Vegetables and Vegetables

Chicory benefits for health

The chicory belongs to the family Asterace, the same lettuce, chicory and artichoke. The name comes from the Egyptian word ctchorium. The cultivation of this vegetable in Egypt is over 5,000 years old. The Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used it as a medicinal plant. Its healing powers were reported by the writers Horatius, Pliny, Virgil, and Ovid.

Common in Asia, particularly India, chicory is also cultivated in Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. The vegetable has the same name in Argentina and in Europe and the United States, it is called endive. It arrived in Brazil through the hands of Italian immigrants. Currently, the largest chicory producers are the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Paraná and Rio de Janeiro.


We started by saying that chicory is not the same thing as endive. People think this because endive is known as “smooth chicory”. But, these are two different vegetables. Endive, in fact, is one of the best known types of chicory . The chicory has more curly leaves, while the endive is longer and flat sheets.

The chicory of Pará is a type of chicory that is little known. Also called wild coriander, colony coriander and caboclo coriander, it is popular in riverine communities in the Amazon and also in the Guianas. Widely used in the preparation of salads and for seasoning, chicory from Pará also has a medicinal character, the Indians boil its leaves with water to reduce fever. This process is called decoction and preserves the essential oil.

Another unknown is the northern chicory. Popular in the northern region, especially in Belém do Pará and also in Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia. Called broadleaf coriander and coriander and culantro in Spanish and English, northern chicory has hard leaves, suitable for frying and eating like potato chips. It is used in the preparation of tucupi and is also served with fish. In Mexico, this chicory salad is common, while in Caribbean countries such as Puerto Rico it is based on spices. In Asia it is seasoning for rice, soups, stews and sauces.


Chicory is rich in vitamins A, complex B, C, D, in addition to fiber, carbohydrates, proteins and minerals such as iron, calcium and phosphorus. The bitter taste is no excuse for not including it in your daily life, just sauté it. After knowing the benefits of chicory, we are sure that it will be a captive place on your shopping list.

  1. Strengthens the immune system

A source of antioxidants such as flavonoids and beta-carotene, chicory removes free radicals, harmful substances resulting from the body’s own oxidative processes and also from stress, pollution, alcohol, smoking and poor diet.

  1. Improves bowel function

Chicory has inulin, fiber and probiotics that stimulate the production of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, the “good bacteria” present in the intestine. Inulin keeps the intestines healthy and also facilitates digestion.

  1. Protects kidneys, liver and gallbladder

Its diuretic action, combined with antioxidants, help these organs to eliminate toxins. Consuming chicory regularly will make you pee more, preventing infections and the formation of kidney stones.

  1. good for the heart

Inulin also lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol and increases good (HDL) cholesterol. Because it has a glycemic index of 0, chicory can be consumed by diabetics, as its absorption is slow and the blood receives little glucose. The phenol antioxidants also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

  1. is good for the muscles

The benefits of vitamin C are not restricted to immunity. The nutrient, together with the anti-inflammatory action of the vegetable, is also an ally for muscles and joints. Everyone should consume chicory, especially those who play sports. Greenery helps to preserve joints, ligaments and tendons, in addition to helping muscle recovery after training.

  1. Relief pain caused by arthritis

Arthritis compromises joint cartilage. Patients feel severe pain in the spine, knees and femur region. Vitamin C and the anti-inflammatory action of chicory do not cure, but help to ease the pain of arthritis. The survey conducted in 2010 concluded that 70% of volunteers who consumed the vegetable daily showed improvement.

  1. Keeps skin healthy

The antioxidants present in chicory removes toxins. Vegetables are rich in beta-carotene, which protects the skin from the sun’s rays. Vitamin C stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, responsible for firming the skin and preventing premature aging.

  1. Helps alleviate anxiety and stress

B-complex vitamins are important for the nervous system. B6, for example, is related to the formation of serotonin, a well-being neurotransmitter. Therefore, chicory should be part of the menu of people with anxiety and stress.

  1. Helps in weight loss diets

Did you know that chicory loses weight? The vegetable has only 23 calories and, in addition, fiber gives you satiety and you take a long time to feel hungry. Want more? Inulin fiber lowers levels of ghrelin, the hormone that sends hunger signals to the brain.


Like lettuce, chicory prefers temperatures between 12 o and 22 o . It can be grown in direct sunlight or partial shade, if exposed to light, the leaves will be bitter. The soil must be well drained and rich in organic matter and nitrogen with a pH between 5.5 to 7. Planting is done in seedbeds 1 cm deep. You can place a maximum of 3 seeds per square meter, respecting the 10 cm space between each one. Irrigate twice a week.

The transfer should be carried out when the feet are 2 or 5 leaves and 10 cm high, preferably on cloudy days. Fertilize 25 days after transplanting, covering each square meter of soil with 30 grams of ammonium sulfate or 15 grams of urea. Irrigate every day. Harvesting takes place between 50 and 100 days.


One of them is chicory syrup made from the root of the vegetable. The recipe made with 500 grams of fresh root juice and 500 grams of sugar helps to eliminate secretions and coughing. However, it has side effects like any medicine. A sad case is the death of an 8-month-old baby in 2011. The child was from Feira de Santana (Bahia) and died after ingesting the syrup. This proves the importance of seeking medical advice before using any medication and incorporating natural medicine into daily life. Do you like natural treatments? Consult your medium before consuming these chicory- based remedies :

  1. Chicory tea for poor digestion: Boil 20 grams of chicory, rosemary and mint with the equivalent of a cup of water and boil for 3 minutes. Drink when it’s warm and you’ll feel lighter;
  2. Chicory tea for diabetes: mix 30 grams of chicory with 1 liter of water and consume before main meals;
  3. Chicory tea for urinary infection and anemia: boil 15 grams of chicory with half a liter of water, after turning off the heat, wait 15 minutes for the water to absorb the greens. Consume 3 cups a day. If you find it too bitter, add honey.


Do you think you can only make chicory salad, or else, cooked? The vegetable goes well in the preparation of many dishes. We have selected delicious recipes with chicory for you to spice up your meals:



  • 1 pack of noodles;
  • 2 bunches of chicory;
  • 2 ripe, skinless tomatoes;
  • 50 grams of mushrooms;
  • 50 grams of grated provolone cheese;
  • 1 pepper;
  • 1 clove of garlic;
  • 50 grams of black olives;
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste.

preparation mode

Wash the chicory, remove the stalks and boil with salt for 5 minutes. Remove the water, but leave 1 tablespoon of this water. Chop the chicory bunches, tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic and pepper into cubes. Cut the mushrooms into thin strips, place them in a pan of extra virgin olive oil, add the garlic and pepper and brown everything. Add chicory and mix well. Add the water you cooked the vegetable and then mix the tomatoes and olives, mix everything and set aside. Cook the pasta until al dente. Transfer ingredients to batter, mix and serve.



  • ½ cup of chopped chicory;
  • 2 eggs;
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped tomatoes;
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped onion;
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh grated cheese;
  • 1 pinch of salt;
  • Coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil to grease the pan.

preparation mode

Grease and skillet. Place eggs and ingredients in a container and mix well. Transfer to skillet and brown on both sides.



  • ½ bunch of chicory ;
  • 1 medium onion, chopped;
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves;
  • 1 liter of milk;
  • 2 tablespoons of margarine;
  • 4 tablespoons of wheat flour
  • 1 tablet of chicken broth.

preparation mode

Blend everything except chicory in a blender and cook over low heat until boiling. Add the chopped chicory and serve.



  • 2 bunches of chicory ;
  • 2 onions;
  • ½ American cup of oil;
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder;
  • 3 eggs;
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar;
  • 4 glasses of milk;
  • Salt and oregano to taste.

preparation mode

Preheat the oven. Wash, dry chicory and cut into strips. Cut the onion into thin slices. Place the chicory, onion, vinegar, salt and oregano in a container, mix well and set aside. Blend the remaining ingredients in a blender. Grease a rectangular shape with oil. Line it with chicory and add the dough. Bake and leave for 40 minutes.

See how the bitter chicory is good for you? Read the other contents and learn all about vegetables, legumes and fruits.


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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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