Chicory coffee properties
What is chicory coffee?
Chicory coffee is a product obtained from chicory root that is used as a coffee substitute. You get it from chicory root (Cichorium intybus var. Sativum). Chicory plant used to obtain coffee is is different from the one used to eat (Chichorium intybus var. Foliosum)
It is also sometimes added as an additive to the same coffee.
Chicory coffee has also been used to adulterate coffee and as a coffee substitute in times of economic hardship. In India, South Africa and southern United States it is used more than the true coffee.
How is coffee made from chicory? Chicory coffee recipe
To prepare chicory coffee use the suitable chicory plant (Cichorium intybus var. Sativum).
To do it, you have to extract the roots when the leaves start to turn yellow in autumn, the plant is dug up to remove the root, which is a brown turnip-line root. (a tap root)
The root is dried, roasted and ground to become powder that is used to make a tea like coffee.
Photo of chicory coffee and flowers of chicory
Properties of chicory coffee
The root of chicory contains mainly inulin (10 to 15%). Inulin is a complex carbohydrate sugar composed of fructose. Once ingested, inulin is slowly releasing blood sugar so it is suitable for the diet of people with diabetes to keep blood sugar levels constant.
Since inulin is very resistant to digestive enzymes, it reaches the intestine virtually unchanged. There, it is attacked by microorganisms of the intestinal flora that take advantage of this resource to feed and develop. Thus, inulin is considered a prebiotic (something that can encourage the growth of bifidobacteria)
In addition to inulin, chicory root is rich in intibin, a bitter principle with cholagogue properties. That is, intibin stimulates bile production, which opens the appetite and helps digestion in lazy stomachs, which usually are been subjected to indigestion.
This root is rich in essential fatty acids as interesting as linoleic acid (Omega 6) and alpha-linolenic acid (Omega 3) These unsaturated fatty acids counteract other saturated acids such as palmitic acids, of which the root has a considerable amount. The root also carries palmitoleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid.
Advantages of chicory coffee
Coffee is primarily a stimulant. Chicory can be considered a digestive and a regulator of the bowels. The two types of coffee have diuretic properties and stimulate urine production. But the way they use to do it are very different.
Coffee stimulates because caffeine increases cell metabolism. Chicory contains a set of principles (magnesium, calcium, potassium, fiber, apigenin, vitamin C, etc.) that increase diuresis without affecting the nervous system.
Caffeine has myorelaxant effects. Chicory is also able to decrease muscle pain through other components (apigenin, magnesium, routine, etc.)
Both, coffee and chicory, possess antioxidant properties.
We can say that the chicory has a lot of the benefits of coffee in a more moderate and without the negative effects of caffeine.
Is chicory coffee good for everyone?
Chicory coffee has the same contraindications that may have the use of chicory (see listing above)
More information about chicory.