15 Science-Backed Benefits of Fennel Seeds

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Fennel seeds or Saunf are the most common ingredient found in every kitchen. Some even have a few of these aromatic herbs at the end of every meal. Not only does this versatile spice have culinary uses, but it also offers a wide range of health benefits.

Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties are the reason for it. So, enhance your culinary creations with aromatic fennel seeds and embark on a flavorful journey to better health.

1. Enhance Heart Health

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Fennel seed consumption benefits your heart in numerous ways as they are crowded with fiber, a nutrient that lowers the risk of certain heart disease factors like high cholesterol. Only one cup or 87 grams of raw fennel bulb supplies 3 grams of fiber or 11% of the daily reference value (DRV).

Food high in fiber helps decrease heart disease risk, as some studies show that the additional intake of 7 grams of dietary fiber daily reduces heart disease risk by 9%. It also contains essential nutrients for keeping your heart healthy, like potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

2. Suppress Appetite

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Not only do fennel seeds add flavor and depth to your dishes, but they also aid in curbing appetite. This seed's essential oil contains anethole with appetite-suppressing qualities. Studies found that in the group of 9 healthy women, those who drank tea made with fennel seeds before lunch consumed fewer calories and felt less hungry during the meal than those who drank placebo tea.

Another study showed that those supplemented with 300 mg of fennel extract every day for 12 weeks gained less weight than the placebo group. Also, they did not experience decreased appetite.

3. Have Cancer-Fighting Properties

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Fennel seeds contain a wide range of powerful plant compounds that may assist in protecting against chronic diseases, like certain cancers. One of the main active compounds, anethole in fennel seeds, demonstrates cancer-fighting effects.

According to the National Library of Medicine, these compounds conceal cell growth and generate apoptosis in human breast cancer cells. Other studies show that fennel extract prevents human breast cancer cells from spreading and results in cancer cell extinction. Also, its seed extract may safeguard against liver cancer. 

4. Improve Menstrual Symptoms

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Fennel and its seeds are safe and very useful for relieving menstrual symptoms like menopausal, as well as easing hot flashes, dryness, vaginal itching, and sleep disturbances. Even it is a very effective remedy for Oligomenorrhea.

If women have irregular periods, soaking fennel seeds in water overnight and drinking them the next morning can assist in regulating the menstrual cycle, have a healthy flow, and soothe period cramps. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help in regulating female hormones.

5. Benefit Breastfeeding Women

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Fennel has Galactogenic effects, indicating it assists in boosting milk secretion. Even its seeds are used as traditional medicine to increase milk supply. Research implies that important substances in anethole, like Potoanethole and Doanethole, are liable for their Galactogenic properties.

It may also raise milk secretion and prolactin blood levels, a hormone that signals breast milk production. Meanwhile, other studies show no impact on infant weight gain or milk secretion. So, breastfeeding women should consult a doctor before using fennel seeds to increase milk production.

6. Have Antibacterial Properties

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Studies found that fennel extract hampers potentially harmful bacteria and yeast growth, like Escherichia coli, Candida albicans, and Staphylococcus aureus that cause urinary tract infections, pneumonia, abdominal and pelvic disorder, vaginal yeast illness, and skin disease.

Another research shows that the fennel seeds essential oil is rich in trans-anethole, a phenylpropanoid, that retains good antibacterial action against food-borne pathogens. The antibacterial properties in these seeds may improve mental health, reduce inflammation, and ease menopausal symptoms.

7. Benefit Mental Health

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Fennel and its seeds act as a general brain booster. Research has shown that its seeds assist in enhancing cognitive performance. Fennel seeds and their bulbs include high levels of potassium. Potassium is essential to promote expanded electrical conduction throughout the body.

It also contributes to nourishing brain functioning and cognitive capabilities. Besides this, fennel juices raise the oxygen supply to the brain. Even it is effective in easing depression and delaying dementia onset. Also, animal studies showed that the extract of fennel helps lower aging-related memory deficits.

8. Enhance Sleep Quality

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Fennel seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, an essential mineral for improving sleep. Only 100 grams of fennel supplies 17 mg of magnesium, while one cup of fresh fennel bulb provides 4% of the RDI. This mineral helps to encourage relaxation and reduce stress to enhance sleep. Some research suggests that magnesium-rich food may improve sleep duration, specifically in the elderly.

Fennel may help relax your muscles, i.e., digestive muscles, so you may feel keen for bed after drinking water with fennel seeds. Fennel tea aids in melatonin secretion. It alleviates the nervous system and yields sleep. Traditionally, this tea is used to fight insomnia.

9. Reduces Respiratory Ailments

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Fennel seeds include phytonutrients that aid in clearing the clogged sinuses. As a result, it may assist in reducing asthma symptoms, and the expectorant effects of the tiny seeds cure other respiratory issues like cough, nasal congestion, and bronchitis, thus sustaining overall respiratory health.

Inhaling fennel seed steam is known to provide comfort from asthma and bronchitis. Apart from this, chewing some Sanuf also heals the sore throat issues. Some animal studies concluded that fennel seeds could provide bronchial relaxation. However, its effect on humans is not known.

10. Combat Bad Breath

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Chewing fennel seeds are a simple and effective home remedy to fight bad breath, especially after an odorous meal, as they sweeten and refresh your breath. It has antimicrobial properties that help to battle the germs that induce bad breath.

Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects also alleviate sore gums. The sweet and soft licorice taste of fennel boosts the secretion of saliva, which aids in vacating and killing harmful bacteria. Besides these, the essential oil possesses antibacterial properties that combat the microbes that yield bad breath.

11. Treat Constipation

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Fennel seeds are beneficial in relieving digestive problems like constipation, indigestion, intestinal gas, bloating, heartburn, and irritable bowel. These tiny seeds include anethole, estragole, and fenchone, acting anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic, giving their beneficial effects. It relaxes intestines muscles and reduces gassiness, which forms acid reflux or constipation.

It alleviates the digestive tract and controls gas formation. So, chewing fennel seeds a teaspoon after a meal assists digestion and eases stomach pains and bloating. It's also rich in fiber content that benefits your gut health. The nutrient helps relieve swelling or irritation in the stomach and enhance digestion.

12. Boost Fertility

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Fennel seed is a rich source of anethole. The research found that the food rich in this compound helps boost the chances of conceiving. It also contains super-effective antioxidants that aid in boosting female fertility when eaten daily. So, having these tiny seeds is beneficial for women planning a pregnancy.

In addition, fennel is naturally high in phytoestrogen. It plays a crucial role in promoting the female reproductive cycle and might encourage fertility. Since ancient times, fennel tea has been used to regulate the menstrual cycle and stimulate fertility.

13. Help Treat Edema

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Edema, also known as water retention, is swelling body parts. It is generated by fluid buildup in body tissues, and fennel seed consumption assists in clearing out excess fluids from the body. Evidence supports anethole efficiency in treating edema.

Fennel tea acts like a diuretic and aids in lowering urinary tract disease chances and clears harmful bacteria from the kidneys. Being a diuretic not only fennel lowers water retention but also helps in losing weight.

14. Enhance Liver Health

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Fennel seeds may contain liver-protective functions. It includes certain compounds that can support and safeguard the liver from damage. These tiny seeds have high levels of selenium, which benefits liver health. This nutrient boosts the enzyme production in the liver and assists in detoxifying naturally.

Fennel seed oil acts as a hepatoprotective and could avoid liver damage in animal studies. Also, intake of this type of essential oil can decrease enzyme levels linked with liver damage. However, more studies are needed to back fennel benefits in the human liver.

15. Improve Skin Appearance

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Fennel is very good for all skin types. It has antiseptic properties that help clean out bacteria and dirt that follow oil breakouts and buildup. It contains compounds like anethole, limonene, and myrcene that help treat acne.

Anethole acts like estrogen, which increases collagen production. Hence, these seeds have anti-aging and skin-rejuvenating effects. These aromatic herbs also pack vitamins A, C, and E, which are essential for combating wrinkles and dark spots.

Fennel seeds benefit the skin by:

  • Reduce cellulite
  • Deep Cleanse skin
  • Treat acne and pimples
  • Delay signs of aging
  • Natural antiseptic for skin
  • Guards the skin from free radicals

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