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A daily coffee ritual is vital for many of us, and although some call it a vice, coffee has been linked to several health benefits. Besides being an essential ingredient for a productive day, coffee may also reduce your risk of dementia, among other potential health benefits.
And now here’s some more good news: if you add this inexpensive ingredient to your coffee, you could rack up even more health benefits. Supplementing your morning cup with a few tablespoons of chicory root can help reduce inflammation and improve gut health. If you avoid caffeine completely, you can also brew it on its own as an alternative to coffee.
Either way, it’s an easy way to feel good about your morning routine — and we’re all in favor of small changes that can have a big impact on our health.
The truth about chicory
Chicory is a flowering plant that is part of the dandelion family. The leaves and flowers of the plant can be used in salads. The root is usually roasted, ground, and brewed for a drink that has a nutty, earthy, and woody flavor.
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A New Orleans staple, the drink gained popularity during the Civil War when New Orleans residents could not get coffee due to a naval blockade cutting off their port. They added chicory to stretch the coffee they had or brewed the root as an alternative. Luckily, it tastes great, and adding chicory to coffee has become a Louisiana town hallmark.
Potential health benefit
It turns out that chicory root is a good source of dietary fiber. Most Americans don’t get enough fiber, and studies have shown that increasing fiber in your diet may reduce cardiovascular disease and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Scientists also suspect, based on animal studies, that chicory has anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is linked to many diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Chicory also contains many essential nutrients, including manganese and vitamin B6, which promote brain health, and inulin fiber, which helps control blood sugar and promotes gut health. A review of several studies found that people with type 2 diabetes may benefit from supplemental inulin to help reduce insulin resistance.
Ready to make chicory coffee?
You could go out and harvest your own chicory root, but you can also make it easy on yourself and buy some.
Anthony’s Organic Roasted Chicory Root is USDA Certified Organic and Non-GMO. Mix it 1:1 with your favorite coffee and brew normally. Or add two tablespoons of granules to a cup of water, boil and cover for 10 minutes. Then filter and taste!
Another option for chicory benefits is daily organic prebiotic dietary fiber supplement powder. This is an unflavored option, so you can add it to your favorite coffee, tea or smoothie and never tell the difference. However, you will still reap the benefits of chicory root.
Finally, Worldwide Botanicals French Chicory Root is a dark roast version. You can mix it with coffee to reduce the acidity and caffeine in the coffee, or just brew it on its own. It is decaffeinated, kosher and vegan. This high-quality chicory can be made in any coffee maker, including a drip coffee maker, French press, or espresso machine. It also has a three-year shelf life.