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Fennel | Feature | health benefits | seasoning in dishes

Basic characteristics of fennel

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a wild plant that in the first year gives the green leaves and in the second year it gives nutritious fruit. 

It grows in the Mediterranean region, Turkey, Greece, North-Western Europe as a wild plant, but can be grown as a vegetable crop either.

Characteristic of fennel are in firm that has a green stem, which is in the upper part of the plant branches and expanding into feathery dark green leaves and flowers of yellow color.

Characteristic of fennel is that every fruit of fennel has a hundred of seeds rich in essential oils. The seeds are little, aromatic, flat and oval, with yellow fluting.


History of Fennel

One of the oldest known medicinal plant which was used by the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks is fennel.

Fennel was used as a natural remedy for digestive problems and colds.

Fennel was well respected for his tastes like anise in antiquity; the Romans ate its leaves, roots and seeds in salads and bread. 

In the middle Ages they used it for repelling insects. 

It was believed that fennel banishes witches, so it was placed in A Midsummer Night's hanging on the front door. He was often placed in the keyhole that no evil can enter in the house.

Nutritional value of fennel

Fennel is a plant with well-balanced energy and nutritional composition. 

It is a good source of vitamin C, potassium, calcium and manganese.

The quality nutritional contents are  flavonoids - routine and quercetin, and various glycosides, which have strong antioxidant activity

Very interesting matter is anetehol, integral part of the volatile components of the essential oil.

Studies have shown that it reduces inflammation and helps prevents the development of cancer. 

Fennel is rich in vegetable fibers - they have healing effects in state of indigestion, with constipation, bloating and other digestive problems.

The overall composition of proteins, fats and carbohydrates are in the ratio: 16% protein, 15% fat, 52% carbohydrate.

Health Benefits of Fennel

1. Helps in lowering high blood pressure, prevents myocardial diseases, thanks to the presence of potassium.

2. It’s a good antioxidant and protects cells from damage by free radicals, and all this thanks to the elevated levels of vitamin C.

3. Soothes stomach cramps, reduces emissions, and helps in digestion of food, because it contains a high percentage of insoluble dietary fiber.

4. Fennel is a natural anti-rheumatic, and is also used in the form of essential oil for a back massage.

5. Soluble form of fennel is used in the treatment of hoarseness and sore throat.

6. Enhances immunity, acts antibacterial, stimulate the secretion of milk in women, and sedating the nervous system.

The Way of saving and buying fennel

Tubers of fennel should be white to yellow green in colour, firm, without damage and mold. 

Bulb needs to have an exquisite aroma of anise. 

The stalks must be fresh, firm, well-connected, and leaves on them has to be fresh and green.

When buying fennel, avoid to choose fennel that has the yellow flowers - this is a sign that fennel despised and that it isn't fresh.

It is best to keep fennel in the section for vegetables in the refrigerator up to 3 days. 

It can also be frozen, but so is losing a lot of the flavor. 

If you buy fennel powder, it can be kept in the box for spices up to 6 months.

Preparing meals with fennel

All parts of the fennel - bulbs, stems and leaves are used in the preparation of meals. 


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