Fennel Seeds to Improve Athletic Performance

Fennel Seeds to Improve Athletic Performance

“Fennel Seeds to Improve Athletic Performance” Dozens of studies now suggest
that the nitrates in vegetables, such as beets and green
leafy vegetables, may help both sick people as a low-cost
prevention and treatment intervention for patients suffering from blood flow
disorders such as high blood pressure and peripheral vascular disease, as
well as healthy people as an effective, natural performance-enhancing
aid for athletes. Most of the studies were
done on beet juice, which is why I was so delighted
to see the study on whole beets as I reported before,
showing the same benefit. But what about studies on whole
green leafy vegetables? There was this study awhile ago
suggesting that one of the reasons that at the age many Americans
and Europeans are dying, the Okinawan Japanese are looking
forward to many more years of good health — at least they were — is all the nitrate in their green leafy
vegetables, which tended to bring down blood pressures when put to the test. The reason I didn’t report on it at
the time is because I never heard of these vegetables. I know what
chrysanthemum flowers are, but I didn’t think most of my viewers would be
able to find these at the local store. What about good old American,
red, white, and blue greens, like frozen spinach. It hadn’t
been tested — until now. They wanted to test the immediate
effects on our arteries of a single meal containing a
cooked box of frozen spinach for both arterial stiffness
and blood pressure. First they needed a meal to increase
artery stiffness and pressure, so they gave people a
chicken and cheese sandwich, which lowered the elasticity of
their arteries within hours of eating, but add the spinach and
the opposite happens. After chicken and cheese, the
force the heart has to pump goes up within minutes, but
the spinach keeps things level. So, a meal with lots of spinach
can lower blood pressure and improve measures
of arterial stiffness. That’s great for day-to-day
cardiovascular health, but if you want a whole food source
that can improve your performance when you’re out hiking or something? Beets and spinach aren’t
the most convenient of foods. Is there anything we can
just add to our trail mix? Well, if you look at the list
of high nitrate vegetables, you’ll see there isn’t much you
can just stick in your pocket — unless fennel seeds have a lot,
which are actually not seeds at all, but the whole little fruits of the
fennel plant. Let’s find out. Fennel seeds are often used as
mouth fresheners after a meal in both the Indian sub-continent
and around the world. You’ll typically see a bowl of
candy coated fennel seeds as you walk out of Indian restaurants. And when you chew fennel seeds
you can get a significant bump in nitric oxide production, which has
the predictable vasodilatory effect of opening up blood vessels,
making them a cheap, easy way to carry a light-weight,
nonperishable source of nitrates. They single out mountaineers,
thinking chewing fennel seeds could help maintain oxygen
levels at high altitudes and help prevent H.A.P.E.
(high altitude pulmonary edema), one of the leading killers
of mountain climbers once you get more than like a
mile and a half above sea level. Not to be confused with H.A.F.E caused
by the expansion of gas at high altitudes, a condition known as
High Altitude Flatus Expulsion, known to veteran back-packers as
Rocky Mountain barking spiders. But fennel seeds may
help with that too, as traditionally they’ve been
used as a carminative, meaning a remedy
for intestinal gas. Fennel has also shown anti-hirsutism
activity, combatting excessive hair growth in women, the so-called
bearded woman syndrome, but applying a little fennel seed cream
can significantly reduce it. But if fennel seeds have such
a strong hormonal effect, should we be worried
about chewing them? Well, there have been cases reported
of premature breast development among young girls drinking fennel seed tea a
couple times a day for several months. Their estrogen levels were elevated,
but after stopping the tea their chests and hormone levels
went back to normal. Current guidelines recommend against
prolonged use in vulnerable groups, children under 12, pregnant and
breastfeeding women, and perhaps your pet rat, as rodents
metabolize a compound in fennel called estragole into a carcinogen, but
but our cells appear able to detoxify it.


  1. OK, everyobody, you got your, "Until now!" : ) For people outside of Asia trying to source any greens mentioned in the Japanese studies(or others in Asia), here are helpful links: http://sfp.ucdavis.edu/files/144808.pdf http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2346.html

  2. I dunno doc, if fennal seeds temporarily increase my estrogen I don't like the sound of that. I can't see increased estrogen being beneficial in the gym.

  3. I heard that men with extra fat have increased levels of Oestrogen too thus increasing a risk in breast cancer, it pays to be slim

  4. This chasing of nutrition nirvana is not only short-sighted and reductionist, it is a huge waste of time. Just eat a whole food, starch based diet, with a little veggies and fruits, avoid all animal products, processed food and high fat, oils, salts and added sugars, and you will be healthy. You don't need a list of specific foods to check off every day to be healthy. Dr. Greger has lost his way by presenting this type of crap.

  5. I was taking ground fennel for a while, then learned that fennel is full of phytoestrogens, which may not be good for long term use by men. Are the phytoestrogens in fennel a concern for men?

  6. Hmmm. That was all good information; however, the fennel seed part was kind of not helpful. I can eat fennel seeds to improve performance, but it might screw up my hormones and give me man-boobs. Never mind.

  7. Thanks doctor for being interested in seeds .
    we need more videos about aother herbs .
    About fennel : with its high content of (female) estrogens , doesn't it have a bad effect on men ?

  8. can you do a video on liver damage after chemotherapy? how to recover from liver damage and what to eat and not to eat while still working against cancer?

  9. Do a Study on How Cordyceps Mushroom helps with Athletic Performance. Its known to be a Cellular Enhancing herb and much more.

  10. always waiting for that "until now" part……..DR. Greger is as famous for that phrase now as Arnold Schwarzenegger is for the phrase "i'll be back"…

  11. In India it's a tradition to eat some fennel seeds after meals as a mouth freshener, it's even served along with the check/bill in most restaurants but never knew it has so many health benefits. Wow 💚🙏🏼

  12. +NutritionFacts.org +Dr Greger. Hi. I have a question about sodium restriction. Should athletes restrict sodium or should they consume enough to match what they lose in sweat? I would appreciate it if you did a video on this. I haven't been able to find any reliable sources on the web. Thanks.

  13. its not many times I'm impressed but this video certainly would make anyone say wow I need to ask – did viewers know there is new cure

    students around the world are improving thier condition I learned about this from reading site take a look now just google for Diabetes Crusher Tactic

  14. So when nitrates/nitrites are in plants, they're deemed as healthy and beneficial. But nitrates/nitrites in meat? Automatically demonized. GTFO you biased, cherry picking clown of a doctor.

  15. Thank you so much for your information. I am going to Nepal soon to trek EBC. I would love if you could do a video in what spices/ compact food that help with long trek and altitude sickness

  16. Doses, please! How much do you have to chew to get the boost in athletic performance? Also, not that I'd chew fennel seeds in lieu of green leafies, but how much would you have to chomp to get nitrate/nitrites equal to the 1500 mg dose that Dr. Greger recommends for preventing heart attacks and strokes?

    And going the other way, "toxicologically," how much is sufficient to cause endocrine changes in adult females and males?

  17. How could the ancient greeks have known this? They knew fennel by the name of marathron… or later marathon, which fennel would greatly increase your ability to run. Also the greek runner, Pheidippides, who delivered the news of the persian invasion on sparta was awarded fennel.

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