Fennel belongs to the Umbelliferae family, as do carrots, parsley and celery.
Fennel has been used for years as a medicinal plant in the Mediterranean area. Herbalists claim fennel has numerous properties: intestinal antispasmotic (it gives relief for cramps and intestinal spasms); carminative (it helps eliminate gas); it tones and strengthens the stomach. Fennel is a good source of vitamin C, fiber, potassium and other minerals.
Moreover, thanks to its content of phytoestrogens (plant-based estrogens), it is a useful remedy for troubles related to menopause.
It is best to eat fennel immediately after buying it, in order to appreciate its aromatic fragrance of licorice or anise. For a colorful healthy salad: slice some fennel along with some avocado, oranges and white beans.
For another quick dish: a potato fennel gratin, arrange layers of potatoes and fennel, scatter over some grated parmesan cheese and place in oven until golden, finally drizzle some raw extra virgin olive oil.
The Biologist Nutrizionist Dr. Giancarla Monticelli