Fennel is a root vegetable related to carrots, parsley, dill and celery.Fennel's health benefits include being full of vitamin C, potassium and fiber.When shopping for fennel, look for a small, heavy, white bulb with bright green stalks and feathery leaves.Cut and chop the leafy fronds on the stalks of the fennel to garnish any dish.You can eat fennel raw, with the sliced bulb on top of salad with oranges, for example.Slice four bulbs into wedges and toss with extra-virgin olive oil, fresh thyme, and some kosher salt.Spread wedges on an oiled baking sheet or a pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. .
What is Fennel? (And How to Cook It)
It has a fresh, aromatic anise flavor, and it can be eaten raw, sautéed, roasted, or even added to soups and sauces.The base of its long stalks weave together to form a thick, crisp bulb that grows above ground.If I’m craving raw fennel, I almost always thinly shave the bulb on my mandoline, removing any tough core pieces.Dress it up with herbs, nuts, and shaved Parmesan cheese, toss it with greens and simple vinaigrette, or use it in one of these salad recipes:.The thin slices will melt and brown in the pan, taking on a delicious caramelized flavor.Toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast at 400 degrees for 25-35 minutes, until the wedges are tender and caramelized around the edges.You could also remove the tough core pieces and toss the roasted fennel with pasta or add it to a hearty vegetarian lasagna.Finely mince the fronds to use as an aromatic garnish for salads, soups, pasta, and more, or save the fennel stalks and leaves to use in homemade vegetable broth. .
10 Science-Based Benefits of Fennel and Fennel Seeds
Aside from its many culinary uses, fennel and its seeds offer a wide array of health benefits and may provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial effects.Vitamin C also acts as a potent antioxidant in your body, protecting against cellular damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals ( 3 ).Both the bulb and seeds contain the mineral manganese, which is important for enzyme activation, metabolism, cellular protection, bone development, blood sugar regulation, and wound healing ( 4 ).Finally, the plant compound limonene helps combat free radicals and has been shown to protect rat cells from damage caused by certain chronic diseases ( 9 , 10 ).Summary All parts of the fennel plant are rich in powerful antioxidants like chlorogenic acid, limonene, and quercetin — all of which may benefit health.That said, another study in 47 women found that those who supplemented with 300 mg of fennel extract daily for 12 weeks gained a small amount of weight, compared to a placebo group.For example, including rich sources of potassium in your diet may help reduce high blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease ( 15 ).May have cancer-fighting properties The wide array of powerful plant compounds in fennel may help protect against chronic diseases, including certain cancers.Negative side effects, such as poor weight gain and difficulty feeding, have also been reported in infants whose mothers drank lactation teas containing fennel ( 21 , 22 , 23 ).Studies show that fennel extract inhibits the growth of potentially harmful bacteria and yeasts, such as Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans ( 24 ).A review of 10 studies noted that fennel may improve sexual function and satisfaction in menopausal women, as well as relieve hot flashes, vaginal itching, dryness, pain during sex, and sleep disturbances ( 27 ).It’s important to note that many of these studies used concentrated doses of the plant, and it’s unlikely that eating small amounts of fennel or its seeds would offer the same benefits.A study that evaluated the teratogenicity of fennel essential oil showed that high doses may have toxic effects on fetal cells ( 28 ).Although eating fennel and its seeds is likely safe, pregnant women should avoid taking supplements or ingesting the essential oil of this plant.Summary Although eating fennel and its seeds is likely safe, consuming higher doses in supplement form may react with certain medications and is unsafe for pregnant women. .
 It is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean but has become widely naturalized in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on riverbanks.Florence fennel or finocchio ( , , Italian: [fiˈnɔkkjo]) is a selection with a swollen, bulb-like stem base that is used as a vegetable.Fennel came into Old English from Old French fenoil which in turn came from Latin faeniculum, a diminutive of faenum, meaning "hay". In Hesiod's Theogony, Prometheus steals the ember of fire from the gods in a hollow fennel stalk.As Old English finule, fennel is one of the nine plants invoked in the pagan Anglo-Saxon Nine Herbs Charm, recorded in the 10th century.Longfellow's 1842 poem "The Goblet of Life" repeatedly refers to the plant and mentions its purported ability to strengthen eyesight:.Above the lower plants it towers, The Fennel with its yellow flowers; And in an earlier age than ours Was gifted with the wondrous powers Lost vision to restore.It is erect, glaucous green, and grows to heights of up to 2.5 metres (8 ft), with hollow stems.The leaves grow up to 40 centimetres (16 in) long; they are finely dissected, with the ultimate segments filiform (threadlike), about 0.5 millimetres (1⁄50 in) wide.Fennel is widely cultivated, both in its native range and elsewhere, for its edible, strongly flavored leaves and fruits.Fennel has become naturalized along roadsides, in pastures, and in other open sites in many regions, including northern Europe, the United States, southern Canada, and much of Asia and Australia.It propagates well by both, root crown and seed, and is considered an invasive species and a weed in Australia and the United States.It appears to do this by outcompeting native species for light, nutrients, and water and perhaps by exuding allelopathic substances that inhibit growth of other plants. In western North America, fennel can be found from the coastal and inland wildland-urban interface east into hill and mountain areas, excluding desert habitats. On Santa Cruz Island, California for example, fennel has achieved 50 to 90 percent absolute cover.A raw fennel bulb (235 g) consists of 212 g of water, 2.91 g of protein, 0.47 g of fat, and 17.2 g of carbohydrate (including 7.28 g of dietary fiber and 9.24 g of sugars), providing a total of 72.8 Calories (kcal) of energy.A 100-gram reference amount of fennel fruits provides 1,440 kilojoules (345 kilocalories) of food energy, and is a rich source (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins and several dietary minerals, especially calcium, iron, magnesium and manganese, all of which exceed 100% DV (table).Fennel fruits are 52% carbohydrates (including 40% dietary fiber), 15% fat, 16% protein and 9% water (table).Fennel was prized by the ancient Greeks and Romans who used it as medicine, food, and insect repellent.According to Greek mythology, Prometheus used a giant stalk of fennel to carry fire from Mount Olympus to Earth.The bulb is a crisp vegetable that can be sautéed, stewed, braised, grilled, or eaten raw.In many parts of India, roasted fennel fruits are consumed as mukhwas, an after-meal digestive and breath freshener (saunf), or candied as comfit.In Syria and Lebanon, the young leaves are used to make a special kind of egg omelette (along with onions and flour) called ijjeh.Florence fennel is a key ingredient in some Italian salads, often tossed with chicory and avocado, or it can be braised and served as a warm side dish.In Spain, the stems of the fennel plant are used in the preparation of pickled eggplants, berenjenas de Almagro.On account of its aromatic properties, fennel fruit forms one of the ingredients of the well-known compound liquorice powder.Many species in the family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae are superficially similar to fennel, and some, such as poison hemlock, are toxic, so it is unwise, and potentially extremely dangerous, to use any part of any of these plants as a herb or vegetable unless it can be positively identified as being edible.The superficial similarity in appearance between these seeds may have led to a sharing of names and etymology, as in the case of meridian fennel, a term for caraway.Giant fennel (Ferula communis) is a large, coarse plant, with a pungent aroma, which grows wild in the Mediterranean region and is only occasionally grown in gardens elsewhere.In North America, fennel may be found growing in the same habitat and alongside natives osha (Ligusticum porteri) and Lomatium species, useful medicinal relatives in the parsley family.Lomatium species tend to prefer dry rocky soils devoid of organic material.The aromatic character of fennel fruits derives from volatile oils imparting mixed aromas, including trans-anethole and estragole (resembling liquorice), fenchone (mint and camphor), limonene, 1-octen-3-ol (mushroom). Other phytochemicals found in fennel fruits include polyphenols, such as rosmarinic acid and luteolin, among others in minor content. .
Fennel: health benefits, recipes, forms, nutrition and more
A 2020 systematic review found that digesting these seeds may also stimulate prolactin to help mothers naturally produce breast milk.Fennel tea may aid digestion and other gastrointestinal issues such as heartburn, bloating, loss of appetite, and colic in infants.The vitamin and mineral content in fennel contributes to building and maintaining bone structure and strength in the following ways:.Insufficient potassium intake can increase a person’s risk of developing high blood pressure.When excessive amounts of homocysteine build up, it can damage blood vessels and lead to heart problems.Fiber intake from fruits and vegetables like fennel is associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer.The selenium found in fennel appears to stimulate the production of killer T-cells and modulates the immune system in other ways.Studies have shown dietary intake of selenium can improve immune response, especially to viral agents.Fennel is a source of vitamin B-6, which plays a vital role in energy metabolism by breaking down carbohydrates and proteins into glucose and amino acids.The fiber content in fennel helps to prevent constipation and promotes regularity for a healthy digestive tract.Dietary fiber is an important factor in weight management and works as a “bulking agent” in the digestive system.These compounds increase satiety and reduce appetite, making an individual feel fuller for longer and lowering overall calorie intake.A 2020 study found that consumption of fennel seed powder reduced menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women over 8 weeks . .
What is Fennel—and What Can I Do With It?
From bulb to stalk to frond, here's how to grow, select, and cook with fennel, the sweet anise-flavored veggie that deserves a spot on your plate.Like celery, the entire fennel plant is edible and lends itself to a wide variety of cooking applications.Just one cup of fennel contains almost 20 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin C. You'll also find plenty of iron, fiber, and potassium.Try planting fennel varieties such as Zefa Fino or Trieste—they resist the urge to flower, channeling their energy into the bulb instead.Look for small, heavy, white bulbs that are firm and free of cracks, browning, or moist areas.Wrapped in plastic, fennel keeps for just a few days in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator; the flavor fades as it dries out.All parts of the fennel plant—bulb, stalk, and the feathery fronds—are edible, and will add texture and flavor to salads, slaws, pastas, and more.Thinly sliced raw fennel bulb adds a sweet licorice flavor and crunchy texture to salads.To slice the bulb, stand it on the root end and cut vertically with a sharp knife of mandolin.Fennel stalks can take the place of celery in soups and stews, and can be used as a "bed" for roasted chicken and meats.Raw fennel bulb packs a crisp texture and distinctive licorice flavor—here, we showcase it alongside cucumbers and bell peppers in this crunchy-creamy salad, then top it with toasted panko breadcrumbs and fresh dill.This dish combines delicate, sweet crab meat with anise-y fennel, which play nicely together for a simple, light pasta, perfect for the warmer weather.Sliced fennel bulb becomes mellow and sweet once sautéed and braised in chopped, strained tomatoes.Serve as a side to sauteed or grilled shrimp, halibut, flounder, or any other mild white fish.
How To Cut a Fennel Bulb
Fennel is a great versatile vegetable to use in the fall and winter, but you might be intimidated if you haven’t used it before.The tougher stalks can be used in similar ways as celery, and the feathery fronds can be chopped to use as an herb or garnish like you would with dill.Use a classic chef’s knife to cut off the green fronds close to the top of the bulb.Place the bulb cut side down on your board and slice the fennel crosswise or lengthwise, depending on what your recipe calls for.Yield: 1 cut fennel 1 x Print Recipe Ingredients Scale 1x 2x 3x 1 fennel bulb Instructions Use a classic chef’s knife to cut off the green fronds close to the top of the bulb.Place the bulb cut side down on your board and slice the fennel crosswise or lengthwise, depending on what your recipe calls for. .
The health benefits of fennel
This review focuses on the benefits of consuming the whole vegetable, though it should be noted that fennel seed has attracted a lot of attention as a therapeutic agent for a wide range of conditions.Varieties such as the Florence or Finocchio are treated as a vegetable, but you can also buy fennel as a herb with foliage resembling dill.A member of the Apiaceae (carrot) family, it’s grown for its edible shoots, leaves and seeds, and has a strong aniseed flavour, making it an attractive and versatile ingredient.A good source of fibre as well as heart-friendly nutrients like potassium and folate, vegetables like fennel may support heart health.This is because studies report that a plentiful intake of vegetables in the diet appears to lower blood pressure and may help manage cholesterol.Both these nutrients play an important role in maintaining the health of the skin, as well as the mucous membranes that protect organs like the respiratory tract.A high intake of a wide variety of foods that are rich in these protective polyphenols is linked to a lower risk of a number of chronic diseases.With a low glycaemic index (GI) and high fibre contribution, fennel may help moderate blood sugar release as part of a meal.Fennel is a good source of folate, which is needed for healthy red blood cell formation.She is an accredited member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. .
15 Impressive Benefits of Fennel
Fennel, which has the scientific name Foeniculum vulgare miller, or its essence, is widely used around the world in mouth fresheners, toothpaste, desserts, antacids, and in various culinary applications.Apart from the uses of fennel already mentioned, there are numerous medicinal uses and health benefits, mainly due to the components of its essential oils, which are summarized below.According to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, fennel bulb is a source of energy, vitamin C, dietary fiber, potassium and other essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and sodium.Vitamin C improves general immune system health, produces and repairs skin tissues, helps form collagen, and protects the blood vessel walls as an antioxidant against the harmful effects of free radicals that can frequently lead to heart diseases.Some of the components in the fennel essential oil are probably the stimulants as they encourage secretion of digestive and gastric juices, reduce inflammation in the stomach and intestines, and facilitate proper absorption of nutrients from the food.Fennel is also commonly found in medicines that treat abdominal pain, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and other intestinal issues.This means that it can stimulate the elimination of damaging LDL or bad cholesterol, which is a major factor in heart diseases, atherosclerosis, and strokes.It shows that, in animal subjects, the extract can not only inhibit the growth of tumors, thanks to its concentrations of flavonoids, alkaloids, and phenols, but it even has the potential to be chemoprotective against the harmful effects of radiation during cancer treatment.Fennel is a very rich source of potassium, which can be an essential nutrient in our bodies and is vital for a number of important processes as per a report published in the Journal of Hypertension.High blood pressure is connected to a wide range of health issues, including heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis.Also, for diabetics, blood pressure issues can make the management of their insulin and glucose levels very difficult and can be the cause of many potentially lethal complications.Potassium, found in high levels in fennel bulbs and seeds, is an electrolyte, which means that it can facilitate increased electrical conduction throughout the body.Also, fennel is a vasodilator, which means more oxygen reaches the brain and neural activity can work at optimal functionality.Fennel is helpful in curing diarrhea caused by bacterial infections, as it may have some components such as anethol and cineole which may have disinfectant and antibacterial properties.Fennel being rich in many nutrients including vitamin C helps boost the immune system and protects the body against infections and damage caused by free radicals.Furthermore, fennel is used in a number of consumer products to reduce the effects of PMS, and it is also used traditionally as a soothing pain reliever and relaxing agent for menopausal women.This is due to the abundance of antioxidants (vitamin C and amino acids like arginine are very beneficial for rejuvenation of tissues and the prevention of aging), detoxifiers, and stimulants.By protecting against this destruction of the pigment cells, fennel can safely be classified as effective in eye health for numerous reasons.Fennel is useful in respiratory disorders such as congestion, bronchitis, and cough due to the presence of cineole and anethole, which are expectorant in nature, among their many other virtues.Fennel seeds and powder can help break up phlegm and prompt loosening of the toxins and buildup of the throat and nasal passages for elimination from the body to ensure quick recovery from respiratory conditions.Certain components of the fennel essential oil such as anethol, and a few other chemicals present in the plant itself can be dangerous if ingested in too large a quantity. .