Almeirão’s health benefits

The chicory is native to Europe, Africa and Asia and is consumed worldwide. It belongs to the Asteraceae family , the same as lettuce. It belongs to the genus Cichorium, which is why it is known as bitter chicory. In the Northeast region, almeirão and chicory are sold as the same thing. Its leaves are light or dark green, smooth, long and narrow. The taste is bitter thanks to the substances lactucin and lactupicrin.

Its planting is considered easy. The most favorable time is between February and October in the South region and February and August in the rest of Brazil. It propagates by seeds, requiring well-drained soil with organic matter, pH close to 7 and temperature between 20 o and 28 o . Prefer shade with little sunlight and plenty of water.

To make the bed, remove the stones, apply animal fertilizer and mix well. Water and wait a few days to plant the seedlings, respecting the spacing of 10 cm between rows and 15 cm between the seedlings. The cycle lasts 70 days in winter and 50 days in summer. The tree is between 40 cm and 1 m tall, has a hard, straight stem and blue or purple flowers that resemble the chrysanthemum.

Consumed as a salad, this bitter vegetable brings together a wide range of nutrients. The nutritional power is such that it should be on the menu twice a week. If you turn up your nose at the bitter taste, you are sure to change your mind when you know the benefits of watercress.


Do you know that saying “jack of all trades”? That’s the almeirão. The vegetable, a relative of chicory, is rich in fiber, protein, iron, calcium, vitamins A, complex B and C, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc and potassium. For all that, the body as a whole benefits. His power is so great that it is even good for mental health. Know all the properties of the almeirão and try to stay immune to it.

  1. Powerful anti-inflammatory

The substances actucin and lactupicrin are responsible for the anti-inflammatory action of chicory. Regular consumption is indicated for people with muscle and joint pain. The anti-inflammatory effect also relieves pain from physical activity.

  1. Strengthens the immune system

Vitamin C is one of the best known antioxidants. It makes a real cleaning in the body, eliminating all the bad and even renewing the cells. Responsible for all of this are phytochemicals that remove toxins that cause heart disease and cancer.

  1. Improves blood circulation

People with circulatory difficulties have more of this reason to eat almeirão. In addition, vegetables are an adjunct in the fight against angina, which reduces the arteries that carry blood to the heart. This effect is positive, especially for hypertensive individuals. However, consuming too much chili can alter your heart rate to less.

  1. Prevents and combats digestive and intestinal problems

The vegetable eliminates fat from the liver and the inulin, present in the chicory, facilitates digestion. As it is laxative, the intestine also works better with the ingestion of vegetables. Eating clams twice a week helps prevent constipation, heartburn, indigestion, gastroesophageal reflux disease, liver failure, and colon and stomach cancer.

  1. Alleviates the symptoms of jaundice

Jaundice is a disease linked to disorders of the liver, gallbladder or pancreas. The main symptom is yellowish patches on the skin. As one of the benefits of chicory is to clean the liver, the greens can help with the treatment.

  1. it’s diuretic

Foods with this characteristic make you urinate more often. This means that toxins do not heat up in the body. Eat almeirão twice a week and your kidneys and liver will thank you.

  1. helps to lose weight

Every 100 grams has just 23 calories. Vegetables are a source of fiber, which increases satiety. However, it is only these two details that help with weight loss. Almeirão also has inulin and oligofructose, substances that balance the levels of ghrelin, the hormone related to hunger. Bringing these three factors together plus physical activity, you lose weight faster and faster. The power of the chicory in weight loss diets is so much that it has been called “the new lettuce”, as it can be included in the famous detox juices.

  1. Decreases anxiety and stress

Chimney has a sedative effect. Its root is used to combat insomnia, but fresh consumption also helps to reduce anxiety and stress. It is good to remember that such emotional imbalances are gateways to premature aging, hormonal and cardiac problems.

Attention! Women with heavy menstrual flow should avoid chicory because it stimulates menstruation. Consumption is also contraindicated for pregnant women, due to its abortive action. Allergy to daisy and marigold may not appreciate the greenery. Finally, people with kidney disease need to see their doctor before eating.


Of the various types of chicory, the purple chicory is uncommon. Less bitter than the common chicory, it is called Japanese chicory and tree chicory in Minas Gerais, rabbit ear, radix or radite and in the southern region. The purple chicory likes mild temperatures and can be planted all year round in places like this feature. Its cultivation in hot climate areas should be done between March and October. This almeirão is harvested 60 days after planting.

The almeirão do mato is more popular. It likes the sun and has an irrigation system that allows you to stay hydrated even in dry periods. Its leaves can be smooth or scalloped and become bitter after flowering or when they are old.


Almeirão is found in open markets, supermarkets and grocery stores. You will save if you buy between July and October. Buy bundles with small, firm, green leaves. If you want practicality and like chopped vegetables, buy them if they are properly refrigerated. Whole or processed, the vegetable lasts up to 3 days in the refrigerator. However, it can also be stored at room temperature, as long as the bottom is in a container with water. The duration in this case is only 1 day.


Almeirão salad is the main form of consumption, seasoned with lemon, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, onion, pepper and green scent. To eat raw, it is necessary to clean it very well with running water and also with specific products sold in supermarkets. Vegetables are also great for sauteing and can replace spinach in pies and quiches. Check out some recipes with purple chili pepper that can also be prepared with the common version:



  • 1 bunch of chicory;
  • Heart of palm cut into slices;
  • Tomato cut into slices;
  • Sliced ​​​​red onion;
  • grated mozzarella;
  • Slim ham chopped into cubes;
  • 1 minced garlic;
  • Extra virgin olive oil;
  • 1 lemon juice;
  • Black pepper to taste.

preparation mode

Place the almeirão in a large ovenproof dish. Place the remaining ingredients around, forming a circle and finish with the mozzarella. The salad will taste better with a yogurt sauce, mixed with parsley, oil, onion and pepper.



  • 1 bunch of chili peppers ;
  • ½ chopped onion;
  • 1 crushed garlic clove;
  • 1 tablespoon of oil;
  • Black pepper.

preparation mode

Soak the almond leaves in a solution of water and vinegar for 10 minutes. Drain the water and cut into thin strips. In a skillet, saute the onion and garlic in the oil. Add the chili and cook for a while. Sprinkle the black pepper and serve immediately.



  • 1 bunch of chicory;
  • ½ bunch of green scent or parsley;
  • 1 red onion;
  • 300 grams of whole wheat flour;
  • 2 eggs;
  • black pepper;
  • ½ liter of oil.

preparation mode

Cut the chili into thin slices. Add the greens, onion, green scent and pepper and mix. Add the eggs and stir until incorporating them with the other ingredients. Add the flour and stir well. Put the oil in a non-stick skillet and wait until it gets hot. Make small balls with the help of a spoon and place in the pan. Turn the cookies over to fry them evenly.



  • 1 bunch of chili peppers ;
  • 1 onion, chopped into cubes;
  • 1 crushed garlic clove;
  • 1 lemon juice;
  • Black pepper;
  • Salt;
  • 4 eggs.

Preparation mode

Cut the almeirão very thin. Put to cook in boiling water with drops of lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Drain, squeeze so that no water remains and set aside. Put oil in a skillet, let it heat up, add the garlic and onion and let it brown. Add the almeirão and sauté lightly. In a container, beat eggs with pepper and a pinch of salt. Transfer this mixture to the skillet and stir. Take care to fry on both sides.



  • 1 chimney leaf ;
  • 1 cabbage leaf;
  • 1 small, shelled cucumber;
  • 1 slice of ginger;
  • 1 slice of pineapple;
  • 1 apple;
  • 1 teaspoon of flaxseed.

Preparation mode

Blend everything in a blender, do not strain and do not sweeten. The juice must be consumed immediately.

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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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