benefits of radicchio

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Benefits of Radicchio

1. Radicchio
Radicchio (pronounced radeekyoh) is a leaf chicory, sometimes called Italian chicory, and is a perennial. Radicchio (Cichorium intybus) is grown as a leaf vegetable which usually has whiteveined red or purple leaves and it belongs to theAsteraceaefamily. Radicchio in general, has a bitter and spicy taste, which mellows when grilled or roasted. Radicchio has been in existence since ancient times and Pliny the Elder, the ancient Roman philosopher, praised radicchio for its medicinal properties, claiming that it was useful as a blood purifier and an aid for insomniacs. He was definitely on to something because when Italian scientists recently tested radicchio phenol content it scored high!
2. Overview
Radicchio (Cichorium intybus) of the Asteraceae family, also known as Italian chicoryis a leafy vegetable with whiteveined red leaves. It has a characteristic bitter and spicy taste which reduces after grilling or roasting. The following are the various health benefits associated with this vegetable plant.
3. History
Pliny the Elderclaimed radicchio was useful as abloodpurifier and an aid forinsomniacsinNaturalis Historia. In fact, radicchio containsintybin, a sedative/analgesic, as well as a type offlavonoidcalledanthocyaninwhich is used for makingdyesensitized solar cells.
4. Varieties
The varieties of radicchio are named after the Italian regions where they originate: the most ubiquitous variety in the United States is radicchio diChioggia, which is maroon, round, and about the size of a grapefruit. Radicchio is burgundyred with white streaks. Its light when you hold it in your hand and soft to the touch. The price ranges from $36 a pound.
5. Nutritional Content of Radicchio
Radicchio rosso diTrevisoresembles a large redBelgian endive. Radicchio (pronounced raDEEKeeo) is a leafy member of the chicory family, often called Italian chicory, which explains its bold, bitter flavor. Although its compact like red cabbage, radicchios leaves are thinner and more tender unlike red cabbages firm and waxy texture.
6. Excellent source of vitamin K
Radicchio is an excellent source of vitamin K which has an important role in bone healthy promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strength) activity. Further, adequate vitamin K levels which can be got by consuming radicchio helps limit neuronal damage in the brain and is thus an established treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimers disease.
7. Excellent source of phenolic flavonoid antioxidants
Radicchio is an excellent source of phenolic flavonoid antioxidants such as zeaxanthin and lutein which are known to offer protection to age related macular disease by filtering harmful ultraviolet rays. radicchio pairs best with sweet, salty and acidic ingredients such as oranges, prosciutto and balsamic vinegar. Thats why this early spring Radicchio and Orange Salad with CitrusChampagne Vinaigrette, is so pleasing.
8. High fiber content
Radicchio aids digestion and colon cleansing by its high fiber content. Also radicchio has been used to fight intestinal worms and parasites to great effect. An Italian relative of chicory, radicchio is a forced crop and has distinctive red and white leaves. The exact nature of its colouring depends upon how much light it has been exposed to when growing if none at all, the contrast between the white ribs and the deep red leaves will be very strong. If it has seen some light, the white and red will be softened with patches of green or copper.
9. Antioxidant and energy Boost
Radicchio is packed with antioxidants and high energy. The dark, red radicchio for instant, fares well in the antioxidant score at 3537 per every 100grams. Shaped like a small cabbage, its mainly used in salads, and its bitter flavour contrasts well with milder leaves such as rocket. The leaves themselves are tender but the heads are sturdy enough to be cut and grilled.
10. Body metabolism
Radicchio helps in the metabolism which is useful for the wellness of the body. Metabolism refers to the bodys rate of conversion of food from one form to another. A member of the Composite or Asteraceae family Green radicchio is more commonly known as Sugarloaf chicory or Pain de Sucre in French and Blanc di Milan in Italian. Botanically part of Cichorium intybus, Green radicchio is a perennial heading variety of chicory that is most often grown as an annual. The most commonly grown varieties of radicchio in Italy today are radicchio Verde Selvatico and radicchio Verde Pan di Zucchero.

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