Chicory Root Fiber
What is Chicory Root?
Chicory root is the root of the chicory plant.
Chicory is a flowering plant that grows in many places all over the world, including Europe, Western Asia, Northern Africa, Australia, and North America.
The entire plant is edible, but the root in particular has long been known for its valuable health benefits. Its high-fiber content helps aid gut health, regulate bowel movements, stabilize blood sugar, and even lose weight.
Chicory root has a long history as a coffee substitute. It can be ground up and prepared just like ordinary filter coffee. However, chicory root does not contain caffeine, so don’t worry if you are caffeine free.
People often take chicory root supplements to aid their diet. Chicory root is also used in a variety of healthy food products, because of its rich flavor and strong texture. Ground up, it acts as a keto-friendly thickener.
Nutrition at a Glance
Chicory root is high in fiber and low in carbs and fat.
- 72 Calories
- 1.4g Protein
- 17.5g Carbs
- 0.2g Fat
- 1.5g Fiber
- 8.73g Sugar
- 0g Cholesterol
As well as trace amounts of several vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamins A, B, C, and D
Overall, it is something of a superfood. While you can eat too much of anything, you can probably eat about as much chicory root as you want without getting sick.
Consuming Chicory Root has several health benefits, including:
- Improving Bowel Movements
- Improving Blood Sugar Levels
- Supporting Weight Loss
Improving Bowel Movements
Chicory root is full of fiber. It is a root, after all, just like the roots of trees or bushes. Fiber helps keep you regular. But chicory root isn’t simply made of ordinary fiber- it is made mostly of inulin fiber, one of the best kinds of fiber.
Inulin fiber feeds the good bacteria in your gut. It acts as a probiotic, improving your microbiome. This helps with bowel movements, but can also improve your mood and create a sense of well being.
What’s more, inulin fiber is not digestible by your body. Your body can’t turn it into fat, and will instead just… pass it out smoothly.
Studies have shown that chicory inulin can relieve constipation.
Improving Blood Sugar Levels
Inulin’s probiotic effects have wide-ranging positive consequences for the body. They promote the growth of the good bacteria that break down carbs. These bacteria also affect your sensitivity to insulin.
(Note: Inulin is the fiber in chicory root. Insulin is the hormone that helps your body manage its blood sugar levels. One ’s’ makes all the difference.)
Chicory root is especially helpful to diabetics for this reason. Its inulin helps them with their insulin.
Supporting Weight Loss
Fiber of any form fills the stomach and helps you feel full for longer. This means less appetite and a lower caloric intake.
The fact that inulin is also a powerful probiotic helps as well. One study, which had overweight people take a chicory-derived supplement, found an average 2.2 pound loss of weight.
Weight loss is a complicated and non-linear process, however. Everyone’s weight loss journey is different. Eating chicory root alone is unlikely to make you lose weight, but it can help if you are already on a steady weight loss plan.
Potential Downsides to Chicory Root
Chicory root is, overall, a very healthy food. Most people will find they can add it to their diet with few to no side effects. And its low carb content means it is keto-friendly, at least in small doses.
But too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. The main risk with chicory root is that it has so much fiber, it can wildly change your gut if you take too much of it.
If your body is not used to having a lot of fiber, suddenly consuming large quantities of chicory root can cause gas, bloating, or abdominal pain. These side effects may subside once your body gets used to having more fiber, and may be avoided completely if you increase your intake gradually.
How we use Chicory Root in our products
Chicory Root is actually one of the main ingredients in these bars, and in fact is the second ingredient listed (behind almonds) in all of them. It helps add bulk and substance to our product, without adding carbs. That way, we can keep our bars keto-friendly.