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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Fennel : Health benefits, nutritional facts, how to buy, store, prepare and work with fennel.

Fennel :
Fennel : Health benefits, nutritional facts, how to buy, store, prepare and work with fennel.

Fennel runs in the same family as carrots, celery dale and parsley. It's packed with antioxidants. It's an anti-inflammatory and it helps support immunity. It's also packed with fiber, low in calories like all vegetables and extremely versatile. 
It is a very popular herb not only for its nutritious properties but also for its medicinal abilities. It has been used for generations to promote health and wellness and has tremendous antiviral and antimicrobial properties. It can also be added to many different recipes to enhance its flavor, while also adding important nutrition. 
It has a mild underneath flavor and it's sweet and super refreshing. 
This article tells everything you need to know about Fennel : Health benefits, nutritional facts, how to buy, store, prepare and work with fennel.

Table of contents

·        Nutritional facts of fennel

·        Health  benefits of fennel

·        How to buy, store, prepare and work with fennel.

Nutritional facts of fennel

According to USDA  data main nutrient in 100 grams of raw fennel contain:

·        Calories: 31

·        Protein: 1.2 g

·        Carbohydrates:  7 g

·        Dietary fiber: 3.1 g

·        Sugar: 3.9 g

·        Total Fat: 0.2 g

·        Cholesterol :  0 mg

·        Sodium :  52  mg

·        Potassium: 414 mg

      Fennel is incredibly nutritious. It offers many different healthy vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that can support our overall health. Specifically, fennel is a good source of vitamin C, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, calcium and many more. It is also very low in calories, high in dietary fiber and is a good source of antioxidants.

Health benefits of fennel

let’s discuss some of the important health benefits of fennel:

1. Improve eyes health

Consuming fennel regularly can help to improve the overall health of our eyes. This is often attributed to fennel tremendous anti-inflammation properties, antioxidants, flavonoids and zinc. These eye healthy compounds may be able to help improve vision while also reducing the risk of developing macular degeneration. It's high in vitamin C and flavonoid content can help to reduce free radicals and oxidative damage that can compromise the health of our eyes.

2. Benefits in heart disease

Fennel is also very heart healthy and can improve heart health in many different ways and were also reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Due to the heart healthy nutrients found in fennel along with its anti-inflammation compounds. It can help to regulate blood pressure as well consuming fennel regularly can help to reduce cholesterol levels in the body and keep it at healthy levels. It can help to reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides. The good levels of fiber, vitamin C and manganese are also helpful in this regard.

3. Improve digestion
One of the fennel most well known health benefits is its ability to improve  the digestion as well as optimize digestive functioning. This is often attributed to its high levels of dietary fiber. This important nutrient for our digestive system helps to  promote regular bowel movements. It can help to reduce symptoms associated with digestion such as irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. The oils found in fennel can also help to stimulate the secretion of digestive juices, which can further enhance overall digestion.


4. Good for bone health

Fennel can also help to improve bone health when consumed regularly. This is because it contains bone healthy nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and even some vitamin K all of these nutrients are vital for maintaining overall bone strength. Especially as we get older these bone healthy nutrients especially calcium have been found to strengthen the bones and increase bone mineral density.

How to buy fennel?

Very Fresh fennel will be sold with the stems and the fronds that it’s. The feathery greens on the top still intact but sometimes oftentimes you will see it at the grocery store with the stems already cut off in which case you'll just find the bulb when you're shopping for fennel. You're looking for a nice tight compact plump bulb. In a perfect world you would find the fennel at the store with the stalks and the fronds still attached but if not don't worry about it. It's that healthy bulb that we're really looking for and try to avoid too many bumps and bruises. As well as for the color you're looking for this nice light pale green.
You're going to notice that they can really vary in size some are going to be a bit smaller and others are going to be larger.

The smaller ones are more tendered so they work really well in a salad or in a quick soup. The larger ones a little tougher a little more fibrous this is going to work great if you're roasting or braising.

How to store?

Once you get your fennel home. You just want to store it in a plastic bag. The plastic bag you get at the grocery store would be perfect. Pop it in there get all the air out then stick this in your fridge in the veggie drawer. And it should last you up to one week.

How to prepare and work with fennel?

 When you're ready to work with your fennel first thing you want to do is give it a good rinse under some cold water.  If the fennel bulb is nice and tight and compact the way you want it to bathe you really don't need to worry too much about dirt getting inside the bulb giving it a good rinse on the outside we'll do job.
 As for preparation it's very simple. First thing you want to do is cut off the stock from the bulb. There's not much you can do with the stock but the fronds. On the other hand you can use just the way you would a fresh herb so you could chop them up and put them on top of a salad or sprinkle some on top of your soup for some nice fresh flavor. Now for the bulb, first thing you're going to do is just look for any dry spots or if there's any brown spots grab a potato peeler and just go ahead and peel it right off. Now if the outside layer was really tough or fibrous. You could just rip the whole thing off and toss it then lay it on its side and take a nice thin layer from the bottom and just cut off that dried pieces of stem. Then you want to stand your fennel straight up and we're going to slice it right down the middle and check out the core. In a small bulb  the core is usually nice and tender so you don't need to take it out but if you were working with a bigger bulb - guy you would see that the core is bigger and it's usually kind of tough and fibrous. So you'll want to get it out of there very easy to do just take your knife at a 45 degree angle on both sides of the core just slice in, come back the other side and they'll pop right out.  If you were going to braise or roast your fennel. You're going to want bigger pieces so what you're going to do is taking 1/2 and either cut it into thirds or quarters. If you were going to make a salad or a quick soup then you would want nice thin slices in which case you would just slice thin. If you wanted thin long slices just to rotate the bulb and slice it.

One of my favorite ways to eat fennel is to get some nice thinly sliced fennel into a bowl , then add 1 clove of crushed garlic, a pinch of  salt, the juice from half a lemon and just to put some extra virgin olive oil then toss in some fresh-cut orange . If you have two olives give that a quick toss and you've got yourself this light bright refreshing salad.  It is so easy to take something that's fresh and in season and make it delicious. Fennel likes to be paired with lemons, oranges, tomatoes potatoes, garlic and cheese.

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