Monday, November 22, 2010

Fennel Seeds - Your Holiday Eating Companion

With Thanksgiving and the Holiday season coming upon us, we are all anticipating good food and lots of overeating.  Most people will reach for tums, peptobismol or prilosec.  Ayurveda uses fennel seeds to aid digestion and freshen breath.

Ayurveda evaluates a food based on its taste.  Fennel has a sweet taste and produces a downward flow which aids digestion.  It helps relieve gas and bloating.  Further, it is tridoshic, meaning that it is beneficial for all body types.  Traditionally, Ayurveda recommends chewing a 3/4 teaspoon of fennel seeds after each meal.  When I am away from home, I rely on fennel capsules.  Fennel seeds steeped in hot water make a good digestive tea.  If you need more fennel, you can take more.  You will never overdose on fennel.  Another supplemental modality is to smell fennel oil.  It is said to be calming, bringing clarity of mind.  Ann Louise Gittleman, the author of The Fat Flush Plan, also recommends fennel to reduce bloating.

Fennel is very helpful, but common sense is needed too.  Eat when hungry, try to avoid overeating and choose splurges judiciously.  Food is part of the fun, but the real enjoyment is spending time with family and friends.

Two other quick digestive tricks that do not involve fennel.  One, a natural digestive enzyme to have before a meal is a quarter size piece of fresh ginger dipped in lemon juice and salt (expect a tangy, mouth puckering taste).  This promotes the flow of digestive juices.  Two, chew your food thoroughly and eat in a relaxed way.  Bon Appetite!

Stay healthy & well,

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