Although chicory coffee, made from roasted chicory root, is often associated with several health benefits, the plant can also cause adverse side effects in some people.
Not only can you use it as a delicious decaf alternative to coffee, but you can also mix it with coffee grounds to improve the quality of your breakfast.
Chicory is a flowering plant of the dandelion family. It is characterized by a stiff, hairy stem, light purple flowers, and leaves that are commonly used in salads.
Chicory – how to drink? Chicory coffee is made by roasting, grinding, and brewing the roots of the chicory plant. It tastes similar to coffee, often described as slightly earthy and nutty.
It is used either by itself or mixed with coffee to complement its flavor.
Although the history of chicory coffee is not entirely clear, it is believed to have originated in the 1800s in France during a coffee shortage. In search of a substitute for coffee beans or to stretch them out, people began mixing chicory roots into coffee to get a dose of coffee.
Today, chicory coffee can still be found in many parts of the world and is often used as an alternative to regular decaffeinated coffee.
Chicory – benefits and harms
Chicory root is the main ingredient in chicory coffee.
To prepare it, raw chicory root is crushed, roasted, and brewed in coffee. Although the amount varies, it is generally recommended to use about 2 tablespoons (11 grams) of ground chicory root per 1 cup (237 ml) of water.
One raw chicory root (60 grams) contains the following nutrients (1 reliable source):
- Calories: 43
- Protein: 0,8 г
- Carbohydrates: 10.5 grams
- Fat: 0.1 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Vitamin B6: 9% of the daily value (DV)
- Manganese: 6% of the daily value
- Folic acid: 4% of the daily value
- Potassium: 4% of the daily value
- Vitamin C: 3% of the daily value
- Phosphorus: 3% of the daily value
Chicory root is a good source of inulin, a type of prebiotic fiber that may contribute to weight loss and improved gut health.
It also contains some manganese and vitamin B6, two nutrients associated with brain health.
Keep in mind that the amount of these nutrients in chicory coffee is quite low because only a small amount of chicory root is brewed into the drink.
Can improve digestion
Chicory root is a good source of fiber, which can improve some aspects of your digestive health.
For example, it can support the health of the gut microbiome, which is believed to be closely linked to health and disease.
This is because chicory root contains inulin fiber, a type of prebiotic that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Several studies have shown that inulin supplementation can increase the concentration of certain strains of healthy bacteria in the colon.
Studies also show that chicory can improve bowel function and reduce constipation.
Can lower blood sugar
Chicory root contains inulin, a type of fiber that has been shown in human and animal studies to help regulate blood sugar levels.
Although research on the effects of chicory inulin on blood sugar is limited, several other studies have shown that it can improve blood sugar and insulin resistance.
Insulin is a hormone that carries sugar from the bloodstream to muscles and tissues where it can be used as fuel. Insulin resistance occurs with prolonged periods of elevated insulin levels, which can reduce the effectiveness of insulin and cause high blood sugar.
Who should not drink chicory?
Although chicory coffee is associated with a number of health benefits, it is not suitable for everyone.
Chicory can trigger an allergic reaction in some people, causing symptoms such as pain, swelling, and tingling in the mouth.
People with ragweed or birch pollen allergies should avoid chicory to prevent possible negative side effects.
If you experience any negative symptoms after drinking chicory coffee, stop drinking it immediately and consult a doctor.
In addition, there is limited research on the safety and potential side effects of chicory root for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Consult your doctor before use to prevent adverse symptoms.