This is a nutritionally-dense juice that you’ve probably never tried before. It uses the vegetable fennel which many people seem to disregard. But once you discover the health benefits of this baby, I’m sure you’ll begin incorporating it into your diet a whole lot more!
Fennel has a liquorice-type flavour. But fear not – if you don’t like the taste of liquorice (I certainly don’t!) you will still thoroughly enjoy this juice. The fennel taste isn’t overpowering. Instead it lends a lovely unique flavour to this drink. Combined with the sweetness of the apple, spiciness of the ginger and freshness of the mint – it is refreshing and delicious.
Health benefits of fennel
This special ingredient contains zinc, copper, selenium, manganese, niacin, beta-carotene, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, lutein, zeaxanthin, among many other vitamins and minerals. Fennel is a medicinal plant with a high content of polyphenols and has antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties.
It is possible that the phenolic compounds contained in this plant are effective in protecting the liver with their antioxidant effect. Probably due to liver protecting effects, Vitamin C, polyphenols and antioxidant activity, fennel slows the aging process of cells. It also helps reduce the negative effect of free radicals on the membrane of cells including red blood cells and increases their life-time. The fennel bulb in particular is a good source of ﬂavanoids which are also known for their antioxidant effect against free radicals.
The selenium found in fennel has been proven to improve the immune system’s ability to respond to infections, encourages the detoxification of some carcinogenic molecules, inhibits inflammation and decrease the rate of tumour growth.
Fennel was traditionally used as a carminative to help remove flatulence. The complex volatile oils contained in carminatives are antispasmodic to the bowel, easing cramping and other discomfort caused by flatulence. It also stimulates healthy appetite and digestion.
Fennel naturally contains oestrogen, which plays an important role in regulating the female reproductive cycle, and it can also affect fertility. It has been reported to increase milk secretion, promote menstruation, facilitate birth and increase libido.
Additionally, the anethole and fenchone in fennel can help free up the respiratory system by loosening up mucus and phlegm, therefore having a calming effect on coughs and bronchitis.
Safety and precautions
Fennel herb, bulb, seeds and extractives do not appear to have any signiﬁcant toxicity. Although it is not recommended for pregnant women to use the herb, seeds, tincture or essential oil of fennel in medicinal remedies, due to their oestrogen effects.
As with all juices, it’s best to drink them in the morning on an empty stomach so it isn’t sitting on top of other food and your body can uptake the nutrients a lot more easily. Plus it won’t cause gas and discomfort when you do this.
Liver-Protecting Fennel Juice
- 3 red apples
- 3 oranges
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 stalk fennel
- 1 thumb length ginger
- 1 handful mint leaves
- Put all ingredients through a juicer.