Make Fennel Your Friend

It’s Monday, we’ve all heard the Lao Tzu quote that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Each Monday is a new opportunity to take that first step. Only 64% of people are still following their New Year’s resolutions by the end of January. The good news is, December 31st isn’t the only day of the year that you can make a choice to change your habits! The type of New Week’s resolution that the Neuliven Health team likes are the small actions you can add to your life that don’t make drastic changes but can really add up.

Today we’re talking about fennel. This vegetable, related to carrots, is wholly edible: flower, seed, stalk, leaves and bulb. With an aniseed-like flavor, the veggie is used in many types of dishes all over the world. But the amazing thing isn’t its versatility; it’s fennel’s health benefits.

With only 30 calories a cup, fennel has 2.9 grams of fiber and is a good source of folate, potassium and calcium. The fiber is excellent for weight control. Dietary fiber gives you a sensation of being full that stops snacking between meals. It can also help people maintain healthy blood sugar levels. The folate is good for the nervous system and cognition. Potassium can fight high blood sugar. Calcium helps bone health. Additionally, the vegetable can fight inflammation with quercetin, rutin and anethole.    

Fennel tea is made by steeping a teaspoon of leaves with one of seeds. If you like herbal teas, this might be a perfect way of getting fennel into your diet. The flavor is reminiscent of licorice and has a medicinal note to it. The tea can help digestion issues and can ease the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and can lower glucose levels in the bloodstream.

The seeds too have many possibilities for cuisine as a spice. Naturally sweet, the flavonoids may help prevent cancer and slow degenerative diseases. Phytonutrients found within the seed can aid lung health and extracts from the seed have shown to ease glaucoma symptoms.

With all these benefits in mind, it seems odd that there are nowhere near as much fuss about fennel as there is about other “superfoods” like blueberries and acai berries. Perhaps it is because many of us don’t know how to work fennel into a recipe. The versatile veggie can be cooked or raw and goes well with intense flavors. Check out this article that covers everything from how to grow or buy fennel to tasty recipes.

January 28, 2019
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