Fennel takes center stage in today’s Superhuman Food Pyramid topic. The herb originally grew in the coastal regions around the Mediterranean. But being quite an aggressive species it was able to thrive in the other locations where it’s been propagated. Fennel can now also be found in Asia, Australia, and the US.
The herb is so hardy and prolific that it wouldn’t be surprising to see them growing on the side of a road along with some weeds. Perhaps because of its threadlike leaves, its English name is derived from the Latin word for “hay”.
For an herb deemed to be quite common and having an unassuming appearance, fennel actually packs quite a punch. You’ll easily understand this when you take a look at its health benefits and uses.
Jump right in and see how to use fennel in your quest for Superhuman health.
When you think about abundant natural sources of Vitamin C, citrus fruits are what usually come first to mind. There are herbs however that can adequately provide this most important vitamin and fennel is one of them. A cup of raw fennel can actually supply us with around 17 % of your daily need for this nutrient.
Remember that Vitamin C is the primary antioxidant in your body. This is why it’s so good at keeping you from getting sick and helps you heal faster.
Other nutrients rich in fennel are potassium and fiber. Both can actually help decrease high blood pressure which means that they contribute in lessening the risks of cardiovascular diseases. Dietary fiber also acts as a sort of broom that can sweep out toxins building up in your intestines. Those who take in enough fiber usually have lower chances of getting ailments like colon cancer.
Besides those mentioned here are some more of the Superhuman goodies that fennel can offer:
- Vitamin B3
Researchers who have studied fennel have identified that one of its major organic compounds is anethole. This is the substance that gives the herb its particular flavor and aroma. Further studies revealed that this compound works effectively against harmful bacteria and fungi.
Fennel Practical Uses:
The positively practical thing about fennel is that most parts of the plant can be consumed. You can use its leaves, bulbs and fruits for culinary and medicinal purposes.
Fennel bulbs and leaves are mainly for cooking. Chop up the bulbs and include it in various types of sautéed vegetable dishes. The fresh leaves meanwhile are a great ingredient for salads and soups and work well as a garnish.
What you’ve come to know as fennel seeds are in reality the dried fruits of the herb. These are more often used for therapeutic purposes. The easiest preparation is to boil them in water and make a tea. We can drink this beverage for several situations.
- The herb’s carminative effect can ease digestive problems.
- Its antimicrobial and antispasmodic effect can ease and alleviate coughs.
- Its diuretic effect can help general cleansing of the body.
- Its fragrance can freshen up and remove bad breath.
Another use of fennel in line with oral hygiene is as an ingredient in herbal toothpastes. This adds the herb’s flavor as well as takes advantage of its antiseptic properties.
Most herbalists recommend that fennel essential oil be only used topically as it can be potentially toxic. Applied on your skin it can work as an insect repellant and as an antifungal ointment.
In the next post, I’ll tell you how you can use star anise in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the herbs, spices and sweeteners on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
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