Besides being used extensively as a spice and condiment in Indian cuisine, fennel seeds are also used to clean and freshen the palate after a meal. They are not just tasty to chew on but are also packed with hidden health benefits.
If you’re one of those who chooses to give it a miss, here are a few reasons why eating fennel seeds will help you. Dietician Apoorva Saini of Santoshiarogyam Diet E Clinic and Seema Singh, chief clinical nutritionist, Fortis, Flt Lt Rajan Dhall Hospital, Vasant Kunj give us an insight into its health benefits.
They help you lose weight
If you’re looking for an easy way to get rid of that excess fat, drinking fennel seed water in the morning can help you. Fennel improves metabolism and burns fat, making it easy to shed those extra pounds. It also acts as a suppressant of appetite.
They help to reduce bloating
Fennel seeds act as a diuretic and help flush out excess fluids from the body. They also improve digestion by activating enzymes and thus is eaten commonly after meals. Fennel tea and water also help in relieving constipation and irritable bowel syndrome due to their anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties.
They protect from cancer
Cooking and heating non-vegetarian food releases certain carcinogens in the air, which change into free radicals that may have cancer causing agents. Fennel helps to remove these toxins from the body and thereby protects one from cancer.
They refresh the breath
The anti-bacterial properties of fennel seeds help to give relief from bad breath.
They improve feeding in lactating mothers
Saini says, “We give fennel, cumin (jeera), ajwain (carom) water to lactating mothers as it is good for milk production and helps with the feeding.”
They keep the skin and hair healthy
Fennel seeds are rich in iron and D complex vitamins, which help improve skin health. Also, the zinc and selenium present in them prevent premature greying of hair by strengthening hair, nourishing hair follicles and stimulating hair growth.
They help boost eye health and immunity
Fennel seeds are rich in Vitamin A and Beta Carotene, which help promote eye health. Also, its Vitamin C components boost immunity.
They give relief from asthma and other respiratory problems
Fennel seeds have phytonutrients that clear sinus and give relief to asthmatic patients.
Saini advises eating one to two teaspoons of fennel seeds every day. As the condiment is seasonal, it can be eaten throughout the year.