Chicory is a plant that is commonly used as a coffee substitute. 

Chicory is a plant that is related to lettuce, endive and dandelion, and has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes.

It has several health benefits, including:

1. May reduce inflammation: Chicory contains compounds, such as inulin and sesquiterpene lactones, that have anti-inflammatory properties. 

These compounds can help to reduce inflammation in the body, which is thought to be a contributing factor to a number of chronic health conditions.

2. May improve digestive health: Chicory root is often used as a prebiotic, which means it helps to feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut. 

This can improve digestive health, reduce constipation and may help to lower the risk of certain diseases.

3. Can help to manage diabetes: The inulin in chicory root can help to reduce blood glucose levels by slowing down the absorption of sugar in the blood. 

This may be beneficial for people with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition.

4. May promote liver and gallbladder health: Chicory root has been shown to stimulate the production of bile, which is important for healthy liver function and gallbladder health.

5. Contains antioxidants: Chicory is rich in antioxidants, such as catechins, which can help to protect the body against oxidative stress and prevent damage to cells.

Chicory may cause adverse effects in some individuals.

Common chicory (Cichorium intybus), is a somewhat woody, perennial herbaceous plant of the family Asteraceae.

Common chicory is usually with bright blue flowers, rarely white or pink. 

Many varieties are cultivated for salad leaves, blanched buds, or roots which are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and food additive. 

An extract from chicory root, has been used in food manufacturing as a sweetener and source of dietary fiber.

Chicory is grown as a forage crop for livestock.

It is also the common name in the United States for curly endive.

When flowering, chicory has a tough, grooved, and more or less hairy stem. 

It can grow to 1.5 metres (5 feet) tall.

The  root contains up to 20% inulin, a polysaccharide similar to starch.


Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)

Energy 96 kJ (23 kcal)


4.7 g

Sugars 0.7 g

Dietary fiber 4 g


0.3 g


1.7 g

Dietary fiber 4 g

Fat 0.3 g

Protein 1.7 g


Quantity %DV

Vitamin A equiv. 36% 286 μg

beta-Carotene 32% 3430 μg

lutein zeaxanthin 10300 μg

Thiamine (B1)

5% 0.06 mg

Riboflavin (B2)

8% 0.1 mg

Niacin (B3)

3% 0.5 mg

Pantothenic acid (B5)

23% 1.159 mg

Vitamin B6

8% 0.105 mg

Folate (B9)

28% 110 μg

Vitamin C

29% 24 mg

Vitamin E

15% 2.26 mg

Vitamin K

283% 297.6 μg

Minerals Quantity %DV


10% 100 mg


7% 0.9 mg


8% 30 mg


20% 0.429 mg


7% 47 mg


9% 420 mg


3% 45 mg


4% 0.42 mg


92 g

The entire plant is edible.

Raw chicory leaves are 92% water, 5% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and contain negligible fat.

 In a 100 gram (3½ oz) reference amount, raw chicory leaves provide 23 calories (96 J) and significant amounts, with more than 20% of the Daily Value) of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, some B vitamins, and manganese. 

Vitamin E and calcium are present in moderate amounts. 

Raw endive is 94% water and has low nutrient content.

Root chicory has long been cultivated as a coffee substitute.

It is often added to coffee.

While edible raw, wild chicory leaves usually have a bitter taste, especially the older leaves.

The flavor is appreciated in certain cuisines,

Chicory may be cultivated for its leaves, usually eaten raw as salad leaves. 

Cultivated chicory is generally divided into three types, of which there are many varieties:

Radicchio usually has variegated red or red and green leaves. 

Belgian endive has a small head of cream-colored, bitter leaves. 

Inulin is mainly found in the plant family Asteraceae as a storage carbohydrate:Jerusalem artichoke.

Inulin used as a sweetener in the food industry with a sweetening power 10% that of sucrose and is sometimes added to yogurts as a prebiotic.

Fresh chicory root may contain between 13 and 23% inulin, by total weight.

In the U.S., chicory root has long been used as a coffee substitute in prisons.

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