Chicory coffee has been around for more than two decades, but it has gained popularity just recently. The popularity of chicory coffee has sprouted from the people trying to reduce their intake of caffeine without experiencing the adverse effects of cutting coffee.
So instead of taking coffee made from roasted coffee beans, they make their coffee from roasted chicory roots. Chicory is a fibre rich plant which has several medicinal and health benefits to us.
One of the most effective ways to realize these health benefits is consuming the plant in the form of chicory coffee. Chicory has also been used historically as a natural food additive. Chicory coffee, when consumed in the right amounts, can help boost your immune system and improve your overall health.
What is chicory coffee?
Chicory coffee is a beverage which looks just like coffee but has a flavor which tastes a little different from the ordinary coffee. The beverage is made from the chicory plant roots.
The roots of the chicory plant are roasted, ground and brewed to make the coffee-like beverage. The art of making chicory coffee originated from France in the 1800s during a massive coffee shortage.
People were desperate for a coffee substitute when they started mixing chicory roots in their coffee. Chicory coffee can be found in many parts of the world today. It is widely used as a caffeine substitute in modern days.
Nutrients in the chicory roots
Chicory roots have several nutritional benefits. Raw chicory roots contain proteins, carbohydrates, calories, fat, fibres, potassium, manganese, phosphorus and vitamin c.
Chicory roots also have a prebiotic fibre called inulin which has been linked to increased gut health and increased weight loss. It also has vitamin B6 and manganese, which help to boost brain health.
The health benefits of chicory coffee
Chicory coffee historically has been used for the treatment of several illnesses and other medical conditions such as diabetes and wounds. Although not all the purported benefits of the chicory coffee are supported by scientific evidence, it does offer many long term and short term benefits.
It also helps to protect the body from damage and lower the risk of some chronic illnesses.
Blood pressure and cholesterol
Chicory roots contain soluble fibre which is an essential nutrient attributed to the reduction of blood pressure and cholesterol. The soluble dietary fibre also improves the health of gastrointestinal functions and other digestive functions of the body.
The prebiotic fibre called inulin has been proved to protect the body against the accumulation of free cholesterol and improves other metabolic functions such as the intake of iron. Inulin is also used as a substitute for sugar because of its low-calorie value.
According to a review carried out by Evidence-Based Complementary Medicine, Chicory coffee contains chicory acid which protects the body against bacteria. The same study found that chicory roots have antifungal and anti-malaria properties; this justifies the historical use of chicory coffee and sources as a treatment to malaria and fungal infections.
Protects the liver
Chicory coffee can protect the liver. This is because chicory coffee inhibits free radical damage to the liver, and it has antioxidant properties. An experiment carried out by Food and Chemical Toxicology revealed that chicory supplements result in modulated levels of cholesterol and the total lipids in the liver.
According to Physiotherapy Research, chicory antioxidant properties can prevent inflammation and thrombosis. Participants of the research who took 300 milligrams of chicory coffee every day had reduced viscosity of the blood and plasma in only one week. This was attributed to the phenolic content of the coffee.
The phenolic antioxidants also protect the body and major organs from radical damage and oxidative stress.
Reduce cancer risk
Some sources suggest that chicory coffee can help to reduce the risk of cancer, although more research is underway about this topic. An experiment revealed that chicory root extract showed antiproliferative activity on cancer cells.
Treatment of candida and eczema
Research found that the antifungal properties of chicory can be used to treat some forms of candida. The chicory extract also has few side effects to candida patients. Replacing your regular coffee intake with chicory coffee is one way of treating candida. This is because caffeine weakens your immune system and stresses the adrenal glands. This aggravates the candidate.
There is Anecdotal evidence which supports the treatment of eczema using chicory coffee. The recipe for this is just two teaspoons of chicory extract and a glass of boiling water. Keep the chicory extract in the warm bath for 30 minutes.
Use bandages to apply the solution to the areas affected by eczema. Repeat the routine every morning for one week. This method has not yet been validated by science. Although it is effective, consult with your doctor to avoid complications.
Studies show that excessive consumption of caffeine can aggravate the levels of stress. Repeated caffeine intake and stress can cause further health complications. Chicory coffee helps to reduce stress because it is a substitute for coffee. It allows you to cut the caffeine intake.
Improve skin barrier function
Studies have shown that chicory root extract has an active agent who can restructure the skin barrier. These active agents can prevent skin alterations while effectively maintaining homeostasis. Studies have revealed that chicory root extract also reduces dryness of the skin and slows down the aging process.
Although chicory coffee has many health benefits when taken in the right amounts, overconsumption of chicory may lead to some side effects. These effects are subject to overconsumption of chicory roots.
Pregnant women should watch their consumption for chicory coffee as it might cause issues with their pregnancies if taken in excess. Excess consumption might trigger menstruation, causing a miscarriage.
Chicory coffee may cause allergies to people who are allergic. If you are allergic to marigold, daisies or chrysanthemums, chicory coffee might cause oral allergy syndrome when it reacts with birch pollen. Consult your doctor before consuming chicory coffee.
Chicory coffee might also stimulate the production of bile in the liver resulting in gallstones. Hence, it is beneficial to consult your doctor before consumption.