Fennel seeds are an aromatic, flavorful spice commonly used in many cuisines across the world. Native to the Mediterranean region, fennel has been used for centuries in cooking and as a medicinal herb. It’s a versatile ingredient that can add depth and complexity to dishes, and its distinct flavor can be used to enhance the flavor of many recipes. In this post, we’ll explore the history, health benefits, and culinary uses of fennel seeds. We’ll also share some tips for working with this unique spice and give you ideas for how to incorporate it into your favorite dishes.
Fennel Seeds Nutrition Facts and Calories Chart
Fennel seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. They are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are a good source of Vitamin C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Fennel seeds are also high in essential fatty acids and polyphenols. These compounds help protect the body from free radical damage, reducing the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Fennel seeds can help promote a healthy digestive system, balance hormones, lower cholesterol, and reduce inflammation. They are also believed to have anti-cancer properties. Fennel seeds can be eaten raw or cooked, and can be used to make teas, sauces, soups, and more. Nutritional value per 100 g fennel seeds:
- Biotin: 0.2 µg
- Calcium: 1150 mg
- Carbohydrates (Carbs): 46 g
- Chloride: 34 mg
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Choline: 11.9 mg
- Chromium: 0.5 µg
- Copper: 0.5 mg
- Dietary Fiber: 30.3 g
- Energy (Calories): 323 kcal
- Fat: 4.3 g
- Iodine: 0.2 µg
- Iron: 12.6 mg
- Magnesium: 250 mg
- Manganese: 2.2 mg
- Molybdenum: 0.2 µg
- Pantothenic Acid: 0.9 mg
- Phosphorus: 287 mg
- Potassium: 1150 mg
- Protein: 12.5 g
- Saturated fat: 0.3 g
- Selenium: 0.4 µg
- Sodium: 35 mg
- Sugars: 3 g
- Vitamin A: 481 IU
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 0.2 mg
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 0.2 mg
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 0.8 mg
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 0.9 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.3 mg
- Vitamin B9 (Folate / Folic Acid): 113 µg
- Vitamin B12: 0 µg
- Vitamin C: 8 mg
- Vitamin D: 0 IU
- Vitamin E: 1.2 mg
- Vitamin K: 51.5 µg
- Water: 8.9 g
- Zinc: 1.3 mg
Fennel Seeds in India
It has been cultivated since Roman times for its thick bulbous stems which are eaten as a vegetable, as well as its feathery leaves, which are used for flavoring, and its seeds, which have medicinal benefits. It is an excellent digestive tonic; sweet tasting. Safe for children, it gently warms and stimulates appetite and digestion, in the process relieving colic, gas, and bloating. Traditional use is wide-ranging, from relieving menstrual pain to shortness of breath.
- Scientific Binomial: Foeniculum vulgare
- Common English: Sweet fennel / Florence fennel / Finocchio
- Ayurvedic: Mishreyaa / Mishi / Madhurikaa / Madhuraa / Shatapushpaa / Shataahvaa
- Unani: Baadiyaan
- Sanskrit: Misreya / Madhurika
- Hindi / Urdu: Saunf
- Bengali: Mouri / Mauri
- Marathi: Badishep / Shepa
- Telugu: Peddajilakarra
- Tamil: Sompu / Sombu
- Kannada: Dodda sompu
- Malayalam: Preumjirakam
- Punjabi / Sindhi
Fennel Seeds Tea Recipe
Fennel tea’s pleasant flavor and aroma make it a refreshing drink with marked benefits for digestive health. A tea made from fennel seeds is a traditional remedy to ease chesty colds, coughs and tummy troubles in children.
- Make the tea with 1 teaspoon of freshly crushed fennel seeds
- Take 1 cup of almost boiling water
- Cover and leave to steep for 5 minutes.
- Sip tea throughout the day.
- It’s also popular with children to warm the seeds in milk instead of water.
Fennel can be used raw or steamed to treat digestive disorders. It also has a high content of Vitamin C. Many Indian restaurants have a dish of fennel seeds available as a digestive aid for departing diners. Fennel is a carminative, an herb that aids digestion and alleviates cramping and gas. Try chewing a teaspoon of fennel seed to soothe an upset stomach, particularly one triggered by eating spicy foods. It is an excellent for obesity because it helps take away the appetite. Aids indigestion when uric acid is the problem. It is also good for gas acid stomach, gout and colic in infants.
- Digestive Aid: Fennel seed tea is ideal for indigestion, gas, or colic and can be added to laxative mixtures to ease the griping pains that strong purgatives can cause. Fennel tea bags are readily available and make a good after dinner drink to ease the digestion. OR After each meal, drink a cup of cumin-coriander-fennel tea. All herbs taken into equal proportions, as a digestive aid. Steep about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of each herb per cup of hot water.
- Oral Care: Fennel tea also makes a good mouthwash for gum disease and sore throats and is sometimes included in herbal toothpastes.
- Baby Colic: Fennel is great for kids. It loosens phlegm and eases cramping. Fennel is used in commercial remedies to ease baby’s colic, although an alternative for breastfeeding mothers is simply to drink fennel infusion a couple of hours before feeding so that the baby receives its medicinal herbs with the daily milk.
- Congestion: The essential oil is sold commercially and can be added to external rubs for bronchial congestion; use 5 drops of oil in a teaspoon of almond oil.
- Bad Breath: To treat bad breath, after each meal chew about 1 teaspoon of roasted fennel and cumin seeds mixed half and half. This will improve digestion, which indirectly helps to detoxify the colon. The licorice-flavored fennel seeds alone would be delicious and helpful, but this mixture will have a better effect.
- Burning While Urinating: Cumin-coriander-fennel tea is widely used in Ayurveda to relieve irritation of the bladder while passing urine. This is known as cystitis condition that causes a burning sensation while urinating.
- Diarrhea: To treat acute diarrhea, mix 1/2 teaspoon fennel powder with 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder, and chew this mixture 2 or 3 times a day.
- Chemotherapy Side Effects: If you are undergoing radiation treatment or chemotherapy, drink fennel tea to reduce the side effects.
- Lactation: Fennel seed reduces intestinal gas, colic, respiratory tract infections; increases nursing mother’s breast milk supply.
Do not use medicinally for more than 6 weeks. Excess use of fennel seed can overstimulate the nervous system. Avoid therapeutic dosages during pregnancy, though culinary use is fine.