With its interesting licorice-like flavor, Fennel’s symbolic meaning was “praise or flattery” during medieval times.  Apparently Monks cooked delicious meals with it and it earned exemplary compliments.  After researching this vegetable, I believe it deserves that praise for its important antioxidant activity, which includes the ability to reduce lipid peroxidation and scavenge free radicals.  I’ll explain exactly what this means to you later in this post.  I think you’ll want to START SOMEWHERE to consider Fennel for healthier cell membranes as well as it’s deliciousness and nourishment.  Fennel is a good addition to our LIVE YOUNGER plan.

Fennel is in the same family as dill, celery, parsley, coriander and anise.  Its seeds are used frequently in Indian, Middle Eastern, and European cuisines.  We love the seeds, which are actually the dried fruit of the Fennel plant, in spaghetti sauce and layered in lasagna.  The fresh Fennel bulb can be sliced on sandwiches or in salads.  In the Mediterranean region, it is served with anchovy filets and sliced in salads.  This vegetable is at its peak flavor and concentration of nutrients in the autumn through early spring and is much more versatile than I ever imagined.

So why is a reduction in lipid peroxidation and the scavenging of free radicals important to you?  Health and vitality depends on healthy cell membranes.  These membranes control what goes in and what goes out of the cell, protecting it from its surroundings and letting nutrients in.  Lipid peroxidation is basically the degradation of this fatty lipid cell membrane, the outer protection of the body’s cells.  Free radicals “steal” life-sustaining electrons from the cell’s defensive outer membrane, thereby damaging the cell.  Antioxidants protect this important interface from this damaging chain reaction.  Fennel contains a unique collection of phytonutrients including:

  • Flavonoids:  Apigenin, hesperidin quercetin and luteolin
  • Phenolic Acids:  caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, and gallic acid
  • Monoterpenes:  camphene, pinene, and thujene
  • Sesquiterpenes:  farnesene

The Monoterpenes have been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory benefits including lowering the levels of proinflammatory messengers like Interleukins 1, 4, and 5, as well as Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha.  This is quite impressive to me because these nasty messengers are active in Periodontal Disease, also known as gum disease, the most common inflammatory disease in the world and results in loss of the teeth’s bone support.  Fennel is also a great source of Vitamin C, an excellent antioxidant, and of Manganese, an antioxidant mineral. 

Decreasing chronic inflammation is a primary key for enhancing joy and vitality in life.  Lifestyle diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, Heart Disease, and Colon Cancer, just to name a few, are related to chronic inflammation that results from our daily habits and how we choose to live.  Consider Fennel for healthier cell membranes.  START SOMEWHERE today adding more antioxidants found in whole food.  You can do it.  I will help you!

Fennel for Healthier Cell Membranes

Fennel for Healthier Cell Membranes