If you are a coffee drinker you probably know about chicory. Chicory has a rather bad name in the seasoned coffee community. Companies have been using chicory to adulterate coffee beans. Chicory is cheaper to cultivate and mixes easily with coffee. The coffee and chicory mixing changes the flavor profile of the coffee. But recent studies have related drinking chicory with multiple health benefits. It is a healthy coffee alternative. Not only is it decaffeinated, but chicory also reduces blood sugar levels.
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Chicory has become so popular in New Orleans that it is referred to as their staple beverage. Due to its woody, nutty, and sweet profile chicory has become a part of multiple morning routines. People are using the dried, roasted, and ground chicory root as a coffee alternative or mixing it with coffee to upgrade their breakfast. So, here is everything about chicory- the healthy coffee alternative.
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What is Chicory?
Chicory or Cichorium intybus is a dandelion-family flowering plant. It originated in Eurasia and is now grown around the world. It has a strong, hairy stem with light purple blooms and salad-friendly leaves.
Coffee and Chicory
Chicory roots when dried, roasted, and brewed taste quite similar to coffee. They taste earthy, and warm, and so complement coffee very well. In the 19th century, Napoleon’s bought a Blockade continent-wide. This created a severe coffee shortage which forced the French to mix coffee with chicory. And once the blockade was lifted, they continued to mix the two due to their economic and health benefits.
The French colonies in Louisiana bought chicory to the United States. It was introduced by the British in India and has been in use for a century- and- a –half. “We’ve been drinking coffee and chicory for almost two hundred years and will continue to do so for another two hundred,” says a paragraph on the Orleans Coffee website.
Chicory is now commonly drunk with coffee and warm milk. Many others, on the other hand, choose to consume a drink produced from the delicious root instead of coffee
Chicory – The healthy coffee alternative!
Chicory has various vitamins and minerals in it. It also contains some manganese and vitamin B6, two nutrients tied to brain health 11 grams of chicory, that is 2 tablespoons of chicory contains:
- Calories: 43
- Protein: 0.8 grams
- Carbs: 10.5 grams
- Fat: 0.1 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Vitamin B6: 9% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Manganese: 6% of the DV
- Folate: 4% of the DV
- Potassium: 4% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 3% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 3% of the DV
Prebiotic Fiber Inulin-Chicory – The healthy coffee alternative!
Chicory contains a fiber called inulin which serves as a growth booster for natural gut bacteria. Inulin is a fructan or fructooligosaccharide. The good bacteria in our gut find inulin a great fooder. Thus, inulin improves our prebiotic health.
Improves the digestive health
Chicory root is a rich source of fiber, which can help with a variety of digestive issues. It contains a fiber called inulin, which helps to relieve constipation. Inulin also improves the overall digestive health.
Good for blood sugar
Chicory root fiber may help patients with diabetes regulate their blood sugar levels. This might be due to inulin, which encourages the growth of good bacteria involved in the process of breaking down carbohydrates into sugars and insulin sensitivity (the hormone that aids in the absorption of sugar from the blood). Studies have shown that when compared to placebo, 30gms of inulin for 2 weeks reduces insulin
Multiple studies conducted have proved that ingesting chicory causes a reduction in the inflammatory response and tumor necrosis. However, most of this research is at a very preliminary stage.
Caffeine use in excess has been related to several negative side effects. Thus the bottom line is that chicory is a decaffeinated healthy alternative to coffee. Although in a very early stage, research showing its health benefits is quite promising. So, if you are looking for a healthy coffee alternative you should check chicory out.
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