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Switch your regular cup of joe with chicory coffee and double the benefits

Published on:14 October 2021, 12:00pm IST
Love your cuppa of aromatic coffee, and can’t do without it? Turn to chicory coffee instead, and reap all the benefits for your health.
Geetika Sachdev
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chicory coffee
Chicory coffee is far healthier than the regular variety. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Chicory coffee is the latest buzzword in the world of health and fitness, and for good reason. Although it has been around for centuries, its benefits are being talked about now. Here’s the thing: it does have ‘coffee’ in its name but it’s made of roasted chicory, instead of coffee beans. It’s particularly helpful for those who are trying to reduce their intake of caffeine. At the same time, it is said to provide several other health benefits, including decreased blood sugar levels and improved digestive health. But it could also cause side effects in some people. 

Here’s all that you need to know.

What is chicory coffee?

It is a hot beverage that is made using the roots of the chicory plant. It is then roasted, ground, and brewed, just like coffee. A part of the dandelion family, chicory has a tough, hairy stem and leaves that find a place in salads. When it comes to taste, it has similarities with coffee, although it’s nuttier in flavour. You could have it just like that, or mix it with coffee if you don’t want to give up on caffeine.

chicory coffee
Relish coffee, khul ke! Image courtesy: Shutterstock.
Chicory root is a powerhouse of nutrients

To make this, chicory root is minced, roasted, and then brewed into coffee. It is recommended to use about two tablespoons of ground chicory root for every one cup of water. 

Also, read: Eureka! A study reveals that drinking coffee may prevent Covid-19

One raw chicory root (60 grams) contains the following nutrients

  • Calories: 44
  • Protein: 0.8 grams
  • Carbs: 10.5 grams
  • Fat: 0.1 grams
  • Fiber: 0.9 grams
  • Manganese: 7% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 7% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 5% of the RDI
  • Vitamin C: 5% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 4% of the RDI
  • Folate: 3% of the RDI
What are some benefits of chicory coffee?

1. It may help with digestive health

It is a good source of fibre, and that’s exactly why it can help your digestive health. It is believed to help improve the health of the gut microbiome, because of the presence of inulin fibre, a prebiotic that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Moreover, chicory can help improve bowel function and reduce constipation.

chicory coffee
Fix your gut in a holistic manner. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. It may help to lower blood sugar

Once again, inulin in chicory is said to improve blood sugar levels in both humans and animals. A recent study treated diabetic rats with chicory inulin for eight weeks, and it was found that it helped to control blood sugar by improving the way that carbohydrates were metabolized. In another study, supplementing with 10 grams of inulin daily showed an improvement in fasting blood sugar levels by nearly 8.5% among 49 women with diabetes.

3. It may help decrease inflammation

Most of us know that chronic inflammation is the cause of conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Some studies have found that chicory root may possess anti-inflammatory properties. But most of the studies today have been performed on animals, instead of humans.

chicory coffee
Keep your heart health in check with chicory coffee. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
It can also have some side effects

Although chicory has several health benefits, it is not for everyone. It is likely to trigger a reaction in certain people and could cause swelling, pain, and a tingling sensation in the mouth. If you experience any negative symptoms after consuming chicory coffee, discontinue it right away. Also, it’s a complete no-no for pregnant women, because it is believed to cause miscarriage and menstrual bleeding. 

Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.