Perfect for a busy midweek Paleo dinner, this lovely dish takes but 5 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook. Red snapper is a deliciously reliable whitefish that takes on a flakey texture when cooked. In addition to reducing the risk for heart disease, regular consumption of fish for omega-3 fatty acids may be helpful in preventing, treating, or improving a wide variety of diseases and disorders, including but not limited to virtually all inflammatory diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disorders, periodontal disease, many types of cancers, psoriasis, insulin resistance, type 1 and 2 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.1 If you prefer to use other whitefish, like cod, halibut, and bass, they too work great with this recipe.
Paired with the sublime flavor combination of garlic, tomato, and fennel seeds, each ingredient boasts impressive health properties. The health benefits of including garlic and tomato are well known and well documented, but what about the humble fennel seed?
A 2011 study published in the Journal of Food Medicine tested various compounds contained in fennel seeds for their anticancer properties. Fennel seed methanolic extract (FSME) was found to have remarkable anticancer potential against particular breast cancer and liver cancer cells.2 The researchers also posited that FSME could be used as a safe and natural food preservative based on its ability to improve oxidative stability of fatty acids.
Fennel seeds have also been studied with regards to osteoporosis. A 2012 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine concluded that fennel seeds, consumed in low doses, have the potential to prevent bone loss in postmenopausal women.3 This is due to their ability to inhibit osteoclasts. So besides their unique culinary properties, fennel seeds also have impressive healing capabilities. We recommend you include them, when applicable, in your Paleo cooking.
Red snapper with zucchini and fennel seeds is a great recipe to get you started.
- 1 lb red snapper fillets
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 small zucchinis
- 3 tomatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 thyme, finely chopped
Christopher James Clark, B.B.A. is an award-winning writer, consultant, and chef with specialized knowledge in nutritional science and healing cuisine. He has a Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan and formerly worked as a revenue management analyst for a Fortune 100 company. For the past decade-plus, he has been designing menus, recipes, and food concepts for restaurants and spas, coaching private clients, teaching cooking workshops worldwide, and managing the kitchen for a renowned Greek yoga resort. Clark is the author of the critically acclaimed, award-winning book, Nutritional Grail.
1. Cordain, L. (2013). Omega-3 Fatty Acid Content of Fish and Seafood. Retrieved from The Paleo Diet: http://thepaleodiet.com/omega-3-fats-fish/
2. Mohamad, RH., et al. (September, 2011). Antioxidant and anticarcinogenic effects of methanolic extract and volatile oil of fennel seeds (Foeniculum vulgare). Journal of Food Medicine, 14(9). Retrieved August 6, 2014 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21812646
3. Kim, TH., et al. (June, 2012). Potent inhibitory effect of Foeniculum vulgare Miller extract on osteoclast differentiation and ovariectomy-induced bone loss. International Journal of Molecular Medicine, 29(6). Retrieved August 6, 2014 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22447109