lowering cholesterol

Fabulous Fennel

Fennel plants at the market   

Fennel contains a myriad of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients and has countless health benefits. Furthermore, it has been used for centuries as a herbal remedy for congestion, digestive problems and to promote breast milk flow, menstruation and urine flow. 

Clinical studies have indicated that the phytonutrient anethole has anti-cancer properties and can reduce inflammation. The research found that anethole inhibits the promotion of a harmful molecule which can alter genes and cause inflammation. 

Fennel promotes bone health due to it’s combination of iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and manganese. Fennel’s potassium, calcium and magnesium composition can help to lower blood pressure and the fibre content will help to reduce cholesterol levels. Heart disease is associated with elevated levels of the molecule homocysteine in the body, however, fennel’s folate content can help to prevent it’s build up.
 
Fennel consists of a crunchy white bulb, pale green stalks and feathery green leaves from which flowers grow and where the seeds are found.
 
All parts of the fennel can be used in your cooking. The stalks are a delicious addition to a soup base or stock .They can be sautéed with fennel leaves and onions. Additionally, the leaves can add a subtle liquorice aroma to many a dish. The seeds can spice up any meal, be brewed as herbal drink or just chewed to promote good digestion. The bulb can be chopped into salads, steamed, sautéed or roasted as a delicious starter or side.

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

If you are interested in reading more ‘Nutritional Nuggets’, top tips and the latest nutrition news, sign up to my monthly newsletter at www.marcellerosenutrition.co.uk

Captivating Cabbage!

Cabbage has countless health promoting nutrients and many are shared with other Brassica family vegetables including kale and broccoli. However, cabbage also has its own distinctive nutrients and properties.

Savoy cabbages are particularly rich in the nutrient sinigrin. This has unique anti-cancer properties and is particularly associated with fighting bladder, colon and prostate cancers.

Additionally, cabbage can assist in lowering cholesterol. Specific components of the cabbage fibre, bind with bile acids in our gastrointestinal tract. This promotes bile excretion which as a result lowers cholesterol.

It has long been recognised that cabbage juice helps to heal stomach ulcers. Cabbage is rich in glutamine which helps to heal the lining of the stomach and digestive tract. However, there are other special phytonutrients in cabbage that help to regulate the amount of H. pylori bacteria in the stomach. When populations of this bacterium become too large, the H. pylori can latch on to the stomach lining, which can lead to the development of stomach ulcers.

In order to maximise the health benefits of cabbage, use the steaming or healthy sauté method (i.e. sauté with a little water, broth or stock). To promote the cabbage’s healthful enzyme activity, chop the cabbage and let it sit for 5 minutes before consuming or cooking. However, if you wish to benefit from cabbage’s high vitamin C content, wash and cut just before consumption!

To enjoy, shred in to an Asian salad with onion, coriander, chilli and cashews, add to soups, stews and stir fries or stuff the leaves – Russian style. Alternatively you can ferment your cabbage into some wonderful therapeutic sauerkraut.

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

If you are interested in reading more ‘Nutritional Nuggets’, top tips and the latest nutrition news, sign up to my monthly newsletter at www.marcellerosenutrition.co.uk