Ever try those colorful little seeds offered to you after eating at an Indian restaurant? Those, friends, are fennel seeds. (Fennel seeds in a sugary, colorful coating, but fennel seeds nonetheless.) And the big deal about fennel seeds is that, besides being surprisingly delicious, they are wildly healthy for you.
For starters, fennel seeds are rich in a variety of essential minerals and vitamins that support the body’s health, like magnesium, vitamin C, beta-carotene, copper, selenium, potassium, zinc, dietary fiber and antioxidants. And when you chew fennel seeds — the traditional form of reaping the seed’s benefits — these monerals and vitamins, along with flavonoids, steols and coumarins from the essential oil, are released and absorbed into the bloodstream through the mouth, and enter the digestive system to do a whole heap of goodness. The most well-known benefit is the calming effect on the digestive system, easing cramps, indigestion, gas and bloating. The calming effect of the seed also helps relieve a cough, and treat a migraine.
It’s no wonder, then, people have been using fennel seeds for a variety of purposes for so very long. Here are two of our go-to methods for getting that goodness in.
Chew the seeds raw, before and after meals. (…And maybe skip the sugar-coated kind you get after dining at an Indian restaurant.) Fennel seeds have a rich, licorice-like taste that bursts in the mouth, a flavor that serves to freshen breath. Keep a small bag of fennel seeds in your bag to chew before and after each on-the-go meal for smooth and comfortable digestion, and that fresh breath. Half a teaspoon is the recommended dosage. Simply pop into the mouth; chew until the flavor releases and the texture changes to softness, and then swallow. Some people like to lightly roast the seeds for a nuttier flavor, especially if they don’t like the flavor so much. (I personally love the taste.)
Sip ’em in tea. To make fennel tea, infuse fennel seeds in boiling water for 10 minutes. (You can also add ginger and mint to fennel tea for an extra boost of digestive goodness.)As with the raw seeds, drinking fennel tea before or after a meal will help deliver those beneficial compounds to your intestinal tract. For best results, drink the tea at least 15 minutes before you eat, and wait 30 minutes until after you eat for best results.
A few more health-boosting foods we want you to know about:
- The five superfoods to know about now.
- The top-rated paleo food bars.
- Why we are raving fans of bone broth.
Like us on Facebook!