Wonderful Health Benefits of Fennel Seeds

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Fennel seeds are also commonly used in condiments in cooking across the world.
  • Fennel seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients.
  • Chewing fennel seeds maintains healthy potassium levels in the body.
  • Drinking fennel tea is a very effective way of reducing water retention.
  • Phytonutrients in fennel seeds can help clear your sinuses.
  • Fennel seeds can be used for culinary purposes to provide flavour to dishes.
  • India is the top producer of fennel seeds in the world.


ORIGIN
Foeniculum vulgare, commonly known as fennel, is a perennial herb. Fennel is originated in Southern Europe and grown extensively all over Europe, Middle East, China, India, and Turkey. This herbaceous plant reaches about 6 feet in height with deep green feathery (lacy) leaves and bears golden-yellow flowers in umbels. Fennel seeds are harvested only when their seed heads turn into light brown.
Grown in India: Major production states of fennel seeds in India are Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Haryana. Fennel requires cool and dry climatic conditions for its best growth and yield. Dry and cool climate during the seed set will result in seed yield and quality. In Tamil, it is called “Perunjeeragam” or “Sombu”.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

NUTRIENT
UNIT
VALUE (Per 100g)
Proximates
Waterg8.81
Energykcal345
Proteing15.8
Total lipid (fat)g14.87
Carbohydrate, by differenceg52.29
Fiber, total dietaryg39.8
Minerals
Calcium, Camg1196
Iron, Femg18.54
Magnesium, Mgmg385
Phosphorus, Pmg487
Potassium, Kmg1694
Sodium, Namg88
Zinc, Znmg3.7
Vitamins
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acidmg21
Thiaminmg0.408
Riboflavinmg0.353
Niacinmg6.05
Vitamin B-6mg0.47
Vitamin B-12µg0
Vitamin A, RAEµg7
Vitamin A, IUIU135
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)µg0
Vitamin DIU0
Lipids
Fatty acids, total saturatedg0.48
Fatty acids, total monounsaturatedg9.91
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturatedg1.69
Cholesterolmg0
Source:USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference


HEALTH BENEFITS OF FENNEL SEEDS
1. Regulates Blood Pressure
Chewing on fennel seeds helps to increases the nitrite content in saliva, making it a great natural way to keep a check on blood pressure levels. Apart from this, fennel seeds are also a very rich source of potassium and since potassium is an essential component of cells and body fluids, it helps control your heart rate and blood pressure.
2. Reduces Water Retention
Intake of fennel tea regularly helps to flush out excess fluids as it works as a diuretic. Also, fennel seed helps remove toxins and reduces the risk of urinary tract problems. It also has diaphoretic properties that stimulate perspiration.
3. Treats digestive disorder
Fennel Seeds tea is very useful to help indigestion, bloating and constipation because of the oils found in these seeds. Fennel seeds contain fenchone, estragole, and anethole, which contribute to the plant’s antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties. For those with irritable bowel syndrome, the volatile oils found in fennel seeds can help kick start digestion by promoting the production of gastric enzymes. Due to its gastrointestinal benefits, fennel tea is sure to help the digestive tract be healthy and happy.
4. Reduces Asthma
Fennel seeds and their phytonutrients help clear sinuses. Sinus is a condition where the cavities around the nasal passages become inflamed. They make great tea to aid with bronchitis, congestion, and cough as they have expectorant properties.
5. Helps Purify Blood
The essential oils and fibre in these seeds are considered very useful to flush out toxins and sludge from our bodies, thus helping to cleanse the blood. It is very important to include foods in your diet that help cleanse your blood, to ensure there is smooth absorption of nutrients.
6. Improves Eyesight
A handful of these Fennel seeds could do wonders for your eyesight too. Fennel seeds are rich in Vitamin A, which is important for eyesight. In ancient India, extracts of these seeds were used to improve the symptoms of glaucoma.
7. Great for Acne
When fennel seeds are eaten regularly, they provide the body with valuable minerals like zinc, calcium, and selenium. These minerals present in Fennel seeds are very helpful to balance hormones and in helping up the oxygen balance. When consumed, fennel has a cooling impact on the skin, hence provide a healthy glow to the skin.
8. Keeps Cancer Away
The seeds also have very powerful free radical scavenging properties that help beat oxidative stress and protect the body from various cancers of the skin, stomach, and breasts. Fennel seeds have very potent chemo modulatory effects too.
9. Pregnancy
Fennel seeds, especially fennel tea is believed to improve fertility. They are also believed to cause labour in pregnant women. Apart from this, they are beneficial in curing morning sickness, and also provide relief from menstrual cramps.
IMPORTANT TIPS & FACTS OF FENNEL SEEDS
1. Buy whole fennel seeds instead of powder since oftentimes it may contain adulterated spicy powders.
2. Place whole seeds in a clean air-seal container and store in cool, humid free and dark place.
3. Ground and powdered fennel should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
4. Fennel is an integral part of Indian cooking and has digestive use.
5. Leaves, bulb, and seed are edible parts of fennel. They are usually sold separately.
6. The seed is mostly used for the preparation of cookies, cakes, and pastries.
7. Leaves are used for salads, soups, and dishes made of meat and vegetables.
8. People in India and Pakistan chew sugar-coated seed of fennel after the meal to facilitate digestion and eliminate bad breath.
SIDE EFFECTS OF FENNEL SEEDS
1. Fennel seeds are notorious for causing allergies. People who are already with pre-existing allergies are vulnerable to the allergies caused by fennel.
2. Fennel seeds should not be consumed by pregnant women as the seeds tend to stimulate the uterus.
3. Fennel seeds can pose serious health threats to lactating women. It is strictly advisable for lactating women to limit the consumption of fennel in any form.
4. Fennel seed oil is known to cause contact dermatitis and other cross-reactions.