Health Benefits Of Chicory

  • Ann Rose Joseph Doctor of Pharmacy - PharmD , Acharya and BM Reddy college of Pharmacy, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.


Chicory is a perennial herbaceous plant species belonging to the Asteraceae family, commonly known as the daisy or sunflower family. The scientific name of chicory is Cichorium intybus; it is cultivated as a leafy green vegetable, a coffee substitute and a medicinal herb.1

Chicory has bright blue flowers and a slightly bitter taste, particularly in its leaves. The plant is native to Europe, but it has been introduced to various parts of the world. The roots of the chicory plant are often roasted and ground to make a coffee substitute or additive. Additionally, chicory leaves are used in salads, and the plant has been traditionally valued for its potential health benefits, including its role in digestive health, blood sugar regulation, and other medicinal properties.1

Nutritional profile

Chicory is a nutritious plant with a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial compounds. Here's a general overview of the nutrient profile of chicory.

Dietary fibre

Chicory is rich in dietary fibre, which is essential for digestive health and can contribute to a feeling of fullness. The fibre in the chicory may help regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation.


  1. Vitamin A: Important for vision, immune function, and skin health
  2. Vitamin C: An antioxidant that supports the immune system and helps the body absorb iron
  3. Vitamin K: Essential for blood clotting and bone health


  1. Potassium: Important for heart health, blood pressure regulation, and fluid balance
  2. Calcium: Crucial for bone health and muscle function
  3. Manganese: Supports metabolism and bone formation


Chicory contains various antioxidants, including polyphenols and flavonoids, which help protect the body's cells from damage caused by free radicals.


Chicory root is a rich source of inulin, a type of soluble fibre. Inulin has prebiotic properties, which promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.


Chicory contains various phytonutrients, which are plant compounds with potential health benefits.

Low calorie

Chicory is relatively low in calories, making it a good option for those looking to manage their weight.


While not a significant protein source, chicory contains protein, contributing to overall nutrient intake.[2]

Digestive health

Chicory plays a significant role in promoting digestive health, largely due to its high content of dietary and inulin. Here are several ways in which chicory contributes to digestive well-being.

Rich in Dietary Fibre: Chicory is a good source of dietary fibre, including both soluble and insoluble fibre. Fibre adds bulk to the stool, promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation.

Prebiotic Properties: Chicory contains inulin, a type of soluble fibre that serves as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are non-digestible compounds that promote the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria in the gut. These beneficial bacteria, known as probiotics, are crucial in maintaining a healthy digestive system.

Supports Gut Microbiota: The inulin in chicory serves as a food source for beneficial bacteria such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. These bacteria help maintain a balanced and diverse gut microbiota, which is essential for overall digestive and immune health.

Alleviates Constipation: The fibre in chicory adds bulk to the stool and can help soften it, making it easier to pass. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals struggling with constipation.

Improves Intestinal Transit Time: The combination of fibre and inulin in chicory can contribute to a more efficient transit time of food through the digestive tract. This helps prevent sluggish digestion and promotes regularity.

Reduced Risk of Digestive Disorders: Diets high in fibre, such as those incorporating chicory, have been associated with a reduced risk of various digestive disorders, including diverticulosis and colorectal cancer.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Some compounds in chicory possess anti-inflammatory properties, which may help alleviate inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. This can be beneficial for individuals with inflammatory bowel conditions.

Appetite Regulation: The fibre content in chicory can contribute to a feeling of fullness, which may help in controlling appetite and managing weight.3

Blood sugar regulation

Due to its fibre content and potential impact on blood sugar levels, chicory has been explored as a dietary component for individuals with diabetes. It may contribute to overall glycemic control and help manage the condition. Inulin, a type of soluble fibre found in chicory, may play a role in regulating blood sugar levels. Soluble fibre can slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, leading to a more gradual rise in blood glucose levels after meals. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing diabetes.

Chicory generally has a low glycemic index, indicating minimal impact on blood sugar levels. Foods with a low GI are digested and absorbed more slowly, leading to a slower and steadier rise in blood glucose.4

Weight management

Chicory is relatively low in calories, making it a suitable addition to a weight-conscious diet. Choosing foods with lower energy density can help individuals manage their calorie intake without compromising on nutritional value.

Chicory is rich in dietary fibre, including the soluble fibre inulin. Fibre adds bulk to the diet, promoting a feeling of fullness and reducing overall calorie intake. This can be particularly beneficial for those looking to control their appetite and avoid overeating.

The fibre content in chicory contributes to satiety, helping individuals feel full for a longer duration. This can lead to reduced snacking and overconsumption of calories, therefore helping support weight management goals.5

Heart health

The fibre content in chicory contributes to overall heart health. Dietary fibre helps control cholesterol levels, supports weight management, and regulates blood sugar levels, all of which are factors that influence cardiovascular health.

It's important to note that while chicory can be a beneficial addition to a heart-healthy diet, overall lifestyle factors such as a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and avoidance of smoking are also crucial for maintaining cardiovascular well-being.6

Anti-inflammatory properties

Chronic inflammation is a factor in the development of cardiovascular diseases. Some compounds in chicory exhibit anti-inflammatory effects, potentially contributing to a reduction in inflammation within the cardiovascular system.7 

Culinary uses and incorporation into diet

  1. Chicory and Apple Salad with Maple Dijon Dressing
  2. Grilled Chicory with Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
  3. Chicory and White Bean Soup8


In conclusion, chicory stands out as a versatile and nutritionally rich plant that offers various health benefits. From its role in promoting digestive health through its fibre and prebiotic content to its potential impact on the regulation of blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels, chicory contributes to overall well-being. The plant's low-calorie nature, combined with its ability to induce a feeling of fullness, supports weight management efforts. Additionally, chicory's antioxidant properties and potential anti-inflammatory effects add to its appeal as a health-promoting food.

Whether consumed in salads, as a coffee substitute, or integrated into various dishes, chicory provides essential vitamins, minerals, and beneficial compounds. Its historical uses and the growing body of research on its health benefits highlight its significance in promoting a balanced and nutritious diet.

While chicory holds promise for enhancing health, it's important to consider individual needs and consult with healthcare professionals, especially for those with specific health conditions or concerns. As part of a well-rounded approach to health, incorporating chicory into one's diet can contribute to a holistic strategy for maintaining and improving overall well-being.


  1. Nwafor IC, Shale K, Achilonu MC. Chemical composition and nutritive benefits of chicory(Cichorium intybus)as an ideal complementary and/or alternative livestock feed supplement. ScientificWorldJournal [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2023 Nov 14];2017:1–11. Available from:
  2. Frey M. Chicory root nutrition facts and health benefits [Internet]. Verywell Fit. 2018 [cited 2023 Nov 14]. Available from:
  3. CHICORY: Overview, uses, side effects, precautions, interactions, dosing and reviews [Internet]. [cited 2023 Nov 14]. Available from:
  4. Chicory root fibres [Internet]. [cited 2023 Nov 14]. Available from:
  5. Barode S. Chicory: Uses, benefits, side effects and more by Dr. Smita barode [Internet]. PharmEasy Blog. 2023 [cited 2023 Nov 14]. Available from:
  6. Sachdev G. Switch your regular cup of joe with chicory coffee and double the benefits [Internet]. Healthshots. 2021 [cited 2023 Nov 14]. Available from:
  7. Moncada K. What to know about new anti-inflammatory ingredient chicory root [Internet]. Better Homes & Gardens. 2020 [cited 2023 Nov 15]. Available from:
  8. Chicory recipes [Internet]. BBC Good Food. [cited 2023 Nov 15]. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Ann Rose Joseph

Doctor of Pharmacy - PharmD , Acharya and BM Reddy college of Pharmacy, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Ann Rose is a PharmD intern , showcasing an unwavering passion for healthcare field. With comprehensive knowledge regarding the principles and operational techniques of pharmacy in Healthcare settings.Equipped with a strong background in medication evaluation and clinical management of multiple chronic disease states. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
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