Fennel: Give your Digestive System some Love
Fennel is known for its many unique antioxidant phytonutrients making it a wonderful juicing ingredient. It is composed of a pale green and white bulb from which stalks emerge and then delicate feathery green leaves sprout from the stalks. Flowers grow from the stalks and produce fennel seeds which are sold as a spice. All of these parts of the fennel are edible and highly nutritious. For juicing, we focus on the bulb and occasionally the stalk and leaves if they are very fresh and available on the bulb. Often at the farmers markets they will sell the bulb with the stalks and leaves, juice all of this! The grocery stores usually remove the stalks and just sell the bulb which is good to juice. Fennel has a light flavor similar to licorice and anise, if you combine it with a little citrus the flavor becomes much less intense in your juice.
Fennel has a very long history with its use for digestion support. Europe and the Mediterranean have grown it for consumption since the medieval times. Fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C but is more widely known by herbalists for easing bloating, digestive spasms and gas pain. It is also recognized for lessening bad breath and body odors that originate in the intestines. Finally, fennel has also been used for helping menstrual cramps and menopause symptoms because it contains phytoestrogen like compounds. We love including fennel in many of our green juice recipes especially when our digestive system needs a little extra love.
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