Reduce Inflammation with Warm Fennel and Bean Salad
Fennel contains a variety of essential volatile oils that give it a sweet licorice flavor. It may be most well known for its ability to ease colic, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, and flatulence. It is commonly used in breath fresheners, antacids, toothpastes, and in cooking. It is also often given to breastfeeding mothers to help increase their milk production.
Fennel is a great source of several antioxidant phytonutrients, including rutin, quercetin, and kaempferol. It also contains anethole, a compound that studies show can reduce inflammation and reduce cancer risk. It is also a great source of vitamin C , a water soluble antioxidant vitamin that can help protect the body from cell damage caused by free radicals.
As an excellent source of fiber, fennel may help lower high cholesterol and pull toxins from the colon. It also contains folate, a B vitamin that helps the body break down harmful homocysteine into harmless compounds. Homocysteine can damage the heart and blood vessels, and is considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The potassium in fennel can further reduce cardiovascular risk.
Eating fennel such as in our warm fennel and bean salad can help support the blood. Fennel is high in iron, which is required for the production of hemoglobin, the primary component of red blood cells. Fennel also contains an amino acid known as histidine, which stimulates hemoglobin production and is used to produce other components of blood.
Fennel is a digestive tract miracle. The oils can help rebalance gut flora and relax smooth muscles to help ease belly aches, colic, indigestion, and diarrhea. The oils have antibacterial properties, making it especially effective as a treatment for diarrhea caused by bacterial infection. The fiber in fennel can help stimulate the bowels to ease constipation and stimulate secretion of gastric juices to improve digestion. Finally, by rebalancing gut flora, fennel can ease gas and reduce flatulence.
Fennel acts as a gentle diuretic, which can help bring down swelling and remove toxins through the urinary tract. When using fennel, you should drink extra water to support this function and avoid dehydration.
Fennel can help regulate hormones in menstruating women to help ease symptoms of a variety of menstrual disorders and reduce the symptoms of PMS. Women in menopause may find fennel calming.
Fennel is also great for eye health. Consuming fennel may help protect the eyes from inflammation and visual disorders associated with aging, such as macular degeneration. Juice from fennel leaves can also be applied to the eyes to reduce irritation and signs of fatigue.
The oils in fennel have expectorant properties, which means they break up phlegm and makes it easier to expel from the respiratory tract. Expelling mucus helps eliminate toxins in the throat and nasal passages to help speed recovery from respiratory conditions.
Fennel is rich in potassium, which helps regulate nerve signals in the brain, improving brain function and cognition. It also dilates blood vessels, increasing blood flow and oxygen to the brain.
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 15 oz can butter beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tbsp fresh flat-leafed parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large frying pan, add Ingredients A. Stir-fry over medium heat for 5-10 minutes.
- Add Ingredients B and cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir in Ingredients C.