennel in your diet by starting with a delicious Fennel Dill Vinaigrette!
Fennel (or Dill) Vinaigrette
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp minced fresh dill or fennel fronds
- ½ tsp toasted crushed fennel seeds
- ¾ tsp salt
- Add all ingredients to an airtight bottle or jar and shake until well combined! Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
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