Fennel is a plant species in the genus Foeniculum. It is a member of the family Apiaceae. It is a hardy, perennial, umbelliferous herb, with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. 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.
It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses and, along with the similar-tasting anise, is one of the primary ingredients of absinthe. Florence fennel or finocchio is a selection with a swollen, bulb-like stem base that is used as a vegetable.
Fennel is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the mouse moth and the anise swallowtail.
Fennel seeds contain the above nutrients in the following amounts of a 100 gram serving.
It contains 39.8 grams of fibre, a calorie count of 345 calories, proteins 15.8 grams, fat, 14.87 grams, carbohydrates of around 52.9 grams. Other constituents like sodium 88 mg, potassium 1694mg, calcium 1196mg, copper 1.067mg and iron 18.54mg are also important.
Apart from being used for adding flavor, it is also used for various health benefits that are derived from its anti-oxidants. These anti-oxidants are essential to curb unwanted free radical reactions in the body.
Fennel seeds contain a good amount of dietary fibre that is essential for the body. The fibre content helps improve digestion in the body, by facilitating timely breaking down of food molecules that make energy reactions possible.
The carcinogenic diseases should be treated at the right stage so that their effect can be curbed or eliminated in the future. This is made possible by the anti-oxidant capabilities of the fennel seeds.
Another effect of prevention of free radical reactions by fennel seeds – Neurological diseases are helpfully kept at bay.
Cholesterol absorption in the arteries is prevented by the action of the fibre binding to the bile salts. Fibre present in fennel seeds decreases reabsorption of cholesterol thereby preventing any heart related diseases.
A number of volatile oil compounds like myrcene, fenchone, chavicol, cineole are present in these seeds that assist in digestive, carminative and anti-oxidant reactions in the body.
Production of Red Blood Cells is enhanced by the consumption of Fennel Seeds. Copper, which is required by the body for the production of red blood cells, is present in these seeds.
The growth and development of the body is geared-up. Zinc, found in the fennel seeds, promotes regular growth and development.These days, when people face tensions in their day to day lives, it is very important to maintain the blood pressure and keep the heart rate balanced. Fennel Seeds help a lot in this process. The potassium content helps in maintaining the blood pressure and hence the heart rate is also maintained.
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