If you love coffee but you want an alternative to your favorite morning drink, one of the best alternatives you can try is chicory coffee.
If you have no idea what a chicory coffee is, you might think that it is just another coffee, but it is a little bit different.
Chicory coffee, despite its name, is not a coffee at all. So, what is chicory coffee if it is not a coffee? More importantly, what are the health benefits of chicory coffee and why is it a great alternative to coffee? We will explore all those questions and more below ツ
What is Chicory Coffee?
Chicory coffee is not an actual coffee despite its name. But why call it “coffee” if it is not a coffee at all? Here’s why.
Chicory coffee comes from the roots of the chicory plant. Interestingly enough, just like actual coffee beans, chicory roots are also processed by roasting, grounding, and brewing to make a coffee out of it.
More interestingly, chicory coffee also tastes almost exactly the same as the coffee, though it has a more “woody” and nutty flavor profile than traditional coffee.
One of the greatest benefits of chicory coffee is that it is caffeine-free! So, if you want to enjoy drinking coffee without caffeine, chicory coffee could be the best beverage for you. This is a great option if you are trying to balance out your hormones, or if you crave a nice warm drink in the late afternoon.
Also, if you want, you can mix some coffee with chicory to obtain a special, different flavor.
A Little History of Chicory Coffee
Although the history of chicory coffee is not entirely clear, many stories cite France as the original brewer. The story goes that it was consumed in France during a massive coffee shortage in the 1800s.
Regardless of the origin, it makes a great substitute. Later, during the Civil War, chicory coffee became popular in New Orleans as well, for the same reasons as they experienced a coffee shortage during the war.
Ever since chicory coffee became a yummy, healthy substitute for coffee, as well as a good alternative to coffee.
Key Nutrients of Chicory Coffee
If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that coffee is my heart and soul but I do enjoy a chicory root coffee here and there.
Chicory coffee, especially chicory roots, contains essential nutrients that will be very beneficial to your body. I love drinking chicory root at least a few times a week, just to make sure I get the benefits.
One 60g of raw chicory root contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 44
- Carbs: 10.5 grams
- Protein: 0.8 grams
- Fat: 0.1 grams
- Fiber: 0.9 grams
- Vitamin C: 5% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 7% of the RDI
- Manganese: 7% of the RDI
- Folate: 3% of the RDI
- Potassium: 5% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 4% of the RDI
Because chicory roots contain a handful of nutrients, it can benefit your body in a variety of ways. For instance, vitamin C for your immune system, vitamin B6 and manganese for your brain health, folate for pregnancy, protein for muscle growth, and so on.
However, depending on your intake, the nutrients you can get from chicory roots are relatively low. Nevertheless, it is still good for supplementation for your overall diet.
Chicory Coffee Benefits
Chicory coffee is not just a coffee-like alternative to coffee, but it also has a plethora of benefits. Here are some of them that I appreciate:
1) 100% caffeine-free
One of the main benefits of drinking chicory coffee – and probably the reason why you decided to look for an alternative, to begin with – is that chicory coffee is 100% caffeine-free.
Too much caffeine can cause sleep problems such as insomnia and other side-effects like anxiety and palpitations.
Chicory coffee will give you the experience of coffee while totally removing caffeine at the same time. However, if you want a little dose of caffeine, mixing chicory roots to your coffee is also great, whichever you prefer!
2) Can lower and regulate your blood sugar level
Aside from being caffeine-free, chicory root is also shown to help you with your blood sugar and insulin levels – thanks to its special type of fiber called inulin. This is great if you have diabetes, pre-diabetes, or simply concerned about your blood sugar levels.
3) Decreases your inflammation levels
Inflammation is normal when your immune system is battling foreign particles but if your immune system is weak, you can experience high levels of inflammation. If this chronically occurs, it can cause major diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases.
Aside from containing a variety of nutrients, chicory coffee also contains antioxidants which can help you fight inflammation. Also, because it is rich in nutrients, it can help you improve your overall immune health at the same time.
4) Chicory coffee can improve your digestive health
Chicory coffee is rich in fiber, which is key to improving one’s digestive and gut health. It also contains prebiotics, which is essential in feeding healthy bacteria in your gut.
If these healthy bacteria are fed, they will contribute to the overall well-being of your gut – and if your gut is healthy, your whole body will benefit from it. For instance, a healthy gut can lead to better nutrition absorption and improved metabolism, which will significantly help you lose weight and help keep to a healthy one.
5) Helps Balance Hormones
While some people can tolerate high levels of caffeine, many women, especially those who have problems with hormonal imbalance, have very low levels of tolerance.
Caffeine can exhaust the adrenal glands and this causes a variety of health problems. When you consume too much caffeine it increases your cortisol levels along with your blood sugar, causing damage to the lining of your gut.
If your gut health is off, then your hormones suffer and vice-versa. If you want to learn more about this relationship, check out another post I wrote titled “Gut Health And Hormones: The Relationship That You Should Know About.”
If you are looking for an alternative to coffee, you may want to try out chicory coffee. It is caffeine-free, has some health benefits and, above all, it tastes and feels almost the same as your favorite morning drink!
I hope you enjoyed this post and learned everything you need to know about this powerful coffee alternative. Also please check out “9 Herbs to Help Balance and Regulate Your Hormones Naturally” and “Three Immune-Boosting Mushrooms I Add to My Coffee” if you enjoyed this post.