Do you love your morning of cup of coffee but worried about caffeine overdose? Chicory root just may be the answer you're looking for.
This popular coffee substitute does more than just take the place of your favorite breakfast accompaniment, however. In addition to providing added fiber to foods, chicory root has a smooth, creamy feeling in the mouth similar to fat. That makes it a great fat replacement in ice creams, margarines and dressings.
Chicory root comes from a perennial herbaceous plant of the dandelion family, called chicory, that usually has bright blue flowers. Many varieties are cultivated for salad leaves, which you may know as endive or chicons, but the roots are ground and used for baking and, most popularly, as a coffee substitute. Chicory root is a bit wood-like, being fibrous in nature.
Benefits of Chicory Root
1. Reduces Stress
For anyone who has issues with stress, caffeine can exacerbate that issue. Caffeine, of course, is a main ingredient found in coffee, and even small amounts are found in the decaffeinated versions. Consuming less caffeine can really help lower epinephrine and cortisol levels when sleeping and during stressful life circumstances.
Since chicory contains no caffeine, it's a great substitute to reduce your caffeine consumption and get cortisol levels in check, thereby reducing stress.
2. Contains Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Plant polyphenols have the ability to help combat inflammation. Chicory can reduce inflammation, which is huge. Why? Because inflammation is the root of most diseases, so when you can lower bodywide inflammation, you can stave off many health problems before they even have the chance to start.
3. Protects the Liver
Pretreatment with chicory extract significantly reduced oxidative stress and prevented cell damage, ultimately improving liver conditions due to toxicity. Results demonstrated that chicory extract is rich in natural antioxidants and able to scavenge reactive free radicals. Therefore, it boosts the defense system of the body while also cleansing the liver.
4. May Prevent or Delay the Onset of Diabetes
Chicory may be a good addition to a diabetic diet plan to help prevent or treat this all too common medical condition.
Chicory root extract could delay or prevent the early onset of diabetes as well as improve bowel movements due to the fibrous makeup.
5. Helps Manage Osteoarthritis
Chicory root have anti-inflammatory properties that may help with arthritic symptoms, particularly degenerative joint disease, aka osteoarthritis.
6. Relieves Constipation
Chicory root has been shown to relieve constipation thanks in large part to its inulin role.
Brewing Guide: In order to make an infusion, all you have to do is to add a cup of boiling water over a teaspoon of dried chicory roots, and simmer for around 15 minutes. Another method is to soak the roots overnight, and use that water to prepare chicory tea. Those who use this tea regularly, adopt a different method for brewing it. They prepare an infusion with around 40 grams of roots in one liter of water.