Fennel: Properties of a Food Aroma of the Mediterranean Culture

The fennel is not only known for its nutritional properties, and the digestive tract, but also by the aromatic, being often nicknamed the sweet herb.

The fennel is a herb native to the Mediterranean region, north Africa and west Asia, being a food much used in the feeding of the mediterranean. It is a herbaceous plant that belongs to the family of Apiaceae, which includes foods such as carrot, coriander, parsley, parsnips, and celery root.

In the Portuguese case, in particular, the fennel is extremely relevant, given its abundance in the Wood, giving, including the name of Funchal.

In addition to a food edible is also a food aromatic in the mediterranean culture, and is often confused with fennel or anise. Of the seeds in the bulb passing through the leaves, the fennel is a food in which everything is useful.

There are two varieties dominate in the market: the round and the oblong, known for fennel angry or bitter. The first is characterized by stems more succulent and sweet and, with a smaller concentration of essential oils, which makes it easily edible in fresh.

NUTRITIONAL PROPERTIES OF FENNEL

The fennel is an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C, concentrated in its bulb and leaves, as well as calcium, potassium , and iron, in concentrated, in particular, in their seeds.

In addition, it is rich in flavenoides, compounds with properties antioxidants.

BENEFITS OF FENNEL FOR HEALTH

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1. REDUCTION OF CHOLESTEROL

Another of the benefits of fennel health is its positive influence on the reduction of the levels of cholesterol and improving the lipid profile, due to the high fiber content.

2. ANTIOXIDANT PROPERTIES

The fennel is also a food with antioxidant properties considerable, derived from its rich content of flavonoids and vitamin C, which help combat the free radicals, responsible for oxidative stress and the diseases that it brings.

3. DIGESTIVE PROPERTIES

One of best known benefits of fennel for the health of their digestive properties, which derive from its soothing and anti-espásmicas.

The anetol, the compound responsible for the advantages of the sensory and aroma unmistakable of this food, it also has therapeutic properties, in particular in alternative medicines, exercising a protective role of various digestive problems such as indigestion, flatulence, constipation, respiratory problems, disorders menstrual, among others.

4. LAXATIVE PROPERTIES AND DIURETIC

Due to the high fiber content, this food helps to regulate intestinal transit and prevent constipation, reducing the feeling of a distended belly and weight gain.

In addition, when consumed in the form of tea, helps in the fight against the retention of liquids, exercising a action diuretic.

FENNEL: INTERACTIONS WITH MEDICINES

The fennel when present in the body can interfere with some medications since it has the ability to inhibit an isoenzyme of the cytochrome P450, leading to the fact that many pharmaceuticals are not metabolized in the way intended.

Within those drugs include finasteride (medicine anti-androgenic), simvastatin (medicine used to lower cholesterol), verapamil (a medicine to prevent arrhythmias), and ciprofloxacin (antibiotic).

Thus, it is not very advised to use this type of drugs along with the intake of fennel because it may change the pharmacokinetic in the body and can cause undesirable effects.

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HOW TO CONSUME THE FENNEL?

  1. TEA

The most common way to consume fennel is in the form of infusion. You can choose to buy in sachets or sheets and prepare at home as follows:

  1. Add 1 teaspoon of seeds (or 5 g of leaves of fennel in a cup of water to the boil, cover the infusion and let it stand until it is lukewarm.
  2. Then just strain it and drink the beverage before it has cooled down.

Note, however, that the consumption indicated is up to two cups per day, for a maximum period of one week, this is because the intake of tea for prolonged periods you can change the digestive system.

In addition, it should be noted that pregnant women should not drink the tea from fennel, as this drink can cause severe reactions, such as a spontaneous abortion.

  1. SALADS, FISH AND SWEET RECIPES

In addition to tea, this food can also be added as a seasoning for salads, as an herb, aromatic to highlight the taste of the fish or included in recipes for sweets or bread.

In the Wood, are very typical the “fennel sweets”, manufacturing usually craft, intended for the treatment of cough.

  1. SOUP

Finally, its inclusion in soups, particularly soups cold, it is also quite common. The soup of fennel of the Azores is one of its applications culinary the most well-known this food.

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