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5 Reasons Why The Humble Fennel Deserves A Place In Your Everyday Diet
Fighting bad breath to adding flavour to your curries, fennel seeds have many uses
Highly aromatic, with a mild woody-sweet taste, fennel seeds are an Indian kitchen staple, used in food preparations as well as consumed post-meal as a mouth freshener. Many of us will have fond memories of enjoying a bit of complimentary candied fennel seeds (saunf) after an indulgent meal at a restaurant.
A traditional remedy for indigestion, this spice is also known to fight bad breath. It has several other health benefits too. Whether you use it in curries, desserts or have it just like that, here are five reasons why you should make this spice a part of your daily diet.
1. Fennel seeds have an active ingredient called anethole, which is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
2. Fennel seeds also contain antioxidants, which help fight free radicals, thereby slowing down the process of ageing.
3. Rich in dietary fibre, traditional remedies suggest that regular intake of fennel can improve digestion and bowel movement, and check constipation.
4. Fennel contains vitamins C, A and essential minerals such as iron, potassium, copper, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium. According to National Institutes of Health (NIH), “Selenium, which is nutritionally essential for humans, is a constituent of more than two dozen selenoproteins that play critical roles in reproduction, thyroid hormone metabolism, DNA synthesis, and protection from oxidative damage and infection.”
5. Fennel seeds may also help in appetite control, which, in turn, can help in weight loss. A 2015 study, published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, examined the effect of fennel tea and fenugreek tea on nine overweight Korean women. The study concluded that drinking fennel tea and fenugreek tea “might be helpful on appetite control by reducing further food intake in overweight women”. It also said that a longer trial with a wider subject base will help evaluate the long-term effects of these teas on “obesity treatment”.