Fennel seeds are one of the oldest spices in the world, dating back to ancient Egypt and Rome. The Romans thought they were so powerful that they placed them on their shields during battle.
Fennel seeds have been used in traditional medicine for thousands upon thousands of years. Today, they are used as an aid to digestion, to relieve gas and bloating, and to help with menstrual cramps.
They can also be used as an herbal remedy for colic in infants and children, sinusitis, and mouth ulcers.
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Fennel Seed Benefits
Fennel seed benefits include its use to treat anemia, indigestion, and menstrual pain. It also has a long history of use as a digestive aid. In Ayurvedic medicine it is even considered a tonic for both the stomach and the liver.
Here’s what happens when you eat fennel seeds every day.
1. Helps clean the blood of toxins
Fennel seeds are believed to help clean the blood from toxins due to their antioxidant properties.
These tiny seeds are packed with antioxidants such as flavonoids, phenolic compounds, and vitamin C, which help to neutralize harmful free radicals in the body.
Free radicals (1) are unstable molecules that can damage cells and contribute to the development of various diseases.
In addition to their antioxidant properties, fennel seeds are also known for their diuretic properties. This means that they can help to increase urine production and flush out toxins from the body.
This can help to reduce the load on the kidneys and liver, which are responsible for filtering toxins from the blood.
Fennel seeds also contain compounds such as anethole (2), which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
These properties may help to reduce inflammation in the body. They also protect against harmful bacteria and viruses, which can also contribute to the buildup of toxins in the blood.
You can add a few fennel seeds to your food or drink for their health benefits. Or you can buy them already ground up in the spice section of most grocery stores or natural foods stores.
You can also purchase fennel tea that contains fennel seeds as an ingredient, but make sure it is organic, since non-organic teas often come from fields where pesticides are used liberally.
2. Clears the skin from acne
Fennel seeds are believed to have properties that may help to clear the skin from acne.
One of the key factors that contribute to acne is the overgrowth of bacteria on the skin, particularly the bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes (3).
Fennel seeds contain compounds such as anethole and fenchone. These compounds have been shown to have antibacterial properties that may help to reduce the growth of this bacteria on the skin.
They also contain compounds such as flavonoids and phenolic acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
Inflammation (4) is a key driver of acne, as it can cause redness, swelling, and irritation in the affected area. By reducing inflammation, fennel seeds may help to calm the skin and reduce the severity of acne.
You can take these seeds in the form of powder or in raw form. In order to get maximum benefits from these seeds, it is recommended that you consume them with milk or water.
3. May reduce the risk of cancer
There is some evidence to suggest that eating fennel seeds may help to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
Fennel seeds contain a range of compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This may help to protect against cancer by preventing DNA damage and reducing inflammation in the body.
The anethole found in fennel seeds has been shown to have anti-cancer properties in several studies.
Anethole has been found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the laboratory and may help to prevent the formation of tumors in the body.
Fennel seeds are also a good source of fiber, which may help to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Fiber helps to keep the digestive system healthy and may help to prevent the formation of polyps in the colon (5), which can lead to cancer over time.
Other studies have shown that fennel seeds may be effective against breast cancer and other tumors.
The essential oils in fennel seeds are believed to be responsible for this effect.
4. Reduces late-night hunger pangs
One way that fennel seeds may help to reduce late-night hunger pangs is by promoting feelings of fullness.
The fiber content in fennel seeds can help to slow down the digestion process, which may help to keep you feeling full for longer periods of time.
This can help to reduce the frequency and intensity of hunger pangs, particularly at night when overeating can be more common.
In addition to their fiber content, fennel seeds also contain compounds such as estragole, which have been shown to have appetite-suppressing effects.
Estragole may help to regulate the release of ghrelin (6), which is a hormone that stimulates hunger. This can help to reduce the frequency and intensity of hunger pangs.
Finally, fennel seeds may also help to regulate blood sugar levels, which can help to prevent sudden drops in blood sugar that can trigger cravings for food.
5. May hold many healing properties
Fennel seeds are believed to hold many healing properties due to their rich composition of various compounds.
One of the key reasons why fennel seeds may hold many healing properties is their antioxidant content.
Antioxidants are known to protect the body against oxidative stress, which is a process that can damage cells and contribute to the development of various diseases.
The antioxidants in fennel seeds can help to prevent cell damage and may have a protective effect against chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to their antioxidant properties, fennel seeds also contain essential oils such as anethole, which have been shown to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
These properties help fight off harmful bacteria and reduce inflammation in the body, which can help to promote overall health and well-being.
These seeds also have analgesic properties, which can help to relieve pain and discomfort in the body.
Some studies have found that fennel seed extract may be effective in reducing pain associated with menstrual cramps, arthritis, and other conditions.
Overall, more research is needed to fully understand the potential healing properties of fennel seeds.
Their rich composition of various compounds suggests that they may hold many health benefits and may be a beneficial addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle.
6. Regulates blood pressure
Potassium is an important mineral that plays a key role in regulating blood pressure. It helps to balance the levels of sodium in the body, which can help to prevent high blood pressure.
Fennel seeds are a good source of potassium, with one teaspoon of fennel seeds providing approximately 5% of the daily recommended intake of potassium.
In addition to potassium, fennel seeds also contain magnesium.
Magnesium helps to relax the blood vessels, which can help to lower blood pressure and improve circulation.
The fiber found in fennel seeds also helps to prevent the buildup of plaque in the arteries, which can narrow the blood vessels and increase blood pressure.
7. Improves sleep
The anethole and estragole found in fennel seeds have sedative properties that can help to relax the body and promote sleep.
These compounds may also help to reduce anxiety and stress, which can be contributing factors to sleep disturbances.
The magnesium found in fennel seeds is also an important mineral for sleep regulation.
Magnesium can help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system (7), which is responsible for promoting relaxation and helping the body to enter a state of restful sleep.
Fennel seeds are also known to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce inflammation in the body and promote a healthy immune system.
This is important for sleep as inflammation can cause discomfort and disrupt sleep patterns throughout the night.
8. Boosts digestive health
One of the primary benefits of fennel seeds is their ability to promote digestive health.
Research suggests that fennel seeds may help relieve symptoms of indigestion, bloating, colic (8), food poisoning, and diarrhea by decreasing stomach acid secretion and promoting the elimination of toxins from the body.
These seeds contain compounds that help to relax the muscles of the digestive tract, which can facilitate the digestion process.
They also promote the secretion of digestive enzymes, which helps to break down food more efficiently.
This can be particularly beneficial for people who suffer from digestive issues like bloating, gas, and constipation.
9. Promotes bone health
Fennel seeds are known for promoting bone health. One of the main reasons for this is that they are a rich source of nutrients that are essential for healthy bones.
For instance, fennel seeds are high in calcium, a mineral that is vital for the growth and maintenance of bones and teeth.
Along with calcium, they are also rich in magnesium, which is another important mineral for bone health.
Magnesium works together with calcium to support healthy bone development and also helps regulate calcium levels in the body.
Moreover, fennel seeds contain anti-inflammatory compounds that can help reduce inflammation in the bones and joints.
Chronic inflammation is a risk factor for bone loss and osteoporosis (10). So, by reducing inflammation, fennel seeds may help prevent bone loss and maintain healthy bones.
However, it’s important to note that while fennel seeds can be helpful, they should not be relied on as a sole treatment for any health condition.
If you have concerns about your digestive health or other health conditions, it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional.
If you eat fennel seeds every day, you can only expect to reap the potential health benefits. And who wouldn’t want to feel healthier?
Fennel is definitely a superfood that can help your body in several ways. It can be consumed as a tea, tincture, or powder used in smoothies or yogurt.
Whatever you do, make sure you take it straight from nature and not from pharmacy stores or processed forms. This is one food where it’s best to get it fresh!