Chicory is also a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including zinc, magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron folic acid and potassium, as well as vitamins A, B6, C, E and K. Studies, including research from the University of Pécs, Hungary Medical School, found that chicory’s high phenolic content, a type of antioxidant, offers protective effects on the cardiovascular system.
One of chicory’s main attributes as a food source is a high content of inulin, which is a type of soluble fiber. It’s not affected by the digestive enzymes of the stomach, therefore passing to the colon where it’s metabolized by bacteria, stimulating their growth.
The long-time use of chicory root as a laxative and diuretic is believed to be due to its high inulin content – the herb is even approved for use as a treatment for a variety of digestive disorders in Germany, including heartburn, bloating and loss of appetite.
Inulin is also considered to be a powerful probiotic. It is used to battle a wide range of intestinal and digestive concerns, including indigestion, constipation, heartburn and acid reflux as it is able to reduce acidity in the body.