Here's What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Chicory Root

The chicory plant has been around for quite a long time. It's native to northern Africa, western Asia, and Europe — although humans may have been consuming chicory since the ancient Egyptians were around, according to The Spruce Eats. The French were among the first to turn chicory root into a coffee substitute — which saved those who lived in Louisiana from grief in 1840 when coffee imports were blocked from entering the New Orleans harbor. 


Eat This, Not That! says chicory root is high in soluble fiber called inulin, which dissolves in water and can make you feel fuller for longer. It's also credited with balancing blood sugar and bringing your cholesterol levels down. You may not think you've eaten chicory root, but if you look closely at the ingredients in your protein bar, you may find chicory root listed. That's because manufacturers use the ingredient to bump up the fiber content in processed food (via Self). When used in that form, chicory root is listed as "chicory root," "chicory root fiber," "chicory root extract," "chicory fiber syrup," or "chicory inulin."

Chicory root can help with digestive health

Since it contains plenty of inulin, regularly eating chicory has the ability to help boost gut health and relieve digestive problems, such as constipation, per Health. It is also said to have prebiotic properties, which also boost digestive health and can increase your body's ability to absorb nutrients, such as calcium and magnesium. A study showed that chicory root can help regulate both blood sugar and insulin levels. The root also contains different kinds of antioxidants which are known to fight inflammation and help improve the health of your arteries. In animal studies, chicory was even seen to protect against liver damage.


While chicory is generally seen as being safe to consume, having too much of it can also trigger side effects that include stomach pains, gas and bloating, as well as burping. Eat This, Not That! also says that even if chicory root is fiber-rich, you are better off eating foods in their natural state and minimize eating processed foods, even if they are chicory-rich.