Chicory, also known as wild succor, is a species related to dandelions. The herb originally originated from Europe and is now cultivated worldwide. The plant is majorly famous for its medicinal properties. Some parts of the plant are edible in nature. The leaves are used in salad, the flower or the bud can be used for pickling. The roots of the plant can be roasted and grounded into the form Chicory coffee. The roots can be dried to be used as a tea. Roots being one of the most valuable parts of Chicory, are filled with medicinal benefits. It holds 75% water and the remaining 25% includes sugar, fibers and proteins. Presence of higher levels on inulin in the roots makes it a rich probiotic which promotes growth of good bacteria in the gut.
Chicory is said to be highly beneficial for pregnant women if taken in smaller amounts. Benefits of Chicory for a pregnant women range from acting as a relaxer, to reducing anxiety, cleansing liver, reducing feelings of indigestion, reflux, acidity etc.
Following are some of the health benefits of Chicory for pregnant women:
7 Must Know Health Benefits of Chicory During Pregnancy
The roots of Chicory contains inulin which possess strong probiotic properties. Being a probiotic in nature promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut. When taken in the form of tea or coffee, it helps in resolving many issues related to gut such as indigestion, acidity, acid reflux, heart burn, and constipation during pregnancy.
The juice of Chicory roots helps in preventing certain types of cancers and tumors. Studies suggest that consumption of Chicory root juice can decrease the chances of uterine cancer and growth of tumors. The reason behind this is the presence of high quantities of chemicals such as polyphenols and phytochemicals.
The plant of Chicory holds sedative properties which promotes relaxation and calms the mind. It also helps in reducing anxiety. Studies suggest that Chicory plant can also reduce stress levels and its harmful consequences especially during pregnancy. Thus, it all helps in reducing the chances of heart diseases and hormonal imbalances.
The sedative properties present in the plant of Chicory helps in inducing sleep. It works greatly for resolving issues of insomnia. This happens because of the calming effect that relaxes the mind. Healthy sleep is very important especially during pregnancy for both, the mother, and the child.
Chicory plant is famously known for its antioxidant properties. These properties help in cleansing the liver. It also helps in fighting bacteria and free radicals and protects the body. During pregnancy, for a normal and healthy growth of the child, it is necessary to protect the mother’s body from foreign bodies. It also helps in boosting immunity.
The root extract of Chicory is said to be an effective diuretic which help in eliminating toxins from the kidney. By removing these toxins from the body, the risk of fluid retention is prevented. It also helps in preventing swelling of the lower extremities among pregnant women.
Chicory plant plays a great role when it comes to absorbing calcium in the body. A study done in 2018 suggests that inulin present in Chicory helps the body absorb calcium and improves bone mineral density. Calcium is one of the most important minerals for women during pregnancy, both for health and baby’s proper development.
One of the most popular use of Chicory is in the form of coffee. It is a beverage made by using the roots of Chicory plant which are roasted, brewed, and grounded into a coffee like drink. The taste of the coffee is slightly nutty and woody in nature. It is popularly used by those trying to reduce their caffeine intake. There exist several health benefits of Chicory coffee such as reducing inflammation, lowering blood sugar levels, and improving the digestive system.
Consumption of coffee during pregnancy has always been a great topic of debate. While it is said that intake of Chicory during pregnancy is healthy in nominal amounts, there happen to exist some myths. Following are some myths regarding the intake of coffee during pregnancy:
- You shouldn’t drink coffee during pregnancy.
- All coffees are created equally.
- Decaffeinated coffee is 100% safe during pregnancy.
- Caffeine is ok in other products.
- There’s no limit on the intake of natural caffeine sources.
Chicory, if consumed in excessive amounts, might lead to severe consequences that would harm the growth and development of the baby. Possible side effects are:
- If allergic to daisies or ragweed, there are chances the person might be allergic to Chicory. It might lead to irritation, itching, swelling on face, shortness of breath, dizziness or even unconsciousness in some cases.
- It is unsafe for people suffering from gallstones as it stimulates the production of bile.
- One of the major risks for pregnant women is that Chicory leads to uterine contractions which might lead to miscarriage.
- The plant might even trigger menstruation during pregnancy which increases the risk of abortion.
- Taking in large quantities leads to bloating, stomach cramps, nausea and flatulence.
- Too much consumption of Chicory leads to weight loss which is unhealthy during pregnancy.