Wednesday, 6 November 2013

#Healthy #Foods - Vegetables - Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare)

Fennel is a species of Foeniculum Vulgare, belong to the family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae), and native to to the shores of the Mediterranean. It is now widely cultivated all around the globe to use as food and herb.

Nutritional Supplements
1. Carbohydrates
2. Fiber
3. Protein
4. Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
5. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
6. Niacin (Vitamin B3)
7. Pantothenic acid (B5)
8. Vitamin B6
9. Folate (Vitamin B9)
10. Vitamin C
11. Calcium
12. Copper
13. Iron
14. Magnesium
15. Molybdenum
16. Phosphorus
17. Potassium
18. Zinc
19. Etc.

Health Benefits
A. Health benefits according studies
1. Antimicrobial activities
In the determination of the chemical compositions of the essential oil and hexane extract isolated from the inflorescence, leaf stems, and aerial parts of Florence fennel found that the essential oil, anethole, and hexane extract were effective against most of the foodborne pathogenic, saprophytic, probiotic, and mycotoxigenic microorganisms tested. The results of the present study revealed that (E)-anethole, the main component of Florence fennel essential oil, is responsible for the antimicrobial activity , according to "Antimicrobial activities of essential oil and hexane extract of Florence fennel [Foeniculum vulgare var. azoricum (Mill.) Thell.] against foodborne microorganisms" by Cetin B, Ozer H, Cakir A, Polat T, Dursun A, Mete E, Oztürk E, Ekinci M.(a)

2. Antioxidant activities
In the investigation of Essential oils of the fruits of three organically grown cultivars of Egyptian fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var. azoricum, Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce and Foeniculum vulgare var. vulgare) and theirs antioxidant effects found that Antioxidant activities of the essential oils were evaluated using the DPPH radical scavenging, lipid peroxidation and metal chelating assays. Essential oils from the azoricum and dulce cultivars were more effective antioxidants than that from the vulgare cultivar, according to "Chemical composition, antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of essential oils from organically cultivated fennel cultivars" by Shahat AA, Ibrahim AY, Hendawy SF, Omer EA, Hammouda FM, Abdel-Rahman FH, Saleh MA.(b)

3. Antifungal activity
In the assessment of antifungal activity of the essential oils of Zataria multiflora, Thymus migricus, Satureja hortensis, Foeniculum vulgare, Carum capticum and thiabendazol fungicide on survival and growth of different species of Aspergillus found that all essential oils could inhibit the growth of Aspergillus species. The essential oil with the best effect and lowest EC50 and MIC (Minimum Inhibitory Concentration) was Z. multiflora (223 microl/l and 650 microl/l, respectively). The chemical composition of the Z. multiflora essential oil was analyzed by GC-MS, according to "Antifungal activity of some essential oils against toxigenic Aspergillus species" by Alizadeh A, Zamani E, Sharaifi R, Javan-Nikkhah M, Nazari S.(c)

4. Immune defense
In the study of fennel honey, ethanol, and aqueous propolis extracts orally and theirs effect on immune defense found that all tested previously bee product-immunized rats could significantly challenge the induced S. aureus infection (P < .01). The effects were more pronounced in rats that had received fennel honey solution, according to "Immune defense of rats immunized with fennel honey, propolis, and bee venom against induced staphylococcal infection" by Sayed SM, Abou El-Ella GA, Wahba NM, El Nisr NA, Raddad K, Abd El Rahman MF, Abd El Hafeez MM, Abd El Fattah Aamer A.(d)

5. Diabetic aomplication
In the analyzing the aqueous extracts of 22 plant-derived materials and their inhibitory property against rat lens and human recombinant aldose reductase found that Prominent inhibitory property was found in spinach, cumin, fennel, lemon, basil and black pepper with an approximate IC50 of 0.2 mg/mL with an excellent selectivity towards aldose reductase. As against this, 10 to 20 times higher concentrations were required for 50% inhibition of aldehyde reductase. Reduction in the accumulation of intracellular sorbitol by the dietary extracts further substantiated their in vivo efficacy. The findings reported here indicate the scope of adapting life-style modifications in the form of inclusion of certain common sources in the diet for the management of diabetic complications, according to "Dietary sources of aldose reductase inhibitors: prospects for alleviating diabetic complications" by Saraswat M, Muthenna P, Suryanarayana P, Petrash JM, Reddy GB.(e)

6. Etc.

B. Health benefits according to concentration
1. Vitamin C
In the evaluation of pulmonary dysfunction. and it effects on pulmonary dysfunction found that At present, evidence from randomised-controlled trials is insufficient to recommend a specific role for vitamin C in the treatment of asthma. Further methodologically strong and large-scale randomised controlled trials are needed in order to address the question of the effectiveness of vitamin C in children with asthma but some outcome data showed effectiveness on lung function, symptom scores, IgE levels and inhaled steroid use. One small study showed a significant difference in % drop in FEV1 post-exercise, according to the study of "Vitamin C supplementation for asthma" by Kaur B, Rowe BH, Arnold E.(I)

2. Dietary fiber
Daily intake of right amount of fibers can prvent and treata. Diabetes, as Increased consumption of vegetables, whole grains, and soluble and insoluble fiber is associated with improved glucose metabolism in both diabetic and nondiabetic individuals. Improvements in insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis were more evident in participants following a plant-based diet compared with other commonly used diets, according to the study of "Efficacy of high-fiber diets in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus" by Wolfram T, Ismail-Beigi F.(II)

3. Potassium
Potassium is necessary mineral in balancing the ratio with sodium for lymphatic system in regulating the fluid in the body, and reducing the cardiovascular diseases, according to the study of "Sodium and potassium intake and risk of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality: the Rotterdam Study" by Geleijnse JM, Witteman JC, Stijnen T, Kloos MW, Hofman A, Grobbee DE., posted in PubMed(III)

4. Manganese
Manganese beside is a mineral essential for energy production and metabolism of foods, it also helps to improve immune-system functioning that reduces the risk of inflammation, according to the study of "The effects of 3, 4 or 5 amino salicylic acids on manganese-induced neuronal death: ER stress and mitochondrial complexes" by Yoon H, Lee GH, Kim DS, Kim KW, Kim HR, Chae HJ., posted in PubMed ( researchers indicated that the salicylate analogues and the antioxidants did not mediate ER stress in this model. The salicylate analogues reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reversed the deficient mitochondrial membrane potential that was induced by Mn. Taken together, the 3, 4, 5 ASA worked in a similar way, regulating the Mn-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and protecting cells.

5. Folate
Folic acid beside is important for the production of red blood cells, and for the proper development of the brain and spine, according to the study of "Go folic!" by Bland J., posted in PubMed ( it also enhances the replication and maintenance of DNA and RNA., according to the study of "A folate- and methyl-deficient diet alters the expression of DNA methyltransferases and methyl CpG binding proteins involved in epigenetic gene silencing in livers of F344 rats" by Ghoshal K, Li X, Datta J, Bai S, Pogribny I, Pogribny M, Huang Y, Young D, Jacob ST., posted in PubMed (

6. Etc.

C. Other health benefits
1. Antioxidants
Since it contains high amount of phyto-nutrients with antioxidants, such as flavonoids rutin, quercitin, and various kaempferol glycosides, it optimizes the immune function in fighting against the forming of free radical and foreign bacteria and virus invasion, thus reducing the risk of irregular cell growth and anti inflammation and infection, according to the study of "Review: Free radicals, antioxidants, and the immune system" by Knight JA. posted in PubMed(1)

2. FiberFennel is rich in fiber, it not only helps to bind the bad cholesterol (LDL) and remove it thorugh waste expelling, thus reducing the risk of high levels of cholesterol, according to the study of "Cholesterol-lowering effects of dietary fiber: a meta-analysis" by Brown L, Rosner B, Willett WW, Sacks FM., posted in PubMed(2)

3. Water retention and hypertensionFennel contains high amounts of potassium that not only balance the ratio of sodium in the body, thus enhancing the lymphatic function in regulating body's fluid, but also reduce the risk of hypertension, according to the study of "Blood pressure lowering efficacy of potassium-sparing diuretics (that block the epithelial sodium channel) for primary hypertension" by Heran BS, Chen JM, Wang JJ, Wright JM., posted in PubMed(3)

4. GalactagogueGalactagofue in fennel is a substance that promotes lactation in humans, thus enhancing milk production for breast feel women, according to the study of "The effect of galactagogue herbal tea on breast milk production and short-term catch-up of birth weight in the first week of life" by Turkyılmaz C, Onal E, Hirfanoglu IM, Turan O, Koç E, Ergenekon E, Atalay Y., posted in PubMed(4)

5. Liver protection
In rat study, essential oil of Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) essential oil (FEO) exhibited a potent hepatoprotective action against CCl(4)-induced hepatic damage, according to the study of "Hepatoprotective effect of Foeniculum vulgare essential oil" by Ozbek H, Uğraş S, Dülger H, Bayram I, Tuncer I, Oztürk G, Oztürk A., posted in PubMed(5)
6. Etc.

Side Effects
No, if not overdoses.

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