You regularly see it in your local grocery store. It’s the odd looking white bulb shaped vegetable with some random short bright green stems and leaves sticking out of it. You see it, but you probably never buy it. Why? Maybe because it looks weird. Maybe because it looks difficult to cut or prepare. Maybe because you don’t know what it is. That mystery vegetable is the wonderfully delicious and healthy fennel, and I would like to officially play matchmaker in bringing you two together.

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FENNEL (pictured below)
FennelA plant-based herb whose bulb doubles as a vegetable packed with nutritional value. As an herb, fennel has been used for decades both as a spice in the preparation of various meals and even medicinally as a cure for various ailments. Combined with its use as a vegetable fennel has been linked to help with respiratory disorders, menstrual disorders, colic, indigestion and eye care just to name a few. (For a more full list of some of the other ailments fennel has been linked to combatting check out the following link: ORGANIC FACTS)

What led me to posting this article was the increased fennel consumption I engaged in over the Holiday season. I don’t know who started it, but for as long as I can remember at both the Christmas & New Years gatherings put together by my family raw fennel has always been served shortly after the main meal. Simply cut to allow for pieces to be broken off with ease, raw fennel is a refreshing food (much like watermelon) but features a very mild licorice taste.

Let’s get to know fennel a little bit better by looking at it nutritionally. Per 1 cup raw serving, fennel features:

  • 10.4 mg of Vitamin C
  • 42.6 mg of Calcium
  • 43.5 mg of Phosphorus
  • 23.5 mcg of Folate
  • Much more

Source: SELF NUTRITION DATA

None of these values may jump out at you as anything special, but nutrients such Folate are often under-consumed and are a great resource for our bodies to have. Folate alone assists in the production of red blood cells which when deficient makes the body far more susceptible to cancer. (For more health benefits connected to folate check out the following link: NEWS MAX)

Whether you’ve had fennel in the past or not, I’d suggest not overlooking it the next time you find yourself in the produce section of the supermarket. It’s a great part of many prepared meals but is also a quick and easy raw snack that your body will more than thank you for.

Sources:
http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-fennel.html
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/3023/2
http://www.newsmax.com/FastFeatures/folate-health-benefits-foods/2011/01/13/id/369432


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