Chicory has many health benefits which includes the ability to ease digestive problems, prevent heartburn, reduce arthritis pain, detoxify the liver and gallbladder, prevent bacterial infections, boost the immune system, and reduce the chances of heart diseases. It is also a natural sedative that can fight against kidney stones and promote weight loss.
Nutrition Value of Chicory
Amount Per 100 grams
- Calories 23
- Total Fat 0.3 g
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Sodium 45 mg – 1% RDA
- Potassium 420 mg – 12% RDA
- Total Carbohydrate 4.7 g – 1% RDA
- Dietary fiber 4 g – 16% RDA
- Sugar 0.7 g
- Protein 1.7 g – 3% RDA
- Vitamin A 114% RDA
- Vitamin C 40% RDA
- Calcium 10% RDA
- Iron 4% RDA
- Vitamin B-6 5% RDA
- Magnesium 7% RDA
10 Nutrition Health Benefits of Chicory
1. Reduces Cancer Risk
Chicory extract has been linked to a reduction in tumor growth in various cancer studies. Early reports indicate that it is due to the fructans within chicory, which have anti-tumor qualities and antioxidant properties. The polyphenols and phytochemicals within chicory also have a positive effect on preventing cancer of various types, including breast cancer and colorectal cancer.
2. Aids in Digestion
Chicory contains inulin, which is a powerful prebiotic. Prebiotics are a classification of bacteria that confer benefits on the host, rather than diseases, which is what bacteria is commonly associated with. Inulin is used to combat a number of intestinal and digestive concerns, including acid reflux disease, indigestion, and heartburn because it actively reduces the acidity of the body’s systems.
3. Heart Health
Inulin in chicory helps reduce the levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol in the body. This cholesterol is one of the main causes of atherosclerosis and high blood pressure because it blocks the flow of blood when it binds to arteries and veins. It can also contribute to the possibility of heart attacks and strokes.
Chicory is also packed with plant phenols, which have been widely studied as anti-thrombotic and anti-arrhythmic agents. They are considered antioxidants, and studies have shown that chicory-based coffee rather than a normal coffee can significantly improve the balance of blood and plasma in the body, which reduces the chances of cardiovascular diseases.
4. Boosts Immunity
Chicory has anti-bacterial properties and a number of other benefits that make it a powerful immune booster. It acts against various harmful bacteria, and the polyphenol compounds present in chicory act as anti-oxidants. These phenolic compounds are also believed to have the power to prevent cancer, especially breast and colorectal cancers.
Chicory has phytochemicals that act as antioxidants which helps neutralise free radicals from the blood stream. This reduces the chances of contracting a number of diseases or conditions, including heart diseases and cancer.
5. Treats Kidney Disorders
Chicory root extract is often used as a diuretic, which increases urine volume. Frequent urination can help eliminate toxins that the body stores in the liver and kidneys, and thereby prevent the dangerous conditions that occur when toxins are allowed to remain in the body. Also, frequent urination can eliminate excess water weight, and even reduce fat, since 4% of urine is usually fat deposits that would otherwise be stored somewhere else in the body.
6. Reduces Anxiety
Chicory has sedative qualities that can reduce anxiety and soothe the mind, thereby relieving stress and the dangerous effects it can have on the body. Chicory root extracts can also be used as a sleep aid due to this sedative quality and are much healthier than many of the sleeping pills on the conventional market. Relieving stress and anxiety can also help reduce your
chances of heart disease, hormonal imbalance, insomnia, cognitive decline, and premature aging.
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7. Aids in Weight Loss
Chicory is a good source of oligofructose, and inulin itself is a form of natural dietary fiber, which helps in the management of weight by promoting weight loss. Both of these aid in the regulation of ghrelin, an amino acid primarily associated with feelings of hunger and food-seeking behavior. By reducing the amount of the ghrelin, chicory can reduce the chances of overeating and promote satiety or the feeling of fullness, thus
helping in weight loss.
8. Reduces Arthritis Pain
Chicory has traditionally been used as a treatment for arthritis, and studies have shown it to have anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it reduces the pain in conditions like osteoarthritis. In a 2010 study, 70% of the test subjects who received the chicory treatment reported a noticeable improvement in the pain associated with their osteoarthritic conditions. Chicory can also be used as a general anti-inflammatory agent for aches, muscle pains, and joint soreness for this same reason.
The inulin in chicory is responsible for relieving constipation, especially in the elderly. Studies showed that daily consumption of chicory resulted in increased satisfaction with regard to digestion and reduced defecation difficulties. It is understood that chicory supplementation increases stool frequency and fecal bulking.
10. Controls Blood Pressure