Fennel is a part of the Mediterranean diet, offering nutritious boost and flavor. Eating as much as a single cup of fennel a day has proven health benefits. If you have high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, cholesterol problems, or you suffer from depression, it isn’t that difficult to incorporate a healthy fennel diet to curb such life-threatening symptoms.
Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacity works hard to reduce chronic illnesses and brain dysfunction. Plus, it offers a unique taste to all kinds of dishes and drinks. Consuming fennel on a daily basis isn’t only about taste, it has a positive effect on mental and physical health. So instead of taking nutritional supplements for promoting health, you can increase your fennel intake, which are also extremely low in calories and fats.
The perks of consuming fennel are plenty, so it’s time to buy more fennel and promote a healthier lifestyle with regular exercise and well-being.
1. Fennel Contains Good Amounts of Melatonin Which is Helpful for Weight Loss
Lots of factors such as hormonal imbalance, unhealthy food intake, and lack of exercise can lead to weight gain or obesity. There are certain hormones in the body which help curb appetite and reduce risk of weight gain in diabetic patients.
Other factors of diabetes also include high blood pressure, cholesterol, and other metabolic problems.
For controlling weight gain and for optimal weight management, an increased fennel diet is required, study suggests.
The study focused on diabetic rats showed that an increased intake of melatonin, present in high amounts in fennel, curbs appetite and reduces risk of obesity. (1)
Obesity can lead to many other problems such as heart diseases, high blood pressure, etc. So foods, such as fennel, containing melatonin prevent such illnesses associated with weight gain. Fennel also works to boost metabolism and break down fats in the body for energy production. Any food that suppresses appetite and prevents weight gain helps flush out harmful toxins from the body. This helps in weight loss.
Key Takeaway: Fennel contains a powerful compound called melatonin that improves overall health by preventing obesity and other problems that come with it. This includes heart diseases, high blood pressure, and cholesterol problems.
2. Fennel Provides Digestive Relief from Various Problems Such as Irritable Bowel
Digestive disorders such as bloating, acidity, acid reflux, constipation, stomach ulcers, and irritable bowel are commonly experienced by most people.
Fennel acts as a laxative to aid digestion and eliminate excessive inflammation in the body, especially for gastrointestinal health. It promotes proper food absorption, reduces oxidative stress in the stomach and intestines, and reduces toxin buildup in the intestines for proper bowel movements. (2)
The flavonoid, vitamin, fiber content of fennel decreases excessive bloating and acidity caused by inflammation in the stomach and intestines. It also prevents the development of gastrointestinal disorders caused by high cholesterol levels.
The phytonutrients of fennels also play a hand in reducing symptoms of chronic constipation, which may lead to hemorrhoids. A sufficient amount of fennel in or after meals can facilitate proper digestion to prevent inflammation. You can also incorporate fennel into your diet in the form of tea or powder for easy digestion.
Key Takeaway: Fennel is loaded with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and phytonutrient compounds that reduce the proliferation of gastrointestinal disorders such as constipation, heartburn, irritable bowel, ulcers, bloating, etc.
3. The Nutrients Present in Fennel Support Optimal Bone Health
Fennel is more than just an antioxidant food. It contains many bioactive compounds and nutrients that prevent bone loss and related diseases.
Fennels are a good source of magnesium, vitamin C, and calcium. These powerful nutrients protect against bone mineral loss, weak bones, and fractures.
A study suggests that an increased magnesium intake for children promotes bone health and increases bone mineral strength. It also suggests that magnesium deficiency in children, along with low calcium intake, that inhibit proper bone mineral density. This could lead to frequent bone breaks and fractures. (3)
Another similar study suggests that vitamin C plays an important role against osteoporosis and bone loss in animals. This study was conducted on mice, for determining the link between increased vitamin C intake and bone mineral density health, especially in the lumbar spine.
The study showed that an increased vitamin C intake was directly associated with high bone density in humans. Whereas a low vitamin C intake lead to weaker bones, low mineral density, and other bone-related diseases. (4)
Lastly, trying dietary calcium is sufficient for promoting bone health than any other method of treatment. Fennel contains high amounts of calcium, which is good for regulating bone density. It also reduces symptoms of hip fractures and arthritis. (5)
Key Takeaway: All active nutrients such as vitamin C, magnesium, and calcium present in fennel aid bone health and prevent osteoporosis in older adults. It also promotes proper bone density and bone function in children.
4. Vitamin C Present in High Amounts in Fennel Stop the Development of Cancer Cells
The vitamin C nutrient present in fennel can improve immune function to stop proliferation of harmful cancer cells in the body. To stop different types of cancer, destroying cancer cells and inhibiting tumor growth is essential.
Fortunately, vitamin C has a direct influence on cancer cells and is responsible for destroying tumors before they grow out of control. An increased dose of vitamin C in your diet can dramatically affect cancer cell metabolism.
Studies suggest that vitamin C is ten times more powerful and effective than other medicinal treatments for destroying cancer cells. It acts as an ascorbic acid to target only cancer stem cells without affecting normal cells in the body. (6)
Vitamin C is most effective because it breaks down easily in the bloodstream. This means that it does very little to damage healthy cells. Once absorption in the blood, it releases high amounts of hydrogen peroxide which damages cancer and tumor cells aggressively. (7)
A study on liver cancer and blood cancer cells showed that the antioxidant capacity of vitamin C reduces significant free radical damage caused by cancer cells. (8)
Key Takeaway: An increased vitamin C intake can destroy potentially dangerous cancer stem cells and tumor growth in the human body. It resists cancer cells development in the body by releasing hydrogen peroxide to reduce DNA and tissue damage.
5. Fennel Prevents Magnesium Deficiency Which May Prevent Chronic Renal Failure
If you didn’t already know, magnesium is an important nutrient for proper metabolism and other physiological functions in the body.
Low magnesium levels in the body can cause a number of gastrointestinal diseases and renal failure. Renal failure is a severe condition in which both the kidneys lose their ability to flush out toxins and fluids from the body.
Chronic low magnesium can lead to chronic renal failure, study suggests. It can also lead to hypertension, heart diseases, and diabetes. (9)
An increased intake of magnesium in the body can promote proper magnesium absorption. It also relieves and reduces sodium and water retention in the body. By increasing magnesium metabolism and reabsorption in the bloodstream, it leads to a decreased level of urinary magnesium excretion, one of the leading causes of hypomagnesaemia.
Lastly, magnesium deficiency in the body may also cause severe neuromuscular and nervous system defects. This inhibits proper muscular repair and maintenance, plus it increases the sensation of pain during injury.
Key Takeaway: Magnesium can have all sorts of gastrointestinal and muscular health benefits when consumed in sufficient amounts with the help of fennel. Several studies found that it reduces hypomagnesaemia, which is magnesium deficiency leading to chronic renal failure.
6. Fennel Contains Powerful Anti-Depressant Nutrients
Depression can often lead to other serious illnesses including diabetes, heart diseases, and cognitive diseases. It is characterized by many factors including appetite loss, restlessness, insomnia, unexplained weight changes, sadness, etc.
There are many ways to fight depression, one of them being a healthy diet rich in vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and carbohydrates. Fennel contains a number of helpful nutrients including vitamin B6, carbohydrates, and phenolic compounds that have anti-depressive properties.
Coupled with folic acid, fennel is a great mood booster with other cognitive benefits including learning and memory abilities. All these factors can greatly influence depressive symptoms with less lasting negative effects on both mental and physical health.
A study conducted on newborn mice and their mothers suggests that proper vitamin and other micronutrient intake can dramatically affect mood, memory, and learning abilities. It also improves overall mental well-being in stressful environments. (10)
Fennel contains magnesium which also plays an important role in curbing depressive symptoms. (11)
Lastly, vitamin B6 helps reduce symptoms of depression which might lead to more cognitive diseases such as schizophrenia. (12)
Key Takeaway: Getting enough vitamin B6 and magnesium intake from your fennel diet is important for preventing depression and other severe mental illnesses.
7. Fennel Prevents Chronic Inflammation
Fennel contains sufficient amounts of nutrients such as oils, antioxidants, and phenolic compounds to fight chronic inflammation in the body.
A study conducted by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology suggests that the essential compounds present in fennel oil have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It suppresses the COX-2 enzyme which is one of the leading agents of inflammation in the human body. (13)
In another study, high consumption of plant-based diets, including fennel, showed lower signs of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and other non-communicable diseases caused by inflammation. They help control the proliferation of the genes responsible for such inflammatory diseases. (14)
Lastly, fennels contain cholesterol-lowering compounds such as vitamins, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients that inhibit acute and chronic inflammatory diseases. It also decreased lipid peroxidation level which relieves chronic inflammation. (15)
Key Takeaway: Fennel contains powerful nutrients and oils that prevent chronic inflammatory diseases such as heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, etc.
8. Fennel Contains Nutrients That Assist with High Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a very common condition. It is characterized by an aggressive blood flow through the arteries causing damage to the blood vessels and other vital organs in the body.
High blood pressure can often lead to heart attack, stroke, and coronary heart disease.
To prevent high blood pressure, a sufficient intake of certain healthy nutrients is required. These include magnesium, potassium, and iron. Fennel is a great source of all these nutrients with anti-hypertensive properties.
Studies show that magnesium reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases arising from hypertension. It affected both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in a combined trail including 1,173 participants. (16)
Lack of iron in the bloodstream can cause high blood pressure in the lungs, a study suggests. Iron is important for stabilizing red blood cell count in the body, which is vital for proper blood flow and regulation. (17)
A low potassium diet is associated with high blood pressure symptoms in adults. The research conducted on over 3000 subjects showed that a high potassium level in the diet, lower the risk of hypertension. It also prevents hypertension arising from high cholesterol levels, smoking, and diabetes. (18)
Key Takeaway: Fennel contains enough magnesium, iron, and potassium to prevent and treat high blood pressure. A fennel rich diet is helpful for patients with abnormal blood pressure levels as well as for patients with diabetic symptoms.
9. Fennel with Phytoestrogens Assist Optimal Menstrual Health
Menstrual health is very important for women. If anything goes wrong, it disrupts the entire physiological function in the body. Phytoestrogens are important compounds with proven health benefits for menstrual health.
It reduces menstrual discomfort, heavy menstrual bleeding, and menstrual pain. What’s more, it reduces the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome or PMS. (19)
By regulating normal hormonal functions in the body, fennel acts as a pain reliever for menopausal women and for women experiencing their menstrual cycles. It prevents the development of menopausal disorders and aids breast enlargement.
Another significant benefit of fennel, according to animal studies, is that it improves lactation in nursing mothers as a galactagogue.
Key Takeaway: Fennel has been shown to boost hormonal action in women. It reduces effects of PMS, menopause, and improves lactation in nursing mothers.
10. The Methanolic Extract of Fennels Reduces Symptoms of Allergies
Fennel is a powerful anti-allergenic food. Because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacity, it reduces swelling arising from certain types of allergies. It even works to inhibit immune sensitivities induced by inflammation in the body. (20)
Allergies is a very common phenomenon that only occurs when your immune system is high reactive or sensitive to certain stimulus. This can be dust, chemicals, insects, certain types of food, etc.
To prevent weak immune responses, the methanolic extracts of fennel prove very helpful. They play an important role in suppressing the development of allergies. What’s more, they have antimicrobial and antiviral properties which enhance your body’s defense system.
Key Takeaway: Allergies don’t discriminate between gender, age, and race. Early detection and treatment of allergies is the only way to prevent severe symptoms of allergies such as swelling. The methanolic extracts of fennel lowers your risk of developing certain types of allergies.
11. Increased Intake of Fennel Supports Proper Muscle Health
Vitamin B deficiency is associated with poor physical or athletic performance in humans, a study suggests.
A study conducted on athletes by Oregon State University suggested that vitamin-rich diets such as fennel can improve muscular health. During high-intensity workouts, weak muscles often take a longer time to repair and recover from injury.
And to fight muscle-related diseases, it’s important to increase your vitamin B intake with the help of fennel. This reduces chances of developing deficiencies and helps your muscles repair itself.
This studies claims that your body loses most of its nutrients in urine, sweat, and feces. Hence, proper nutrient absorption in the body is ideal for energy production and muscle repair. (21)
Key Takeaway: Vitamin B helps in energy production, nutrient absorption, and muscle repair in most athletes. It inhibits chances of nutrient loss in sweat, urine, and feces, which helps in increasing muscle strength and maintenance.
12. Fennel Directly Affects Neurological Brain Function
Proper blood flow to the brain is an important factor for optimal brain health. It even improves memory and learning function in most children and adults.
According to a study, increased sodium and potassium intake can reduce the effects of Parkinson’s disease and brain injury. It inhibits brain disease progression by regulating normal cellular function.
This study also found that sodium and potassium levels positively affect the stimulation of physiological homeostasis. This ensures proper brain peripheral and central levels health in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. (22)
Fennel contains plenty of antioxidants that help increase the brain’s neural activity. It balances oxygen transportation to the brain’s cellular levels.
Lastly, by increasing blood flow, proper regulation of blood vessels in the brain plays an important role in preventing the proliferation of migraines, Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, etc.
Key Takeaway: Multiple studies found that sodium and potassium nutrients, present in fennel, may protect against neurodegenerative diseases, mental illnesses, and other cognitive dysfunctions.
13. The Phenolic Compounds Found in Fennels Reduce Cardiovascular Diseases
Fennels contain powerful phenolic compounds that are associated with anti-inflammatory properties. It helps reduce diseases that are linked with free radical damage and oxidative stress.
Fennel contains apigenin, quercetin, rosmarinic acid, and ethanol extracts that prevent the proliferation of heart diseases caused by inflammation. (23)
Another study proves that the flavonoids and phenolic compounds such as rutin, chlorogenic, and caffeic acid have a positive effect on reducing excessive inflammation and oxidative stress in the human body. (24)
Lastly, a study proves that a diet high in antioxidants that help reduce the proliferation of coronary heart disease in women. This disease is one of the leading chronic cardiovascular diseases in women in the world. It may occur due to untreated myocardial infarction.
A simple study conducted to prove the effectiveness of antioxidants for treating coronary heart diseases showed that people who consumed more vegetables such as fennel with high amounts of antioxidants had a twenty percent lower risk of disease. (25)
Key Takeaway: Antioxidants play an important role in stimulating proper heart health by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. It contains powerful flavonoids and phenolic compounds that lower cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure, and prevent buildup in the arteries.
14. Greater Intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Present in Fennel Reduces Diabetes
Nutrients such as those found in fennel may help reduce symptoms of diabetes.
A study on dietary omega-3 fatty acids proved that it has a positive effect on reducing diabetic retinopathy. With decreased diabetic retinopathy, a patient is less likely to encounter abnormal blood glucose levels and insulin resistance.
An increase in omega-3 fatty acids intake can help alleviate serious symptoms of diabetes while support proper cellular health against diabetic retinopathy. (26)
As you already know, fennel also contains sufficient amounts of dietary fiber which may help reduce risk of type 2 diabetes.
There have been many studies with over 300,000 participants that proved the positive impact of fiber on diabetes prevention and treatment. It shows that people who consume more fiber-rich diets have a 18% lower risk of development different types of diabetes than those with a much lower fiber intake.
The fiber intake greatly contributes to total body mass index, fat content, and cholesterol levels. (27)
Key Takeaway: Fennel contains omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the prevention and treatment of diabetes. Whereas its high fiber content helps people maintain a healthy weight which may influence diabetes development.
What To Look Forward To
If you’ve been spending a lot of time thinking of ways to cook fennel, here’s where you begin from. I have 6 delicious and healthy recipes that you’ll love to cook for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Even though fennel is a very traditional vegetable to have around the house, not many people cook it.
It’s time to upgrade the way you cook with recipes like roasted fennel, fennel soup, fennel salad, and roasted chicken with fennel. Why? Because this leafy vegetable is most essential for your health and well-being. You know when they say, “You are what you eat” they aren’t wrong. If you know food or you’re new to the game of cooking, bringing together a hearty fennel recipe for the weekend or a family get-together sounds exciting. Cooking fennel in recipes is very simple and takes minimal cleanup.
1. Pan Bagnat
When it comes to cooking traditional recipes, this recipe is worth drooling over.
1/2 sliced fennel
1/2 cup of chopped olives
1/4 cup of olive oil
3 tbsp of vinegar
2 tbsp of chopped capers
1/2 tsp of red pepper
1 sliced Persian cucumber
2 cans of drained tuna
1 12-inch ciabatta loaf
3 sliced boiled eggs
2 cups of arugula
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix olive oil, capers, white wine vinegar, fennel, and red pepper in a plastic bag. Add salt and pepper. Keep in an airtight bag for at least 2 whole days.
In a small bowl, mix together the fennel olive, cucumber, and tuna. Add salt and pepper for seasoning. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Scoop loafs to make sandwiches.
Spread top layer with tuna and fennel mixture. Add sliced egg and arugula. Repeat this process with every sandwich.
Make sure you use large skillet to weigh the sandwiches down for about 2 hours. Serve fresh.
2. Pasta with Caramelized Fennel
Discover your love for pasta with this delicious, quick, and easy to make fennel recipe.
3 tbsp of olive oil
1 sliced fennel bulb
2 sliced celery stalks
3 sliced garlic cloves
10 ounces of penne or wheat pasta
1 can of sardines
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Lemon zest
Cook fennel, garlic, and celery together in a skillet. Cook on medium-high heat for 8 minutes. Set aside.
Cook pasta according to package instructions.
Combine cooked pasta and fennel mixture in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Combine all the remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
3. Mediterranean Roasted Chicken with Fennel
Have guests coming over? Don’t worry. This mouth-watering roasted chicken recipe will keep them entertained.
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of dry wine
1/2 cup of orange juice
1 lemon juice
2 tbsp of yellow mustard
3 tbsp of brown sugar
1 tbsp of garlic powder
3/4 tbsp of turmeric spice
1 tsp of grounded coriander
1 tsp of paprika
1 sliced fennel bulb
1 sliced sweet onion
6 chicken pieces
2 unpeeled and sliced oranges
1 sliced lemon
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Combine wine, oil, lemon juice, orange juice, sugar, and mustard in a small bowl. Set aside.
Combine coriander, garlic powder, turmeric, paprika, pepper,and salt. Set aside.
Next, mix half of the spice mix with the liquid mix. Mix well.
Take the remaining half of the spice mix and pat dry on the chicken pieces. To marinade the chicken, mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Put in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Place the chicken in a baking pan. Add lemon slices, onion, fennel, and oranges in the pan. Bake in a 475 degrees preheated oven for 45 minutes. Serve hot.
4. Fennel and Apple Salad
Giving you more nutrients and flavor, nothing works better than this fennel and apples recipe.
4 ounces of arugula
1 spiralized fennel
1/2 chopped sweet onion
2 spiralized apples
3/4 cup of vinaigrette
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Mix arugula, fennel, onion, and apples in a bowl. Combine with vinaigrette and salt and pepper. Toss well until completely well coated with the seasonings. Serve fresh.
5. Roasted Fennel with Black Pepper and Parmesan
For most people, roasted fennel bulbs are more enticing than simple salads. Don’t you think so?
2 bulbs of fennel
2 tbsp of olive oil
Pinch of salt to taste
1/2 tsp of black pepper
1/2 tsp of dried chives
1/3 cup of grated Parmesan
1 tbsp of fresh chives
Cut the fennel bulbs into half. Keep the fronds aside for later use. Next, slice the halved bulbs.
Using a cooking spray, coat the baking pan with olive oil.
Transfer sliced fennel bulbs on the baking dish.
Spray some olive oil on top of the slices. Add salt and pepper.
Roast in a 375 degrees preheated oven for 35 minutes.
Sprinkle Parmesan and dried chives. Bake for another 5 minutes.
Season with chopped fronds and fresh chives. Serve hot.
6. Cauliflower and Fennel Soup
Feeling a bit under the weather today? Make this fennel soup your go-to recipe for getting back on track.
2 cups of chopped fennel
4 cups of chopped cauliflower
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 chopped yellow onion
2 minced garlic cloves
6 cups of vegetable stock
2 cups of cooked chickpeas2 tbsp of fresh dill
2 lemon zest
8 lemon wedges
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for seasoning
Roast fennel and cauliflower in a 350 degrees preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Cook onions, garlic, roasted fennel and cauliflower, chickpeas, and vegetable stock with olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Cook for 15 minutes.
Transfer mixture into a blender. Blend with fresh dill until soup-like consistency.
Season soup with sea salt, pepper, lemon zest, and olive oil. Serve with freshly cut lemon wedges.
Wrapping It Up
Fennel bulbs are packed with hearty nutrients and flavor. They’re linked with numerous health benefits such as cancer prevention, fighting heart diseases, reducing allergies, improving brain health, and protecting against gastrointestinal diseases.
More and more people are consuming fennel on a daily basis, so why shouldn’t you? There’s no reason why fennel shouldn’t be a part of your diet. Even more so when all of its health benefits are backed by genuine scientific information.
That said, it makes complete sense knowing that you’re incorporating more fennel bulbs into your diet along with regular exercise and other healthy fruits and vegetables.