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Caraway spice vs. Fennel seeds — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on May 03, 2023
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel Article author photo Igor Bussel
Caraway spice
vs
Fennel seeds

Summary

Fennel seeds are higher in minerals and fiber and lower in sugar and saturated fat.

Caraway seeds have more vitamins and less sodium than fennel.

Introduction

We will discuss fennel seeds’ and caraway spices' nutritional profiles and impact on human health.

What's The Actual Difference?

Fennel is a flowering plant belonging to the Apiaceae family. The fennel plant seeds are used for flavor, mainly in Indian kitchens. Caraway also belongs to the Apiaceae family, a biennial plant known as Meridian fennel or Persian cumin.

Although caraway and fennel seeds can be used interchangeably, you can taste the slight flavor variations. Caraway is frequently used whole and has an anise-like flavor.

Fennel seeds don’t taste like caraway: however, they have licorice undertones and a similar essence.

Nutrition

You can find various charts and infographics at the bottom of our page that visually show the nutritional profile of fennel seeds and caraway spice.

Calories

Caraway spice has 333 calories per 100g, whereas fennel seeds have 345 calories per 100g. However, people usually consume them in low amounts, so calories don’t matter much.

Minerals

Overall, fennel seeds are richer in minerals than caraway spice. They have more iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and copper.

Nonetheless, caraway spice contains less sodium [3] [4].

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains more Phosphorus +16.6%
Contains less Sodium -80.7%
Contains more Zinc +48.6%
Contains more Calcium +73.6%
Contains more Iron +14.2%
Contains more Magnesium +49.2%
Contains more Potassium +25.4%
Contains more Copper +17.3%
Contains more Manganese +402.5%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 207% 609% 185% 244% 120% 3% 150% 304% 170% 66%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 359% 696% 275% 209% 150% 12% 101% 356% 853% 0%
Contains more Phosphorus +16.6%
Contains less Sodium -80.7%
Contains more Zinc +48.6%
Contains more Calcium +73.6%
Contains more Iron +14.2%
Contains more Magnesium +49.2%
Contains more Potassium +25.4%
Contains more Copper +17.3%
Contains more Manganese +402.5%

Vitamins

Fennel seeds have more Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B6 than caraway spice. On the other hand, caraway spice contains more Vitamin A. Both contain equal amounts of Vitamin C, B1, and B2.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
Contains more Vitamin A +168.9%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +67.8%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +30.6%
Equal in Vitamin C - 21
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.408
Equal in Vitamin B2 - 0.353
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 22% 50% 0% 70% 96% 88% 68% 0% 84% 8% 0% 14% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 9% 0% 0% 70% 102% 82% 114% 0% 109% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Contains more Vitamin A +168.9%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +67.8%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +30.6%
Equal in Vitamin C - 21
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.408
Equal in Vitamin B2 - 0.353

Carbs

Both have a high amount of carbs. Fennel seeds have 52.29g of carbs per 100g, and caraway spice has 49.9g. But in tiny amounts, carb content doesn’t matter much.

Health Benefits

Gut Health

Section reviewed by gastroenterologist Arpi Gasparyan Article author photo Arpi Gasparyan

Fennel and fennel oil consumption are linked to improved digestion. Fennel has been shown to have antispasmodic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects and also beneficially affect nausea, constipation, indigestion, bloating, flatulence, and improve appetite [1, 2].

Caraway may also beneficially affect indigestion and stomach ulcers. Caraway may show antispasmodic and antiulcerogenic effects and relieve cramps, bloating, and flatulence. In combination with peppermint oil, caraway oil may beneficially affect functional dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome [3, 4, 5].

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, fennel and caraway are generally recognized as safe. However, too much and long-term consumption should be avoided [6].

Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: May 03, 2023
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel

Infographic

Caraway spice vs Fennel seeds infographic
Infographic link

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Protein +25.1%
Contains more Water +12%
Contains more Other +40.2%
Equal in Fats - 14.87
Equal in Carbs - 52.29
20% 15% 50% 10% 6%
Protein: 19.77 g
Fats: 14.59 g
Carbs: 49.9 g
Water: 9.87 g
Other: 5.87 g
16% 15% 52% 9% 8%
Protein: 15.8 g
Fats: 14.87 g
Carbs: 52.29 g
Water: 8.81 g
Other: 8.23 g
Contains more Protein +25.1%
Contains more Water +12%
Contains more Other +40.2%
Equal in Fats - 14.87
Equal in Carbs - 52.29

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +93.6%
Contains less Saturated Fat -22.6%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +39.1%
6% 65% 30%
Saturated Fat: 0.62 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 7.125 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 3.272 g
4% 82% 14%
Saturated Fat: 0.48 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 9.91 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 1.69 g
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +93.6%
Contains less Saturated Fat -22.6%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +39.1%

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Caraway spice Fennel seeds
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Lower in Glycemic Index Equal
Lower in price Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Caraway spice Fennel seeds Opinion
Net carbs 11.9g 12.49g Fennel seeds
Protein 19.77g 15.8g Caraway spice
Fats 14.59g 14.87g Fennel seeds
Carbs 49.9g 52.29g Fennel seeds
Calories 333kcal 345kcal Fennel seeds
Sugar 0.64g Fennel seeds
Fiber 38g 39.8g Fennel seeds
Calcium 689mg 1196mg Fennel seeds
Iron 16.23mg 18.54mg Fennel seeds
Magnesium 258mg 385mg Fennel seeds
Phosphorus 568mg 487mg Caraway spice
Potassium 1351mg 1694mg Fennel seeds
Sodium 17mg 88mg Caraway spice
Zinc 5.5mg 3.7mg Caraway spice
Copper 0.91mg 1.067mg Fennel seeds
Manganese 1.3mg 6.533mg Fennel seeds
Selenium 12.1µg Caraway spice
Vitamin A 363IU 135IU Caraway spice
Vitamin A RAE 18µg 7µg Caraway spice
Vitamin E 2.5mg Caraway spice
Vitamin C 21mg 21mg
Vitamin B1 0.383mg 0.408mg Fennel seeds
Vitamin B2 0.379mg 0.353mg Caraway spice
Vitamin B3 3.606mg 6.05mg Fennel seeds
Vitamin B6 0.36mg 0.47mg Fennel seeds
Folate 10µg Caraway spice
Choline 24.7mg Caraway spice
Tryptophan 0.244mg 0.253mg Fennel seeds
Threonine 0.756mg 0.602mg Caraway spice
Isoleucine 0.826mg 0.695mg Caraway spice
Leucine 1.218mg 0.996mg Caraway spice
Lysine 1.031mg 0.758mg Caraway spice
Methionine 0.361mg 0.301mg Caraway spice
Phenylalanine 0.867mg 0.647mg Caraway spice
Valine 1.037mg 0.915mg Caraway spice
Histidine 0.55mg 0.331mg Caraway spice
Saturated Fat 0.62g 0.48g Fennel seeds
Monounsaturated Fat 7.125g 9.91g Fennel seeds
Polyunsaturated fat 3.272g 1.69g Caraway spice

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Caraway spice Fennel seeds
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet Equal

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
38%
Caraway spice
37%
Fennel seeds
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
205%
Caraway spice
301%
Fennel seeds

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Fennel seeds
Fennel seeds is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.64g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Fennel seeds
Fennel seeds is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.14g)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Fennel seeds
Fennel seeds is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Sodium?
Caraway spice
Caraway spice contains less Sodium (difference - 71mg)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
?
The foods have equal glycemic indexes ()
Which food is cheaper?
?
The foods are relatively equal in price ($)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Caraway spice - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170918/nutrients
  2. Fennel seeds - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171323/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.