Everyone is aware of dry fruits’ benefits for health, however,…
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Is coffee your favorite in the morning? Most of us love a cup of coffee in the morning. The reason is that it provides instant stimulation for our brains to wake up. It is true that many of us like that caffeine rush. But on the other side, it worries a lot of people. For them, chicory is a better alternative. It has comparatively less caffeine. Chicory benefits are not only restricted to your morning coffee; it has more to offer. Let’s unravel them one by one.
What Is Chicory?
Chicory is scientifically known as Cichorium intybus. It is a woody, perennial herb plant from the daisy family (Asteraceae). In India, we know this herb by the name Kasani. It has many other common names such as blue daisy, blue sailor, cornflower, etc.
Chicory usually is found with bright blue color flowers but is also rarely available in pretty white and pink colors. It is native to Europe, Africa, and Asia but is cultivated in various parts of the world too.
This plant has a long history of both culinary and medicinal uses. Different parts of the plant are used for various purposes. Chicory roots are used as a coffee substitute or you can add them along with your coffee.
The root is first roasted, and ground, and then you can use it. You can enjoy a salad diet for weight loss with chicory leaves in it. You can consume them raw or after cooking. They have a slightly bitter taste which enhances the depth of flavors. Use can use them in the way you like it.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Chicory?
1. Digestive Health
Chicory roots contain a soluble fiber called inulin, which acts as a prebiotic. It improves our gut health by supporting the growth of beneficial bacteria in our gut. It also aids in constipation and promotes regular bowel movements.
2. Improves Your Liver
Chicory is a food rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds which have a protective effect on the liver. They help to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the liver, which supports our overall health.
3. Good For Bones
It is also a source of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium which help in maintaining our bones and preventing the conditions of osteoporosis.
4. Improves Heart Health
Some studies suggest that chicory consumption has a positive effect on our hearts. It reduces the level of low-density lipid (LDL) cholesterols and improves overall heart health.
5. Skin Health
Chicory is rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols and beta-carotene. They protect our cells from getting damaged by free radicals, which can contribute to aging and the development of other related diseases. This helps in promoting a youthful appearance.
6. Blood Sugar Regulation
The soluble fiber inulin in chicory can help you to maintain blood sugar levels. It slows down digestion and absorption which results in a steadier release of glucose in the bloodstream. It is beneficial for people with diabetes or at risk of developing diabetes.
Chicory Benefits For Weight Loss
- Low Calorie And High Fiber Content: Chicory is low in calories and contains a good amount of dietary fiber. Inulin, the soluble fiber becomes a gel-like substance in the digestive system. This helps you to slow down digestion and promotes the feeling of satiety.
- Controls Appetite: The high fiber diet content of chicory helps to regulate appetite by slowing down the digestion and absorption of foods. This reduces the likelihood of overeating or snacking in between meals.
- Better Gut Health: The prebiotic effect of chicory improves our gut health. Good digestion and gut health help in weight management.
- Reduced Calorie Intake: When you replace your high-calorie drinks with caffeine-free chicory coffee can reduce the calorie intake. This can help you to lose weight.
While You Enjoy Chicory Benefits Keep These In Mind
- If you are allergic to the daisy family plants then it is better to avoid consuming chicory.
- Some people experience gastrointestinal discomfort such as bloating, gas, and sometimes diarrhea. For that, you can start with smaller amounts to get adapted.
- If you are on medication especially blood thinner or taking medicines for diabetes and liver, it is good to consult a doctor before including chicory in your daily life.
- Having a moderate amount of chicory is better to keep things in balance.
Ways To Have Chicory Benefits Through Your Diet
Chicory plant roots and leaves can be used in different ways in your diet. You add the leaves to your soups and mixed vegetable dishes. Additionally, you can have the green chicory in your soups too. Also, you have a substitute for coffee from chicory roots. The powdered root can be used in your smoothies to add a different flavor and nutrition. Try the way you like it.
Chicory Benefits In A Nutshell
Now that we have wrapped our conversation on chicory benefits. It offers many health benefits but we have to be conscious about the portion we intake to avoid any discomfort.
For people who are in search of a caffeine-free coffee substitute, it’s an amazing alternative to add to the diet.
So, whether you’re sipping on chicory coffee for a caffeine-free or adding chicory greens to your salads, remember to enjoy it in a way that aligns with your unique health goals and preferences.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is Chicory Really Good For You?
Yes, chicory is considered good for all. It supports your digestion, improves gut health, and regulates blood sugar levels. Also, it is a caffeine-free coffee substitute, which is low in calories and high in fiber.
When Should I Eat Chicory For Its Benefits?
You can include chicory in your diet at various times. In the morning, you can enjoy roasted chicory root as a coffee substitute to avoid caffeine. Try it in salads or as a side dish during lunch or dinner for dietary fiber and antioxidants. Also, consuming chicory after a meal could aid digestion due to its prebiotic content.
What Is The Best Way To Eat Chicory?
The best way to eat chicory is solely based on your preference. You can have its roasted roots as coffee and its leaves as salads. Every way you get a fiber and antioxidant rich diet.
What Is The Use Of Chicory?
As we discussed above chicory offers a range of benefits from digestion to skin health. These benefits of chicory are a great use to make our daily life better and healthier.
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It is important to note that every individual’s dietary needs and preferences are unique. It’s essential to consult a registered dietitian before introducing something new to your meal plan based on specific macronutrient goals and nutritional needs. So, contact us today if you are looking for a customized diet plan. Also, we will discuss how we can help you achieve your weight loss goals.
This blog post was written to help you make healthier and better food choices. So be aware and take care. The most important thing to consider is your health before starting any diet. Always seek advice from a doctor or dietitian if you have any concerns before starting.
Eat Healthy, Live Healthy. Enjoy a long, happy life.