Are you familiar with chicory? If not, you might also not be aware of the many benefits of its roots. Chicory is part of the dandelion family. The plant has woodlike texture, often with bright blue flowers. Sometimes, you can find it in pink or white colors, too.
Unfortunately, fresh chicory is hard to find in the United States. People often refer to endive, a leafy green used in salads, like chicory. Both plants are not the same, even though they are related. Endives do not have the same benefits as the chicory root.
Historically speaking, its use in medicinal treatments dates back to the early Egyptian times. You can ground, roast, and also take its root as a caffeine-free alternative to coffee. You’ll be happy to know, however, that there are many more benefits of this special root.
It can improve digestive health
Chicory roots are rich in inulin and are one of the top sources for it. This is a type of fiber popular due to its prebiotic properties. Prebiotics are essential food items for microbes growing in your gut. These microbes are linked with your digestive health, immunity, inflammation, and even your mood! Prebiotics also play an active role in boosting the absorption of vital nutrients like magnesium and calcium.
Moreover, while on the subject of digestive health, chicory root can relieve constipation. Believe it or not, this problem is experienced by up to 30% of people around the world. According to many studies, chicory root can improve bowel function and increase your stool frequency without it resulting in diarrhea.
It helps to regulate blood sugar levels
Studies have also highlighted the role of chicory roots in regulating blood sugar and insulin levels. Hence, they are very effective in controlling diabetes as well. Another study selected women with type 2 diabetes for observation. One group was given insulin daily, while the other was given the placebo. The insulin group showed a significant reduction in weight, proper regulation of blood sugar level, and increased levels of antioxidants.
It contains antioxidants
Along with fiber, minerals, and vitamins, chicory root is rich in different types of antioxidants. These antioxidants reduce inflammation and protect arteries. Research on animals also found the role of antioxidants in protecting the liver against damage.
Many cafes in New Orleans add grounded chicory to the coffee. You can do so as well by purchasing it at your nearest stores. However, people do not use chicory in other dishes due to its woody and earthy flavor. If you’re thinking of trying it after reading its many benefits, make sure to not overdo it. You can get some unwanted side effects if you consume too much of it.
Moreover, if you are allergic to herbs or plants like marigold, daisy, ragweed, or chrysanthemums, try to avoid chicory. Also, it may trigger bloating and gas if you have irritable bowel syndrome.
Source: Read Full Article