The woody chicory plant eases digestive issues, reduces arthritis pain, boosts the immune system, reduces heart disease, prevents heartburn, and remove toxins from the gallbladder and liver. It has also been used as a natural sedative and helps fight kidney disease. Harvesters find chicory on European roadsides, which is where the plant originated, as well as in the Americas. The plant’s buds, roots, and leaves all are beneficial to health. The root is ground into a powder and can stand in as a substitute for coffee. The health benefits of chicory root come from zinc, magnesium, and other nutrients.

Assists Digestion

People add chicory to their diets for many beneficial health reasons. One of the most common is that it helps improve the digestive system. The chicory plant contains inulin, a group of beneficial bacteria that promote a healthy gut. In our bodies, inulin helps fight a host of digestive conditions, including heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion. Over time, a condition like acid reflux can increase acid to your system, leading to other diseases. Chicory cuts down these effects of similar conditions, as well.

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Reduces Heart Disease

Often, heart disease is a result of several factors acting on the cardiovascular system at the same time. Chicory addresses multiple factors to reduce the effects of heart disease. First, it is very beneficial for optimizing the function of the digestive system. It also reduces LDL cholesterol in the body and curbs the development of atherosclerosis and hypertension. Once atherosclerosis develops, plaque in the arteries and veins blocks the flow of blood and leads to possible strokes and heart attacks. The plant phenols in chicory also work against thrombosis and arrhythmia. Antioxidant properties in chicory can improve the blood-plasma balance in the body, reducing the chance of cardiovascular disease.

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Could Help Prevent Cancer

Cancer patients in several studies have used chicory extract to reduce the growth of tumors. Scientists believe this is possible because of the fructans in chicory. These fructans have antioxidant and anti-tumor properties. As a natural remedy, chicory has been helpful in preventing various types of cancer, including breast cancer. The root extract used in some studies has also stopped the proliferation of cancer cells on the skin. These and similar studies suggest the healing benefits of chicory, although medical experts are waiting for more research before promoting it more widely as a treatment.

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Reduces Arthritis Pain

Chicory's anti-inflammatory properties can treat the symptoms of arthritis, reducing the pain associated with this body of diseases. Although it does not completely prevent arthritis or cure it, chicory can also counteract sore joints, muscle pains, and body aches. It enhances the function of red blood cells. This reduces inflammation by halting the immune response to repair damaged cells.

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Helps with Weight Management

Whenever you feel hungry, your body is releasing an amino acid known as ghrelin, which is associated with feeling hunger and causes you to seek food, sometimes indiscriminately. Chicory reduces the amount of ghrelin in your system and prevents you from overeating. It helps you reach a feeling of fullness and satisfaction before you've overconsumed and is, therefore, an effective approach to weight loss. The natural dietary fiber in chicory also promotes a well-functioning digestive system, another key factor in maintaining a healthy weight.

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Reduces Constipation

As a source of natural fiber, chicory can help prevent constipation in a few ways. First, it bulks up waste in the bowel and triggers the intestines to start motions that promote bowel movements. This process causes the release of gastric juices into the digestive tract, optimizing digestion. Improved digestion means improved bowel function. Avoiding constipation also improves the chances of avoiding gastrointestinal diseases, including colon cancer.

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Boosts Immune System

Chicory has been found effective against some threatening strains of bacteria. As a result, people who have used it have seen improvement in their immune systems. Because it rids the bloodstream of free radicals and harmful toxins, it reduces the chances of contracting some diseases, including cancer and heart disease. This makes it an effective agent for continually strengthening the immune system.

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Reduces Anxiety

Because chicory is a natural sedative, it can reduce anxiety and relieve stress, which furthermore prevents the harmful effects stress and anxiety can have on the body and overall health -- stress has been linked to heart disease, reduced cognitive function, and premature aging. Some medical experts recommend chicory root extract as a sleep aid since it has fewer side effects than conventional sleep medications.

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Treats Kidney Disorders

The extract of the chicory root increases the frequency of urination, helping rid the body of toxins normally stored in the liver and kidneys. When these toxins are allowed to remain in the body, they can cause other serious conditions. Frequent urination also helps get rid of water weight and reduces fat. About four percent of urine is fat deposits that might be stored somewhere else in the body if not eliminated.

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Treats Eye Defects

The visual system, part of the central nervous system, needs some of the nutrients found in chicory root. As a supplement, chicory is a rich source of vitamin A, which maintains the health and function of the eyes and the muscular system. Carrot, celery, and parsley juice are sources of vitamin A, as is chicory juice. It not only promotes healthy eyesight, but it also corrects eye defects. Some people even report chicory juice reduced their dependence on glasses.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.