Fennel is more than a flavorful herb. It has been used in traditional medicine for centuries across the world. The characteristic licorice taste of fennel makes it easily recognizable and delicious addition to meals. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the fennel plant and its potent fennel seeds are also ideal for boosting health and reducing the risk of serious diseases. 

Fennel for Your Health

Fennel seeds are highly nutritious, packed with essential vitamins and minerals. As a plant, fennel is also full of healing antioxidant compounds that protect your body. 

The antioxidant compounds in fennel protect against oxidative damage and inflammation, which are both linked to the most serious diseases men face. Including fennel in just a few meals each week is a natural way to boost your health and prevent several chronic conditions. 

Heart Health

Heart disease is a leading cause of death among men of all ages. The most common causes of heart disease in men include high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Diet influences both of these factors, which means you can control the risk by making dietary changes. 

Fennel seeds can benefit your heart in a number of ways and reduce the risk of heart disease. Fennel contains a high amount of dietary fiber, which is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. In addition to this, the plant compounds in fennel help to lower cholesterol levels, which can damage arteries when too high. Fennel also contains potassium, which reduces blood pressure, another common factor in heart disease. 

Fight Cancer

Prostate, colon, and liver cancers are the most commonly diagnosed in men. Cancer has no known cure, but studies have proven that plant compounds can protect against certain cancers. 

Fennel contains protective compounds that suppress cell growth and induce cell death. In doing so, cancer cell growth can be prevented, and the risk of cancer cells moving through the body is reduced. 

Improved Cognitive Health

By reducing inflammation, antioxidant compounds in fennel protect the brain from neurodegeneration. Oxidative damage and inflammation in the brain are linked to poor cognition, memory loss, and the development of dementia. 

Fennel seeds can reduce age-related memory deficits and protect from serious degeneration that impacts movement, cognition, and quality of life. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but preventative measures can be taken to protect the brain from inflammatory damage that increases your risk.

Urinary Tract Health

Men are not as likely to get yeast infections, but it is possible after having unprotected sex. Yeast, and other harmful bacteria, can colonize within the penis and urinary tract, causing infection. 

Fennel contains powerful anti-bacterial properties that fight against these types of infections. These same compounds also fight against and reduce infections caused by E.coli and Candida, two common causes of infection.

Inflammation may be a natural protective function of the immune system, but it can be dangerous. Chronic inflammation is linked to the serious diseases affecting men’s health, including diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. 

The key to fighting disease is linked to the potent inflammatory properties of fennel. Fennel seeds contain antioxidants that reduce levels of inflammatory markers in the blood, protecting the body from these chronic conditions.

Fennel & Tomato Gratin Recipe

The benefits of fennel are tremendous, and the tasty meal below is even greater. Adding a dish with fennel like this one will make your taste buds happy and keep your health in top shape. 


5 medium fennel bulbs, stalks removed 
1 cup homemade breadcrumbs, or to taste
¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup dry white wine (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

For the tomato sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ pounds ripe plum tomatoes (about 6-8), coarsely chopped
1 to 2 cloves garlic, smashed and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 small dried red pepper, seeds removed (optional)
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

2. To prepare the tomato sauce, put chopped tomatoes in a low wide saucepan over high heat. Add salt, olive oil, tomato paste, garlic, and red pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a brisk simmer. 

3. Halve the fennel bulbs and parboil in salted water for about 10 minutes or until they are just soft and slightly translucent. Drain and cut into quarters. If the bulbs are very large, cut each half into 3 pieces. Set aside. 

4. Toss the breadcrumbs and the cheese together in a bowl. Set aside.

5. Bring the tomato sauce to a boil over a medium-high flame, and stir in the white wine. Lower the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside. 

6. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of a shallow gratin dish. Place the fennel cut sides down on top of the sauce in a tight single layer. Pour the rest of the sauce over them and spread evenly.

7. Sprinkle the fennel with the breadcrumb mixture until you have a generous crust. Drizzle with the olive oil and bake for 30 minutes covered with foil, then 10 minutes uncovered, or until the breadcrumbs are golden.

The Bottom Line

Fennel is a flavorful seed that can add great taste to any dish and amazing health benefits to your life. The seeds and oil are highly nutritious and can improve heart health, reduce inflammation, and prevent some types of cancer. 

Fennel seeds can easily be added to sauces, salads, soups, and main courses. Try this delicious dish with guests, or for a light snack. To get the most that fennel seeds have to offer, start sprinkling them on your food today.