A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Why You Should Add Fennel and Fenugreek to Your Diet

Oh joy, it's Monday again.  The weekend felt like it went by too slow and now I'm saying T.G.I.M (Thank Goodness It's Monday). That's all a lie, obviously, who wants to work/go to school/do anything? Not me.

But, I am happy that Kelley and I finally used our Groupon to go kayaking at a local lake on Sunday. She's never been, and I've always wanted to take her.  We both got in our own and paddled around for a while, but I kept leaving her behind.  So, we went back and got in a 2 person kayak so I could do most of the paddling.  She helped some, but I was happy to paddle my wife around the water.  It was a great time and we have one more Groupon to use before the end of this month?  Hoping for next Sunday!!

The weather has been cooler here in Texas.  Instead of 105 degrees, it's only getting up to 95 degrees; 10 degrees makes a world of difference.  Especially when you work out in your garage; I actually had some energy left after yesterday's workout!  Lunges, lunges, dead lift, squats, lunges, and did I say lunges?  Yeah, I feel it today.

Luckily, I had this easy and delicious spinach and egg white scramble to fuel me up with healthy goodness.  Honestly, I meant for this to be an omelette, but really jacked it up, so why not just throw it all in a bowl?  I think adding salsa on top would've been a great addition, but my mustard smiley face was perfect.  Egg whites and spinach for breakfast are pretty satisfying, I'll be having this more often!

Aside from it's already healthy components, I added two tasty and functional flavors to boost nutrition.  One powder from the licorice flavored vegetable, fennel, and the other from an herb, fenugreek.  Both of these have very distinguishable flavors that stand out in dishes. For that reason, you have to be careful because too much could ruin a dish.

These are both new functional flavors I've started to add to my diet and hope to feel a difference after using for a while.  Fennel and fenugreek are known for alleviating annoying digestive issues (what? we all have them!) along with several other ailments.

Here's a sample of fennel's multiple health benefits, as listed on Organicfacts.net:

The health benefits of fennel include relief from anemia, indigestion, flatulenceconstipation, colic, diarrhea, respiratory disorders, menstrual disorders, eye care, etc. Fennel, bearing the scientific name Foeniculum Vulgare Miller, or its essence, is widely used around the world in mouth fresheners, toothpastes, desserts, antacids and in culinary.

Fennel is diuretic, i.e. increases amount and frequency of urination, thereby helping removal of toxic substances from the body and helping in rheumatism, swelling etc. It also increases production and secretion of milk in lactating mothers and since this milk contains some properties of fennel, it is anti flatulent for the baby too. It strengthens hair, prevents hair fall, relaxes body, sharpens memory and has a marvelous cooling effect in summer if the pale greenish-yellow water, in which it is soaked, is taken with a bit of sugar and black-salt.

And no, I am not using it for production of milk in my breasts. I'm neither lactating or a woman; the indigestion and stomach relief is what I'm after. Read the full benefits of fennel here.

Fenugreek's health benefits, also listed on Organicfacts.net, are:

The health benefits of fenugreek include anemia, pregnancy, lactation, digestion, loss of taste, fever, hair care, dandruff, stomach disorders, biliousness, respiratory disorders, mouth ulcers, sore throat, diabetes, inflammations, wounds and insomnia..

Most of these benefits of fenugreek are due to the presence of saponins and fiber in it. Fenugreek is also used for herbal healing. Its seeds contain a gumming substance called mucilage. Mixed with water, mucilage expands and becomes a gelatinous soother for irritated tissues.
Fenugreek is used to treat wounds, inflammation and gastrointestinal ailments. Fenugreek helps in antioxidation. So, it prevents and repairs damages caused by free radicals. According to ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, fenugreek can be used for inducing labour and aiding digestion. It is also good to improve metabolism and health. Irritated skin condition can be soothed by the external application of fenugreek. Fenugreek is also used for fevers and muscle aches.
Fenugreek is considered to be a safe herbal food. It is used as a spice also and tastes oddly of bitter celeryand maple syrup.

Read more of fennel's health benefits here.
So, I'll be looking for more dishes to add this unique and flavorful powders to. Hopefully I can share some successful uses soon!
Make sure to check out my review and giveaway of Let's Do....Organic Coconut Flour. It ends this Friday!
Hope you have a wonderful Monday and we can all get through the week nice and smooth right into the weekend.
Have you ever used fennel or fenugreek?
Do you have any new herbs or spices in your diet?

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