Enjoyed both in plant form and seed form – this flavorful plant packs a healthy & medicinal punch.
The deliciously crunchy bulb and the seeds both share a mild licorice-like flavor. The seeds tend to be more potent in flavor due to the concentrated oils. Fennel is enjoyed in many culinary dishes for its unique flavor and is very nutritious and great for your health!
Fennel contains fiber and potassium, both of which are linked to heart health and reduced blood pressure. In addition to the potassium, fennel also contains calcium and magnesium which have both shown in research to reduce blood pressure.
In addition to the benefits to blood pressure, fennel is packed with fiber which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Just one cup of raw fennel boasts 11% of the RDI (Reference Daily Intake). The potassium, vitamin C, magnesium, and calcium also play a role in keeping your heart healthy!
Fennel is loaded with vitamins and minerals important for maintaining and building bone structure. The phosphate, calcium, iron, zinc, manganese and vitamin K all work together for healthy bones.
Digestion & Gut Health
Fennel’s fiber content helps maintain a healthy digestive system by promoting regularity. Fennel seeds also help relieve gas and flatulence.
Rich in vitamin C, raw fennel is great for collagen production. As a powerful antioxidant, it also helps prevent sun damage, as well as damage caused by pollution and smoke.
How to enjoy fennel
All parts of the fennel plant and seeds can be consumed and it can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Here are a few great ideas:
Use the stalks as a stock or soup base
- Use the stalks as you would celery in soups or stocks
- In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil, 2 cloves of sliced garlic and 2 heads of fennel thinly sliced
- Toss to coat in oil and season with salt & pepper
- When the fennel begins to caramelize, add a splash of water to steam for approximately 1 minute
- Remove from heat and serve
Roasted Fennel – deliciously tender and mildly sweet
- Halve bulbs lengthwise and slice lengthwise into ½” thick pieces
- Toss with olive oil and season with salt & pepper
- Roast on rimmed baking sheet at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes, until browned
- Raw fennel can be enjoyed sliced thin and added to a salad or mixed veggies
- Fennel seeds can be brewed as a tea or used as a garnish
Fresh fennel is packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, manganese and other vital minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium. When choosing a fresh fennel bulb, avoid any that appear spotted or bruised or any that are flowering. Ideally, the stalks should be green and the bulb should be white or pale green. The fennel should be enjoyed quickly after purchase since the flavor fades quickly, but it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
This nutritious bulb is delicious and is so easy to incorporate into your diet. Try adding fennel and let us know what you think.
Written By: S. Campbell for Access Health Care Physicians, LLC.