Chicory coffee, unexpected properties and benefits

It was once widespread among the less well-off classes. We are talking about chicory coffeea drink obtained from the infusion of the powder of the roots Chicorium Intybus. To characterize this shrub are the light purple leaves and flowers that often adorn salads and other dishes as they are edible. Chicory coffee has a typical bitter aftertaste but this is not a flat taste. In fact, there are hints of caramel and off licorice. Those who wish can still sweeten it with honey, maple syrup or agave juice, all healthier alternatives to sugar. There are different versions on the market, but the most versatile is chicory coffee soil which is prepared with the classic moka. The soluble forms in sachets are also useful. This drink has many beneficial properties. Let’s find out together.

Chicory coffee, a little history

Chicory coffee has a long history behind it. According to experts, he was born in France In the 1800s. 1808 to be exact traditional coffee it disappeared from the market due to the blockade of the import of basic necessities imposed on Napoleon by the Allies. The French compensated for the deficiency by drying the chicory root to obtain a drink reminiscent in taste and properties now unavailable.

Later it was exported to American colonies where it was a great success. It is no coincidence that the city of New Orleans (Louisiana) decreed it as a typical product. IN Italyinstead, chicory coffee became popular in the 20th century. During the First and Second World Wars, it was the only alternative available to the poorer classes who could not afford the expensive beans of the classic coffee.

The properties of chicory coffee

Chicory coffee has a negligible calorie intake, so it can be consumed without problems even by those who follow special diets. Another aspect that should not be underestimated is the absence of caffeine. This alkaloid, in particularly sensitive subjects or if taken in large quantities, causes irritating side effects: anxiety, restlessness, nausea, gastritis, nervousness, insomnia, palpitations. The drink boasts countless properties thanks to the presence of salts minerals:

  • Iron;
  • Sodium;
  • Potassium;
  • Magnesium;
  • Copper;
  • Phosphorus.

Vitamins:

  • vitamin C;
  • Vitamin P;
  • Vitamin K.

And other topics such as: inulinfibres, flavonoid polyphenols, organic acids, hydroxycoumarins e the sesquiterpene lactones.

The benefits and contraindications of chicory coffee

Chicory coffee, if drunk in the right amount, can be considered a real ally for health. For example:

  • Improves bowel function: inulin, a soluble fiber, not only prevents constipation, but also acts as a prebiotic that rebalances the intestinal flora. A healthy gut is closely linked to an effective immune system. In addition, inulin improves the symptoms of loose stools and is therefore indicated for irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis;
  • Helps digestion: sesquiterpene lactones stimulate the production of gastric juice and therefore promote digestion, especially after consuming a large meal;
  • It has a diuretic effect: Organic acids and polyphenols increase kidney filtration with a consequent cleansing effect for the whole organism;
  • It has antioxidant properties: polyphenols fight damage caused by free radicals;
  • Regulate blood sugar levels: according to a study, by improving the metabolism of carbohydrates, inulin can control blood sugar and insulin resistance.

Before taking chicory coffee, it is always good to ask your family doctor for advice. In general, its consumption should be avoided in the presence of severe diarrhea and diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Special attention must be paid to gastrointestinal problems (gastritis, peptic ulcer, gastroesophageal reflux) and in pregnancy. The drink actually has a mild stimulating effect on uterine contractions.

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