India's love affair with fennel needs no introduction. The seed spice dominates a variety of our preparations. Did you know that India happens to be the largest exporter of fennel seeds, widely known as saunf. A common practice in most Indian households is to have few fennel seeds or saunf at the end of every meal. This practice you might think is to freshen the mouth, but think again. A concentrated source of minerals like Copper, Potassium, Calcium, Zinc, Manganese , Vitamin C, Iron, Selenium and Magnesium, the age old practice does much more than simply beat bad breath. From regulating blood pressure to water retention, fennel seeds pack a bevy of nutrients that make it a must have in your kitchen. In size and shape they resemble cumin or zeera, but fennel is a different spice altogether.
Here are some 9 great fennel seed benefits:
1. Helps Regulate Blood Pressure:
A study published in the Journal of Food Science, found that chewing on fennel seeds helped increased the nitrite content in saliva, making it a great natural way to keep a check on blood pressure levels. Apart from this, fennel seeds are also a very rich source of potassium and since potassium is an essential component of cells and body fluids, it helps control your heart rate and blood pressure.
(Also Read: Blood Pressure: 6 Foods For Managing Blood Pressure)
Drinking fennel tea, regularly helps flush out excess fluids as it works as a diuretic. In addition, fennel seed helps remove toxins and reduces the risk of urinary tract problems. It also has diaphoretic properties that stimulate perspiration.
2. Reduce Water Retention :
3. Fennel Tea for Constipation, Indigestion, IBS & Bloating:
The tea is considered very useful to help indigestion, bloating and constipation because of the oils found in these seeds. Fennel seeds contain estragole, fenchone and anethole, which contribute to the plant's antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties. For those with IBS, the volatile oils found in fennel seeds can help kick start digestion by promoting the production of gastric enzymes. For its multitude of gastrointestinal benefits, fennel tea is sure to help the digestive tract be healthy and happy.
4. Fennel Seeds Reduce Asthma Symptoms :
Fennel seeds and their phytonutrients help clear sinuses. Sinus is a condition in which the cavities around the nasal passages become inflamed. They make a great tea to aid with bronchitis, congestion and cough as they have expectorant properties.
(Also Read: World Asthma Day 2016: Home Remedies to Treat Asthma)
5. Helps Purify Blood:
The essential oils and fiber in these seeds are considered very useful to flush out toxins and sludge from our bodies, thus helping to cleanse the blood. It is very important to include foods in your diet that help cleanse your blood, to ensure there is smooth absorption of nutrients.
6. Improves Eyesight:
A handful of these seeds could do wonders for your eyesight too. Fennel seeds contain Vitamin A, which is important for eyesight. In ancient India, extracts of these seeds were used to improve the symptoms of glaucoma.
7. According to Ayurveda:
Fennel seeds reduce all 3 Trodosha (Vata, Pita, Kapha). The seeds have a cooling effect on the body. It is a good idea to consume a fennel seed drink during the scorching summer, to relieve heat from the body. The oil found in the seeds is carminative in nature, hence it is used in massage blends, especially in Ayurveda to calm the nerves and promote mental clarity.
8. Great for Acne:
When fennel seeds are eaten on a regular basis, they provide the body with valuable minerals like zinc, calcium and selenium. These minerals are very helpful to balance hormones and in helping up the oxygen balance. When consumed, fennel has a cooling impact on the skin, hence giving a healthy glow.
9. Keeps Cancer Away:
The seeds also have very powerful free radical scavenging properties that help beat oxidative stress and protects the body from various cancers of the skin, stomach and breasts. Fennel seeds have a very potent chemo modulatory effect too.
In Ayurveda, fennel seeds are considered very auspicious. They were extensively used in various recipes in ancient India. The age-old secrets of health can be found in the simplest ingredients in our kitchens. We just need to unveil them.
About the Author:Shilpa Arora ND is a renowned Health Practitioner, Nutritionist and certified Macrobiotic Health Coach. She has to her credit Doctorate in Natural Medicine. She is currently based in Delhi NCR region, successfully running her Nutrition Studio with individual consultations, offering life style programs supported by the most up-to-date clinical research.
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