A daily coffee ritual is vital to so many of us, and while some call it a vice, coffee has been associated with several health benefits. Besides being an essential ingredient to 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 one 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 decrease inflammation and improve gut health. If you’re avoiding caffeine altogether, you can also brew it on its own as a coffee alternative.
Either way, it’s an easy way to feel good about your morning routine—and we’re all for making small changes that can make big impacts on our health.
The Lowdown On Chicory
Chicory is a flowering plant that is a part of the dandelion family. The leaves and flowers of the plant can be used in salads. The root is typically roasted, ground, and brewed for a drink that has a nutty, earthy, and woody flavor.
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A staple in New Orleans, the drink gained popularity during the Civil War when New Orleanians couldn’t 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 pretty good, and adding chicory to coffee has become a signature of the Louisiana city.
Potential Health Benefit
As it turns out, 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 could decrease cardiovascular disease, as well as 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 support brain health, and inulin fiber which helps control blood sugar and supports gut health. One review of several studies found that people with type 2 diabetes could benefit from a supplement of inulin to help lower insulin resistance.
Ready To Make Chicory Coffee?
You could go out and harvest your own chicory root, but you could also make things 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 the granules to one cup of water, boil, and cover for 10 minutes. Then strain and enjoy!
Another option for the benefits of chicory is Organic Daily Prebiotic Dietary Fiber Supplement Powder. This is a flavorless option, so you can add it to your favorite coffee, tea, or smoothie and never know the difference. However, you’ll still reap the benefits of the chicory root.
Lastly, Worldwide Botanicals French Chicory Root is a dark roast version. You can blend it with coffee to reduce the coffee’s acidity and caffeine, or just brew it by itself. It’s 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 shelf life of three years.