Fennel Seeds have been used for a long time as a culinary spice, mouth refresher, and a revitalizing drink. And while these seeds might make for a sweet, licorice-like flavored delicacy, they also have a host of health benefits, scientifically-backed, to give you more reasons to savor them on a daily basis. Find below fennel seeds benefits, and how to consume them to amplify these plus health points.
Fennel Seeds Nutrition Information, 1 tbsp
Protein: 0.92 grams
Energy: 20 kcal
Fiber: 2.31 grams
Iron: 1.08 mg
Magnesium: 22.33 mg
Potassium: 98.25 mg
Manganese: 0.38 mg
Vitamin A: 7.83 IU
Vitamin C: 1.22 mg
Fennel Seeds Benefits:
Fennel Seeds Refreshes The Breath
There’s a reason why it’s common for a waiter to bring you some fennel seeds along with the bill after you’re done eating at a restaurant. And you might have savored it and let go of all the smelly breath that came as a result of munching on your favorite food. The delicious spice does work well for that, right? There’s a scientific reason behind that too though! According to a 2020 study, fennel seeds balance the pH of the mouth. An unbalanced pH is often related to bad breath. Additionally, fennel has strong antimicrobial properties that kill odor-causing bacteria and leaves you with a refreshing breath.
Besides, drinking fennel tea an hour or two before the meals significantly reduces the appetite and aid in your weight-loss goals. In research done on overweight women, it was reported that fennel tea worked best at decreasing hunger, food consumption, and increases feelings of fullness.
Betters Brain & Heart Health
Fennel Seeds are high in fiber and it’s proven that an additional 7 grams of fiber reduce the risk of heart disease by 7%. Plus, they contain potassium which cuts systolic high blood pressure and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases like stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Potassium also increases electrical conduction throughout the body and contributes to healthy brain functioning and memory-related abilities. Plus, fennel boosts oxygen supply which relieves depressive behaviors and mood swings.
Fennel Seeds Benefits For Skin
Fennel is quite rich in antioxidants like chlorogenic acid, limonene, polyphenols, and quercetin. These antioxidants help fight free radical damage, prevents collagen breakdown, which keeps the skin looking radiant and younger-looking. Fennel seeds also contain zinc, selenium, and potassium. These 3 minerals balance the hormones and work amazingly to reduce your hormone-driven acne.
Besides, the essential oil and fiber in the seeds flush out the toxins from the body and purifies your blood. Sloughing away toxins also helps clear up a congested liver, one of the major reasons behind acne. It’s proven that poor liver health can lead to itchy, red acne, dull, saggy skin, and dryness. Therefore, consuming fennel seeds can work in multifold ways to improve your skin health drastically.
Fennel Seeds Benefits For Women
Fennel seeds have tons of benefits for women. It has been recommended widely as a natural herb to regulate periods and reduce menstrual pain. The seeds balance the hormones, promotes ovulation, and relieve cramps. It stimulates menstrual flow and is, therefore, considered an emmenagogue for the same reason. Fennel is also considered an aphrodisiac and improves vaginal lubrication for a better sexual experience.
Additionally, fennel extracts are often a common component in lactation supplements because the herb is known to increase milk supply. If you’re taking it in raw form, keep the recommended amount to 2 to 3 tbsp a day or 2 to 3 cups of fennel tea, the excess will do the opposite of what you want and reduce your milk supply. The wonderful herb fennel is useful for women in all stages of their life. During menopause, it helps control hot flashes, vaginal dryness, itching, maintains sexual lubrication for a good sexual life, and counteracts sleep difficulties, a study confirms. Fennel is also anti-osteoporotic in nature. It contains naturally occurring estrogens that guars & fortifies the bones. Clearly, eating fennel seeds on a daily basis is quite beneficial for women.
Fennel Seeds Benefits For Stomach & Digestion
Fennel seeds are rich in fiber, with ~ 2.5 grams of fiber in 1 tbsp. On average, we need 25 grams of fiber each day, which means fennel seeds meet a whopping 10% DV of fiber in just 1 tablespoon. It’s no secret that fiber aids digestion by stimulating colon cells and making your stools larger and softer. But the benefits of fiber extend way beyond these short-term effects on colon cells. In long term, fiber boosts gut microbes and enhances their quality, composition, and function.
Besides digestion, fennel seeds benefit the GI by treating ailments like IBS and Crohn’s disease. A study concluded fennel seeds can increase phasic contractions (relaxation & contraction in the stomach & intestine that plays a significant role in digestion). Because of these contractions, fennel seeds release gas, bloating, and cramps. Another study concluded that IBS patients experienced reduced stomach pain when treated with fennel. In conclusion, those suffering from these stomach issues can impressively benefit from fennel seeds.
Fennel seeds have potential anticarcinogenic activities and the same has been proven by many research studies. A 2015 study proved fennel’s cytotoxic activity in breast, colon, and liver cancer cell lines. Another research concluded that fennel seeds inhibit the growth of colon, lung, and leukemia cancer cells. Besides, fennel is a storehouse of many antioxidants that neutralize free radicals and beats oxidative stress.
In Ayurveda, it’s believed that a malignant tumor develops when all the three doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) are aggravated. Fennel seeds are said to have a cooling effect on the body, and all three doshas. When these three doshas are balanced, the overall physical and mental health is at its peak and you aren’t affected by any illness or distress. The aroma of fennel is also said to boost mental clarity and peace, and mental disorders and mood changes can also increase the risk of cancer. Thus, fennel is a great preventative cancer food, but also a good form of alternative medicine.
Fennel Seeds Benefits For Respiratory Illness
In the middle of the pandemic, where the virus infects your lungs, fennel tea can be your savior. Drinking a cup of warm fennel tea can loosen mucus on the walls of your lungs, and relieve you from dry cough naturally, according to a study done by Italian researchers. This is because fennel has mild expectorant properties and a high amount of phytonutrients that clears sinus congestions and gives you relief from sore throat and cough. You can make fennel tea by boiling 1 tbsp of seeds in water for 3-5 minutes and then straining it. You can even boil fennel in a pot of water till the water reduces to half and use it to gargle.
What Are The Best Ways To Use Fennel Seeds?
- Chew them as a mouth refresher after your meals. To enhance taste, roast some saunf till it releases the aroma. Add some rose & peppermint essence and keep it in an overnight jar. You can consume it after your daily meals.
- Soak fennel seeds in water overnight and drink the water in the morning on an empty stomach.
- Make fennel tea and drink it between the meals. You can make fennel tea by crushing the fennel seeds in a pestle & mortar, boiling the resulting half-crushed seeds in water for 3-5 minutes, and sieving it. For enhancements, you can add ginger or cumin/ coriander seeds. In fact, cumin-coriander-fennel tea or abbreviated as CCF tea is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy for gut rehabilitation and has immense benefits for digestive problems.
- Add fennel seeds directly to your curries and food to add flavor.
What do fennel seeds do to the female body?
Fennel seeds have some impressive benefits for the female body. They are rich in phytoestrogens that can regulate periods, treat hormonal acne, prevents osteoporosis, and fights breast cancer. The seeds have also been used for centuries to enhance breast milk production. Fennel is considered a galactagogue, a substance that increases milk production. New mothers are often advised to include fennel & fenugreek in their diet for a healthy milk supply. However, you shouldn’t take more than 2-3 tbsp of seeds or 2-3 cups of fennel tea, because excess fennel will do the opposite of what you want, and decrease the milk supply. Ayurvedic Clinical consultant, Amber Lynn Vitale, digs deeper into why fennel seeds are recommended to increase breast milk production.
Can we eat fennel seeds daily?
You sure can! 1-2 tbsp of fennel seeds and tea made with the same amount of seeds can be safely consumed daily. You can consume 1-2 tsp of fennel seeds after your meals to prevent bad breath or sip on the tea between meals.
Do fennel seeds have any side effects?
Fennel seeds is a spice that should be consumed in moderation. When taken more than the recommended dose, these are the possible side effects of fennel seeds:
- Since compounds in fennel seeds mimic estrogen, it’s best to avoid them if you’re suffering from a condition caused by high estrogen-like endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and ovarian cancer. Consult your doctor for an optimal dose of fennel if you have a health problem related to estrogen.
- Don’t consume fennel seeds during pregnancy. Because of the seed’s estrogenic effect, OB/GYB doesn’t recommend them during pregnancy. Although some women find relief from morning sickness when they consume fennel, in that case, you can consume just small amounts, like ¼ to ½ teaspoon twice a day.
- Fennel seeds can increase the risk of seizures. For those on epilepsy medication, it’s best to stay away from fennel and only consume it rarely.
- When used in excess, fennel seeds can decrease breast milk production. Yes, that’s true! The galactagogue can do the opposite of what you want when consumed more than the recommended dose, which is 2-3 tbsp per day directly or as tea.
- Moreover, fennel seeds have strong compounds that can interfere with any strong, regular medications. It’s advisable to consult a doctor before you include fennel seeds in your diet on a regular basis.
What are the benefits of water made with fennel seeds soaked in water overnight?
Courtesy: Pepper Bowl
Recently, many recipes of spices soaked in water have gained momentum. From fennel to cumin, cinnamon, and coriander seeds, people are trying everything & anything to improve their health and reap the benefits of these age-old remedies. But do this popular weight-loss, health-boosting drinks do as claimed? Turns out, yes. In Ayurveda, it’s believed that spices are essential to ramp up immunity, rev up the metabolism, and heal the body from within. Having water made with fennel seeds soaked in water overnight on an empty stomach can benefit your weight-loss goals, purify the blood, and staves off any sugar cravings throughout the day. It can also improve your digestion and has a host of vitamins & minerals advantageous to your overall well-being.