There’s more to fennel than sausage

Like onions, fennel is a spice I used to want nothing to do with. Unlike Fennel topsonions, though, it took me almost half my life to reap the benefits of fennel. The flavor just wasn’t favorable to me and I wanted nothing to do with it. Luckily, my dad had other plans in mind.

The first time I paid any attention to the term “high cholesterol” was when my dad was told he had it. I asked him what he was going to do about it and he calmly replied, “nothing.”

More than 10 years later, my dad has taken no medication for high cholesterol and he’s doing very well. All he did was change his diet a little (and I do mean very little).

 

My father LOVES pizza. As we go on this food empowerment journey together, you’ll likely learn how much I like Pizzapizza. My dad takes it to another level. I can’t remember a week I’ve spent at home where pizza wasn’t involved at least twice. Add to that his love for things like Blue Crabs with melted butter, cheesy eggs for breakfast, and fried pork chops, and well, you can see why he was diagnosed with high cholesterol. He couldn’t blame the foods, though.

 

As I’ve said before, there is no such thing as bad food or good food. There is simply food. However, we should do all things in moderation. A glass of wine or a beer a day can actually be good for you. A bottle of wine or 12 beers a day on the other hand can cause some serious problems. Food is no different.

 

But my dad wasn’t going to do anything about his cholesterol issue.

 

This was a huge issue for me. High cholesterol can lead to things like heart attack, stroke, Type 2 Diabetes, and hypertension (high blood pressure). I didn’t want to lose my dad to something that could have been avoided, mainly through diet. No, I didn’t want our house to turn into lettuce city. However, I did want my dad to stick around for a while.

Then I noticed a shift in his eating habits.

 

Nope, my dad didn’t start chowing down on salads and only drinking water. He did, however, opt for oatmeal most mornings, as opposed to his usual [insert type of pork here] sandwich with cheese and a bowl of cereal. He also started incorporating fennel into his diet, mostly through his consumption of tomato-based sauces on things like spaghetti and you guessed it, pizza.

I’m sure my dad didn’t exactly mean to incorporate fennel into his diet. What he was actually doing was attempting to opt for a healthier pizza. Instead of going to the pizza chains around town he frequented, he started going to the locally owned restaurants. This was super convenient for me, as I like their pizza way more.

It was then that I realized, there were some versions of fennel I do enjoy. I like fennel seed and powder made from fennel seed. I just didn’t know it.

 

I was used to my father ordering pizza with cSausagesrumbled Italian sausage on it. I liked that. I just didn’t realize the little seeds in it were fennel seeds. These were mild, sweet, and not overpowering, like the chunks and strings of fennel I was used to in my grandmother’s homemade sausage. That was a version of fennel I firmly disliked (sorry Nanny).

Now, I’m not saying you can cure high cholesterol by eating whatever you want and ignoring your doctor.

 

But I strongly believe my dad’s switch to sauces that contained herbs and spices, like fennel, instead of just salt, sugar, and tomatoes, helped him with his cholesterol issues.

 

Fennel is naturally high in fiber and nutrients (potassium, folate, and Vitamins C and B-6) that support heart health.  The fiber alone, helps to lower cholesterol in the blood, while the other nutrients help to lower blood pressure and reduce the build-up of damaging compounds to blood vessels. The flavor isn’t too bad either.

 

As an adult, I’ve learned to play around with fennel in the kitchen. I’m still not the biggest fan of raw, fresh fennel. When paired with fresh orange and onion, though, I like it much more. Still, using fennel seed in my homemade sauces is my favorite and I now know that by adding it, I am preventing a host of health issues, such as high blood pressure and cancer, while boosting my immune system and increasing my metabolism.

 

How have you used fennel to combat diseases like high cholesterol? How do you incorporate it into your diet to do so?

Fennel can be used to treat:

 

Broken bones, Hypertension (high blood pressure), High cholesterol, Cancer, Infections, Inflammation (swelling), Anemia, Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), and Wrinkles

Fennel can be used to prevent:

 

Bone loss, Hypertension (high blood pressure), High cholesterol, Colorectal cancer, and Constipation

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5 Replies to “There’s more to fennel than sausage”

  1. I am always looking for new herbs and spices to try. I can say that Fennel would have been one I was not willing to try due to it tasting like black licorice. But I also didn’t realize it was in Italian sausage either. So I may try and use it in some recipes and see how it goes. Especially if it has multiple health benefits. Thank you for the information.

    1. Hi Monica,

      Thank you. I was definitely blown away when I realized the same gross licorice stuff could taste so sweet and mild depending on what part of the plant was used. You definitely don’t need much of any part of it to be tasted, though. Let me know how it goes as you start using it. Would love to see what you come up with.

  2. Hi Monica,

    Thank you. I was definitely blown away when I realized the same gross licorice stuff could taste so sweet and mild depending on what part of the plant was used. You definitely don’t need much of any part of it to be tasted, though. Let me know how it goes as you start using it. Would love to see what you come up with.

  3. I love fennel and my mum usually use it in her cooking and it smells so good. But all I cared about was the flavor and just eating, i did not know that fennel has lots of benefits! I learned a lot about it while I was reading your article and I am glad that I did.

    1. Thanks for stopping by again, Rab! Sounds like you’re becoming pretty food empowered. That’s awesome! Have you shared any of the facts you’re learning here with your mom? Maybe she’ll cook with fennel a little more often.

      Looking forward to seeing you back again soon,

      JaemiO

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