Radicchio or known as Italian chicory, is a leaf chicory vegetable that has white-veined red leaves. It has a spicy and bitter taste, which softens when roasted or grilled.
It is often confused as red cabbage, but there are a few differences. Radicchio’s leaves are tender and thinner, while red cabbage has a firm and waxy texture. Radicchio is burgundy-red i color with white streaks, whereas the red cabbage is purpler.
Nutritional Content of Radicchio:
Radicchio is known to be a rich source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. It has high amounts of phytonutrients and antioxidants.
Also, it is low in calories and is cholesterol and fat free. Radicchio is a good source of phosphorus, selenium, calcium, potassium, B-vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K and folate.
Below are the 8 Health Benefits of Radicchio:
1. Boosts Digestion
Radicchio has an amazing effect on bile production, which in turn boosts digestion. An improved digestion supports a healthy digestive system and cleansing. This vegetable can help avoid indigestion and other related problems.
2. Fights Cancer
Radicchio is rich in antioxidant, which helps in fighting against free radical damage. Also, it checks cancer cell growth and prevent the onset of several cancers.
3. Helps in Weight Loss
Radicchio is low in calories, but it makes consumer feel fuller without consuming more calories. Just once cup of radicchio contains 9 calories. This is a good food to eat, to help in weight loss.
4. Helps Lower Your Blood Pressure
Radicchio contains ellagic acid, quercetin and the phytonutrients lycopene. Studies have shown that it helps decrease the systolic blood pressure, the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats.
Also, it contains more potassium than sodium. Potassium helps contribute in the reduction of hypertension and relaxes blood vessels while maintaining the proper blood flow.
5. Maintains Skin Health
Radicchio contains a spectrum of B-complex vitamins that helps replenish your eyes, skin,and nails. The vitamins are important for many vital cellular processes such as energy conversion. Folate is required for optimal red blood cells.
6. Promotes Eye Health
Though radicchio contains low amounts of vitamin A, it has high amount of phenolic flavonoid antioxidants, such as lutein and zeaxanthin.
One hundred grams of the radicchio leaves provide 8,832 micrograms of both lutein and zeaxanthin. Zeaxanthin concentrates in the central retina of the eyes. While lutein, helps protect eyes from age-related macular disease by filtering harmful UV or ultraviolet rays.
7. Promotes Bone Health
Just one cup of radicchio contains 128% of the needed vitamin K. Sufficient vitamin K consumption acts as a modifier of bone matrix proteins, prevents bone loss, improves calcium absorption, and prevents osteoporosis.
8. Promotes Heart Health
Radicchio’s nutrient content are very beneficial for the heart. Its fiber content, reduces cholesterol while increased bile production supports the same.
Also, it helps in cleansing the blood and removing harmful toxins. This maintains an efficient circulatory system. You can say that radicchio maintains good cardiovascular health in more ways than one.