Tag Archives: vegetable

Fabulous Fennel

I didn’t always like fennel, I’m not a big fan of aniseed so I had tended to avoid it.

But not any more!

Young fennel has such a mild flavour, and after having an orange and fennel salad that I really enjoyed, I thought I’d find out more about this crunchy wonder.

Fennel has long been used for it’s medicinal properties.

Fennel contains anethole a type of phytoestrogen which may explain some of its medical effects. Anethole has a liquorice taste and is only slightly soluble in water but exhibits high solubility in alcohol. This difference causes certain anise-flavoured alcoholic drinks to become opaque when diluted with water. This is known as the Ouzo effect. 

The essence of fennel can be used as a safe and effective herbal drug for primary dysmenorrhea (painful periods).

Fennel is widely employed as a carminative, both in humans and in veterinary medicine (e.g., dogs), to treat flatulence by encouraging the expulsion of intestinal gas.

In the Indian subcontinent, fennel seeds are also eaten raw, sometimes with some sweetener, as they are said to improve eyesight. Ancient Romans regarded fennel as the herb of sight. Root extracts were often used in tonics to clear cloudy eyes. Extracts of fennel seed have been shown in animal studies to have a potential use in the treatment of glaucoma.

Fennel may also be an effective diuretic and is a potential drug for treatment of hypertension.

Historical anecdotes suggest that fennel improves the milk supply of a breastfeeding mother. This use, although not supported by direct evidence, is sometimes justified by the fact that fennel is a source of phytoestrogens, which promote growth of breast tissue. However, you should be careful with what you ingest during breast feeding. Two case reports resulted in illness for the newborn child: Both mothers had been drinking more than 2 litres a day of a herbal tea mixture reportedly containing licorice, fennel and anise. The authors attributed the maternal and infant symptoms to anethole, which is found in both fennel and anise; however, the anethole levels were not measured in breastmilk, nor were the teas tested for their content. Symptoms resolved in the children after their mothers discontinued the teas.

So, whether you’re into herbal teas, crunchy salads or roasted veggies, why not add a different flavour with some

Fabulous Fennel

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Classy Cauliflower

Despite being a paler relation of the brassica family, Cauliflower has many of the same health benefits as Broccoli (see Brilliant Broccoli ) and should be considered in a healthy diet.

It has a low GI index and is High in Vitamin C, K and Folic Acid as well as being a good source of dietary fibre.

Most people are aware of how good Vitamin C and K are for you, but what about Folic Acid? We often hear about it being used a s a supplement during pregnancy, But what is it and why do we need it?

Humans cannot synthesize folic acid themselves; therefore, it has to be supplied through the diet to meet the daily requirements. The human body needs it to synthesize and repair DNA, as well as to act as a cofactor in certain biological reactions. It is especially important in aiding rapid cell division and growth, such as in infancy and pregnancy. Both children and adults both require folic acid to make healthy red blood cells and prevent anaemia.

It is believed that having a good supply of Folic acid

  • Supports red blood cell production and help prevent anaemia
  • Help prevent homocysteine build-up in your blood
  • Supports cell production, especially in your skin
  • Allows nerves to function properly
  • Helps prevent osteoporosis-related bone fractures
  • Helps prevent dementias including Alzheimer’s disease

Signs that you may need more Folic Acid in your diet include

  • Irritability
  • Mental fatigue, forgetfulness, or confusion
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • General or muscular fatigue
  • Gingivitis or periodontal disease

Cauliflower is an incredibly versatile food. It can be cut up finely and steamed or stir fried to use as a substitute for rice or potatoes in a dish, it can be a side dish to a main course or it can be the main event in a curry or soup. However you choose to eat them, fresh fruits and vegetables help us to maintain a healthy mind and body, and are delicious too…

….How will you be eating yours this week?

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