Fennel has a licorice-like flavor and contains many health benefits. Also, it has been used in natural remedies since ancient times. Though the taste of fennel may take some getting used to at first, it provides various amount of health benefits.
Fennel is recognized by its long green stalks and white bulb. It is related to other stalk vegetables including parsnips and celery. The entire fennel bulb, including stalk, seeds and leaves are edible. Fennel add flavor to other foods.
Health Benefits of Fennel:
1. Boosts Your Immunity
Just 1 cup of fennel bulb contains almost 20% of the daily requirement of vitamin C. This makes fennel a rich source of this beneficial element.
While vitamin C helps in improving general immune system health, helps in forming collagen, producing and repairing skin tissue, and protecting the blood vessel walls as an antioxidant against the harmful effects of free radicals, which can lead to heart disease.
2. Cancer Prevention
Selenium is a mineral that is present in fennel, but not in most vegetables and fruits. It contributes to liver enzyme function and helps in detoxifying some cancer-causing compounds in the body. Also, selenium can decrease tumor growth rates and prevent inflammation.
Fiber intake from vegetables and fruits such as fennel are linked with a lower risk of colorectal cancer.
Vitamin A, vitamin C, and beta-carotene function as powerful antioxidants which helps in protecting cells against damage from free radicals.
Fennel contains folate, which plays a role in DNA repair and synthesis. This may help in preventing cancer cells from forming because of mutations in the DNA.
3. Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
Foods that are rich in fiber, most especially soluble fiber, as is present in fennel, have been known to help reduce balance cholesterol levels in the blood stream. A diet that is high in fiber can help in reducing overall risk of stroke and heart attacks, by helping lower blood cholesterol to a normal level.
The potassium and high fiber content make fennel a double whammy in reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering both blood pressure and cholesterol. Also, fennel is high in other potentially cardio-protective vitamins such as vitamin C and folate.
4. Lowers Blood Pressure
Fennel can help to lower your blood pressure and inflammation due to its low sodium and high potassium content. Potassium works against sodium, thus helping to fight high blood pressure.
A diet that is high in potassium can help in reducing systolic blood pressure by at least 5.5 points , when compared to a high sodium diet. But, do not expect to lower your blood pressure overnight. It usually takes about 4 weeks of consuming a high potassium diet to see a reduction in blood pressure.
5. Skin Health
Raw fennel is a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential to collagen, which is the skin’s support system. Vitamin C works in your bodies as an antioxidant to help prevent damage caused by the sun, pollution, and smoke.
Also, vitamin C helps in promoting collagen’s ability to smooth wrinkles and improve your overall skin texture.
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