Fennel seed is the fruit of Foeniculum vulgare – or what we commonly know as fennel.
It is a perennial herb with yellow flowers and feathery looking leaves. It belongs to a parsley family (Umbelliferae), a large assembly of herbs and spices including dill, anise, cumin, caraway, and others native to the Mediterranean, these aromatic seeds are used in several cuisines around the world.
Fennel seed has an oval shape and once dried takes on a greenish-brown color, which gradually fades to gray as the seed ages. Due to their similar sweet as well as subtle licorice-like taste, fennel seed is often confused with anise.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF FENNEL SEEDS
- Helps Regulate Blood Pressure
Research published in the Journal of Food Science found that chewing on fennel seeds helped increased the nitrate content in saliva, making a good natural way to keep a check on blood pressure levels. Besides 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.
- Help Fight Diabetes
Science is constantly examining various options in dealing with diabetes mellitus. Current drugs are effective in managing this disease, but they come with side effects, especially over long term use. In the search for a better solution, science is turning to all-natural ingredients that have been extensively used in traditional practices.
Even the World Health Organization understands the hidden powers of all-natural ingredients and has recommended the development of herbal medicines, including anti-diabetic agents.
Fennel is one of such herbs, low on the glycemic index with an impressive list of active compounds including powerful antioxidants.
The beta-carotene in fennel seeds can reduce cholesterol levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. Also, fennel seeds have a low glycemic index. Hence, they can be a good addition to a diabetes diet.
Fennel seeds are also a good source of vitamin C. Intake of the nutrient may lower blood sugar levels.
- Good for Constipation, Indigestion, and bloating
Tea prepared from fennel seed is considered very useful to help indigestion, bloating and constipation because of the oils found in these seeds.
For those with irritable bowel syndromes, the volatile oils found in fennel seeds can help kick start digestion by encouraging the production of gastric enzymes. For its multitude of gastrointestinal benefits, fennel tea is sure to help the digestive tract.
- Promote bone health.
Fennel seeds are elements rich with calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), phosphorus (common ion form: H2PO3- or P3-), and vitamin K, which all partake in the bone-strengthening process. Fennel’s extensive antioxidant and anti-inflammation properties have been used for centuries as remedies against different types of infections, bruises, and scrapes.
These active compounds have shown to improve organ and tissue function, including maintenance of bones.
- It can benefit Breastfeeding Women
Fennel seeds contain anethole. Some believe anethole mimics k you properties of the estrogen hormone and increases milk secretion in women. Fennel seeds may benefit lactating women as they also are known to be galactagogues (substances that promote lactation)
- Improves Eyesight
Due to its antibacterial effects, fennel tea is often used to wash out the eye infections (such as conjunctivitis).
Macular degeneration is a common condition of vision loss among people over the age of 50.
A large-scale study involving over 41,000 participants showed that consuming a high antioxidant and flavonoid diets resulted in a lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Fennel seeds contain vitamin A, vitamin C, beta carotene (precursor of vitamin A), and zinc; all possess antibacterial and immune-boosting properties. These flavonoids, minerals, and vitamins repeatedly show improvement in vision and decrease of cataract development.
- Provides Relief From Asthma And Other Respiratory Ailments
The phytonutrients in fennel seeds help clear sinuses. This may help relieve asthma symptoms. The expectorant properties of the seeds heal other respiratory ailments like bronchitis, cough, and congestion.
A study explored the relaxant effects of fennel seeds on guinea pig tracheal chains. It concluded the seeds could offer bronchial relaxation.
- Helps Fight Bacterial Infections
The phytonutrients in fennel seeds also possess strong antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and may help in preventing the spread of various infections.
Test tube studies show that fennel extracts prevent the growth of several bacterial strains including Mycobacterium. tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis), Escherichia coli (E. coli), and Salmonellosis (Salmonella).
Such bacteria cause coughs, chills, fever, digestive discomfort, cramps, diarrhea, and fatigue. Fennel also contains antifungal benefits. This includes fighting harmful molds and yeast strains such as Candida albicans (C. Albicans), which is the most common strain responsible for human infections.
HOW CAN FENNEL SEED HELP IN BALANCING HORMONE?
- Fennel is one of the very good aromatic veggies to balance your hormones and keep your skin glowing.
- Fennel seeds contain phytoestrogens, which aid in hormonal balance in women. Consuming fennel tea on a daily basis can keep hormonal issues like polycystic ovarian syndromes(PCOS) Andrew hyperthyroidism.
- Extracts of fennel have estrogen properties that help balance the female reproductive hormone. The hormonal imbalance caused by menopause has been shown to be reduced with the consumption of fennel seed extract.
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