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Health Benefits of Fennel/Saunf

Fennel ‘Saunf’ is a pleasant-smelling aromatic herb. Aside from its culinary use, fennel is part of Ayurveda science for it offers amazing health benefits. Latin name of fennel is Foeniculum vulgare. 

Herb Fennel& Florence Fennel are the two chief types of fennel. Fennel has a bulb and long green stalks. The bulb, seeds, stalk, and leaves, the entire fennel plant is edible.

Dried fennel seeds are generally used for cooking and is also widely used as a mouth freshener. These seeds have a mildly sweet flavor. The flavor of the seeds is attributed to their effective essential oils.

Nutritional Value

Fennel does not contain cholesterol and contains a small amount of fat and protein. It is rich in calcium, potassium, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, niacin, vitamin C, and folate. It also contains copper, manganese, molybdenum, zinc, selenium, and chromium.

One cup (87 gm) of sliced, raw fennel contains 27 calories, 6 gm of carbohydrates, 2.7 gm of fiber, 1 gm proteins, 0.2 gm of fats, 360 mg of potassium, 45mg of sodium, 43 mg of calcium, 15 mg of magnesium, 0.64 mg of iron, and 10.4 mg of vitamin C.

Possible Health Benefits of Fennel…

1/5. Promotes heart health

1. The high content of vitamin C, fiber, folate, potassium, vitamin B-6, and phytonutrient in fennel, along with the absence of cholesterol, all together promotes heart health.

2. Fennel contains fiber which reduces the risk of heart diseases, as it lowers cholesterol levels.

3. The vitamin B-6 and folate content of fennel restricts the build-up of homocysteine. The homocysteine build-up may lead to damage of the blood vessels causing heart troubles.

4. The calcium content of fennel seeds keeps the blood vessels toned and maintains the heart rate.

5. The potassium content of fennel seeds counteracts the ill effects of sodium, regulating the dilation and contraction of blood vessels.

6. Chewing fennel seeds increases the level of nitrite in the saliva. The vasodilatory and vasoprotective properties of nitrates present in fennel seeds lower blood pressure.

2/5. Improves eyesight

1. Intake of fennel seeds helps in improving eyesight. The vitamin A content of fennel seeds boosts vision.

2. Extracts of fennel seeds are known to improve glaucoma symptoms.

3/5. Benefits breastfeeding women

1. Fennel possesses galactogenic (increasing milk secretion) properties, due to the presence of anethole. The compound anethole present in fennel seed mimics the properties of the estrogen hormone. It boosts milk secretion in women thereby, benefitting lactating women.

2. Fennel also increases the blood levels of prolactin, a hormone that signals the body to produce milk.

4/5. Improves liver health

1. The rich content of fennel seeds helps in enhancing the function of the liver enzymes and detoxifying certain harmful compounds in the body.

2. Fennel seeds prevent liver cancer cells and increase the activity of antioxidant cells in the liver.

5/5. Other possible benefits…

Fennel produces many more health benefits such as, builds and maintains the bone structure and strength immunity, regulates the female reproductive cycle, reduces the effects of premenstrual syndrome, decreases water retention, reduces asthma symptoms, helps purify the blood, prevents cancer, suppresses appetite, reduces inflammation, benefits mental health, relieves menopausal symptoms, combats bad breath.

Fennel also helps fight diabetes, increase breast growth, boost fertility, aids hernia treatment, promotes weight loss, eases morning sickness, improves menstrual symptoms, enhances sleep quality, treats candida, tones and improves skin appearance, improves hair health,relieves constipation, eliminates the symptoms of infantile colic, freshens breath, and improves digestive health.

Aside from its culinary use, fennel is part of Ayurveda science for it offers amazing health benefits. Fennel is also used as an organic mouth fresher.

How to use Fennel?

Fennel can be used in several forms and in many ways. Some of them are as follows:

  • As tea, 
  • For Tempering,
  • As supplements,
  • In salads, or in sandwich,
  • In fresh (raw or cooked) form,
  • In spice mixes and curry powders,
  • Can be paired with honey, yogurt and mint leaves.

How to make Variyali Sherbet?

Take 1 cup of fennel seeds and 5 soaked cardamoms. Grind it into a fine powder.

Soak the ground powder in 2 cups of water for approximately 8 hours. 

Take 1.5 cups of rock sugar (mishri) and grind it into a fine powder.

Strain the soaked fennel and cardamom liquid into a container.

Add a little black salt in the container.

Now, add the powdered rock sugar and then thoroughly stir it.

Serve it with ice cubes.

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