Fennel isn’t everyone’s first choice in the kitchen, but it’s the underdog you’ll want to get behind when you find out what it can do for your health – and it doesn’t hurt that it makes for a delish roast.
This versatile vegetable boasts an array of health benefits that can enhance your health in surprising ways – you might be particularly surprised by the third benefit we’ve noted. Whether you enjoy it raw in salads, roasted in savoury dishes, or as a fragrant addition to soups, here are three compelling reasons to savour fennel:
Nourish Your Skin, Naturally
Radiant skin starts from within, and fennel can be your secret weapon for a healthy complexion. This vegetable is rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C and various phytonutrients. Antioxidants combat free radicals, those pesky molecules that can harm your skin cells and contribute to premature ageing. By indulging in fennel, you provide your skin with the protection it needs to stay youthful and vibrant. Moreover, the high water content in fennel helps keep your skin hydrated, reducing the risk of dryness and irritation. A well-hydrated complexion is more resilient and less prone to redness or flakiness. Incorporating fennel into your diet is like giving your skin a refreshing drink of water from the inside out.
Harness Anti-Inflammatory Power
Inflammation is at the core of many chronic diseases, from heart disease to diabetes. Fennel contains compounds like flavonoids and polyphenols that exhibit potent anti-inflammatory properties. By regularly enjoying this vegetable, you may help reduce chronic inflammation in your body, lowering the risk of various health conditions. Reducing inflammation can also benefit your joints, potentially alleviating discomfort and stiffness. Additionally, an anti-inflammatory diet is associated with improved digestion and gut health, further promoting overall well-being.
Support Breastfeeding Mums
For new mothers, fennel can be a natural ally in the journey of breastfeeding. Fennel has long been believed to enhance breast milk production. It contains phytoestrogens, plant compounds that mimic the effects of oestrogen in the body. These compounds may stimulate milk production in breastfeeding mothers, helping to ensure that their little ones receive the nourishment they need. Many cultures have celebrated fennel's role in lactation for generations. It's often enjoyed in the form of soothing fennel tea or incorporated into recipes to support breastfeeding mothers.
So, the next time you're planning your meals, consider adding a touch of fennel to your culinary creations. Your taste buds and your health will thank you for it. Enjoy the remarkable benefits of fennel and savour the flavours of a healthier you. Try our delicious roast fennel recipe if you’re looking for inspiration!
Roasted Fennel with Parmesan
- 2 large fennel bulbs
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Fresh parsley leaves for garnish (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 200°C or 400°F.
- Prepare the Fennel: Start by washing the fennel bulbs thoroughly. Trim the tops and remove any tough or discoloured outer layers. Cut each fennel bulb in half lengthwise and then into wedges, making sure to keep the core intact so that the wedges hold together.
- Place the fennel wedges on a baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle the olive oil over the fennel, making sure to coat each piece evenly. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven and roast the fennel for about 25-30 minutes or until it becomes tender and caramelised. You can toss the fennel once or twice during roasting to ensure even cooking.
- Remove the roasted fennel from the oven and sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese evenly over the wedges. Return the baking sheet to the oven for an additional 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is melted and slightly golden.
- Once the fennel is roasted to perfection and the Parmesan cheese is bubbly and golden, remove it from the oven. Garnish with fresh parsley leaves if desired for a pop of colour and extra flavour.
- Serve Hot.
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