Fennel Carbs and Nutritional Information

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Fennel is a vegetable only recently catching on in the U.S. - mostly it has been associated with Italian cooking. It's in the same family with carrots and dill (its fronds look a lot like dill or carrot tops, in fact). Although the white bulb is usually the part that is eaten, the stalks and fronds are also edible. It has a mildly sweet anise-like flavor (if you don't like anise, slice the bulb very thinly and soak in ice water for a few minutes, which will tone down the flavor).

Fennel seed can be used as a spice and is popular in Italian and Indian cooking.

Fennel is usually eaten raw, in salads or as a complement to other foods, but can also be cooked.

Carbohydrate and Fiber Counts 

  • 1/2 cup of sliced raw fennel: 2 grams of effective (net) carbohydrate plus 1.5 gram of fiber and 14 calories
  • 1 large bulb of raw fennel (about 8 oz/half a pound): 10 grams of effective (net) carbohydrate plus 7 grams of fiber and 73 calories
  • 1 oz. of raw fennel: 1 gram of effective (net) carbohydrate plus 1 gram of fiber and 9 calories

Glycemic Index

As with most non-starchy vegetables, there is no scientific study of the glycemic index of fennel.

Estimated Glycemic Load

  • 1/2 cup of sliced raw fennel: 1
  • 1 large bulb of raw fennel (about 8 oz/half a pound)): 5
  • 11 oz. of raw fennel: 1

Health Benefits 

Fennel is a good source of Vitamin C and a fair source of potassium.  It also contains a number of phytonutrients that are known to have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties.

  It contains significant amounts of flavonoids, as well as an interesting compound called anethole, which is being studied for possible anti-cancer properties.


Chainy GB, Manna SK, Chaturvedi MM, Aggarwal BB. Anethole blocks both early and late cellular responses transduced by tumor necrosis factor: effect on NF-kappaB, AP-1, JNK, MAPKK, and apoptosis. Oncogene Jun 8;19(25):2943-50. 

Leroux, MarcusFoster-Powell, Kaye, Holt, Susanna and Brand-Miller, Janette. "International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 76, No. 1, 5-56.

Ruberto G, Baratta MT, Deans SG, Dorman HJ. Antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of Foeniculum vulgare and Crithmum maritimum essential oils. Planta Medica Dec;66(8):687-93.

United States Department of Agriculture. "Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods - 2007. 

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 21. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/ .