By Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)
Fennel has been valued since Roman times for a variety of reasons including it’s culinary and health properties. The Fennel bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds are all edible.
Fennel belongs to the Umbellifereae family and is related to carrots, dill, parsley and coriander.
Fennel provides us with many health benefits including:
The fennel bulb contains a good amount of vitamin C which is an antioxidant – which is important for healthy sperm and eggs as it helps to zap those free radicals!
Fennel helps to regulate female sex hormones
Anti- inflammatory – very important for healthy reproductive organs and helps with conditions such as endometriosis.
Cardiovascular health benefits – fennel is a good source of the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce homocysteine. Fennel is a good source of potassium which helps to lower blood pressure.
Hormone regulation- helps to balance female hormones.
Gut health- fennel is a good source of fibre.
Fennel contains many vital nutrients and is an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, niacin, magnesium, iron and calcium which all play important roles pre conception and during pregnancy.
Fennel is great in;
With fish such as salmon and scallops
In soup – try the recipe below
Pea and Fennel Soup
1 small bag of frozen peas
1 bulb of fennel
2 cloves of garlic (peeled)
Handful of fresh coriander and chives
(Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste)
Place the peas, chopped fennel and whole garlic into a large pan and cover with water.
Bring to the boil.
Then turn the heat off and add fresh herbs and seasoning.
Leave to simmer with lid on and no heat for 5 minutes.
Blend with a hand blend until smooth.
Enjoy hot or cold with some mint leaves.
Ideal to freeze.
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