Home Ernährung 3 Vorteile der Zichorienwurzel, die Sie überraschen könnten

3 Vorteile der Zichorienwurzel, die Sie überraschen könnten

von NFI Redaktion

You may not be familiar with the chicory root, but chances are you recognize its evergreen blue flowers. Let’s take a look at the benefits of chicory root fibers, the side effects of chicory root extract, and why some people use it as a coffee substitute.

What is Chicory Root?

A relative of dandelion, chicory (or Cichorium intybus) is a wildflower that blooms lushly on roadsides and in meadows throughout the summer. The use of chicory roots and leaves dates back to ancient Egypt and since then, its presence has continued to grow in both herbal medicine and cuisine.

Its long, jagged leaves resemble dandelion greens in appearance and taste and are used raw in salads with vegetables like endive or radicchio. They are also often braised to tame their bitterness.

While prebiotic chicory root extracts or supplements are more common, some European countries eat chicory roots as a vegetable. The chicory root looks like a parsnip and was also grown as a vegetable by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Benefits of Chicory Root

Isolated from chicory root

Like maca root and rhodiola rosea, chicory root is used in herbal medicine for various reasons. Research studies confirm some of the traditional uses of chicory for their unique fiber content, but also suggest that further investigation is needed.

1. Chicory Root Contains Prebiotic Fiber

Due to the bitterness of chicory root and the relatively high amount of the prebiotic fiber inulin (a type of resistant starch), it is attributed with a variety of benefits in research. One of the most popular among them is digestive system health, explains Liz Wyosnick, MS, RDN.

Chicory root has one of the highest amounts of inulin compared to other foods, says Wyosnick. Inulin is a prebiotic and therefore an excellent food source for beneficial gut bacteria. Jerusalem artichoke is second to inulin, but the fiber is also found in foods such as leeks, onions, asparagus, and garlic.

Like insoluble fiber (the kind found in dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, and whole grain products), inulin has a „filling effect“ on your stool, making it easier to pass. Therefore, chicory root fibers and other types of prebiotic fibers can help prevent occasional constipation.

2. Chicory Root and Weight Management*

All these fibers lead to another benefit of chicory root. Fiber (including inulin) is believed to help you feel fuller longer, making it an important part of a healthy weight management strategy when combined with protein.

3. Chicory Root Can Be Used as a Caffeine-Free Coffee Substitute

Isolated image of ground chicory root

This satisfying benefit from chicory root can help you reduce your caffeine consumption. „Chicory root is often used as a substitute for coffee because it has a bitter taste and a comparable color to black coffee and contains no caffeine,“ says Wyosnick.

If you’ve been to New Orleans, you may have had beignet with chicory coffee made from roasted chicory roots. Chicory root coffee arose out of necessity to extend limited supplies of coffee beans.

Youthful chicory roots are slightly bitter, with a hint of caramel flavor, similar to coffee. The chicory roots are roasted, ground, and then brewed like coffee.

The only downside of this type of chicory root preparation: You don’t get the fiber.

Side Effects of Chicory Root

While more fiber is usually a good thing, you should take it slow, especially with the inulin found in chicory root. Chicory root is generally safe, but newcomers may experience the following symptoms:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Increased urination

„The inulin in the bitter compound from ground chicory root is well-masked and you can easily consume so much of it that it causes digestive discomfort,“ warns Wyosnick. „Chicory root is also considered a mild diuretic by some and can lead to increased urination. Therefore, it’s important to drink plenty of clear water when consuming a beverage or food containing chicory root.“

Start small and increase with any fiber supplement, and drink plenty of water.

Where to Find Chicory Root

Whole chicory roots can be found in specialty food stores, and chicory root coffee or tea is usually available in regular supermarkets (Cafe du Monde is a popular brand).

Chicory root supplements are available in health food stores, larger supermarkets, some pharmacies, and online.

However, before purchasing any supplement, consider the following: How is the supplement made? Is it processed without harmful solvents or other additives? Is the company reputable? Do they make claims that sound too good to be true?

Remember that supplement manufacturers must adhere to industry standards regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. And always discuss any supplements you are considering with your doctor.

Here are some chicory root products available on Amazon:

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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