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Fennel is a strange but wonderful plant and sadly people just don't eat/drink enough of the stuff. When it comes to cooking with fennel, I really wouldn't know where to start, but where juicing is concerned you really cant go wrong. Adding fennel to a juice really transforms it into a slightly exotic, yet beautiful liquorice flavoured juice. I love fennel because its aniseed taste can add some unusual sweetness to some otherwise earthy combinations.
Juice or smoothie?
We would always suggest to juice it with other vegetables as well as ginger as the two flavours compliment each other particularly well.
Fennel is part of the same family as celery, known as the umbelliferous family, however it is much sweeter and more aromatic than celery.
Fennel contains a whole cocktail of essential oils that give it its characteristic aniseed smell.
Fennel juice has an amazing calming effect on the digestion and reduces intestinal cramps, intestinal gas, flatulence and bloating. It is widely used by herbalists as an antispasmodic for IBS, due to the essential oils contained within fennel that help to relax the walls of the gut. The most powerful essential oil is anethol, which is a superb anti-inflammatory as well as being the main chemical responsible for fennel's antispasmodic effects.
Fennel contains compounds known as phyto-estrogens, these are plant chemicals that are similar in chemical structure to the female hormone oestrogen. These compounds are known to be of great use for conditions where a change in oestrogen levels cause symptoms, such as menopause and pre menstrual issues.
Fennel has been found to help release endorphins into the bloodstream. These "feel good" chemicals create a mood of euphoria and are thought to relieve depression associated with certain illness as well as dampen anxiety.
Vitamins, minerals and extras
- B, C, E, beta-carotine
- Calcium, chromium, cobalt, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, zinc
Pinnock, Dale, 2011, Medical Cookery, Right Way, London.
Jensen, Bernard.Dr, 2000, Juicing Therapy, Keats Publishing, Illinois.
Meyerowitz, Steve, 2000, Power Juices Super Drinks, Kensington Books, New York.