Endive (Cichorium endivia) is a green leaf vegetable with a hint of bitter flavor. It belongs to the Asteraceae (daisy) family and is closely related to chicory, radicchio and Belgian endive (witloof). There are 2 main cultivar varieties that exist: curly-endive with curly narrow leaves and broad-leaved escarole.
Nutritional Content of Endive
All endive varieties are excellent sources of calcium, zinc, iron, manganese, thiamin and potassium. It is also rich in vitamin A and vitamin C. In addition, endive is a source of folate, B-complex vitamins and selenium. Endive is low in calories and fat and has high fiber content.
Health Benefits of Endive
1. Healthy bones and teeth: Endives are a good source of calcium which is necessary for maintaining bone and teeth health and keeping osteoporosis and other bone diseases at bay.
2. Digestive health: Rich fiber content of endives promotes digestion and helps relieve constipation.
3. Fight cancer: The vitamin A content in endives helps prevent cancers of rectum, bladder and melanoma cancer. Vitamin E present in endive helps prevent prostate cancer.
4. Promotes eye health: Endive is enriched with good amount of vitamin A and beta-carotene, compounds with antioxidant properties that help maintain good eye sight.
5. Weight loss: The low calories contained in endive coupled with high fiber content make them an excellent food in a weight loss program.
6. Nourished skin: The loads of nutrients and vitamins helps vitalize the skin and nourishes mucus membranes of the skin helping to maintain excellent skin.
7. Boosts immune system: Thanks to the vitamin C in endive, the body’s immune system is benefitted by fighting off detrimental bacteria.
8. Prevent Alzheimer’s disease: Studies have shown that vitamin E may help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Endives contain adequate amounts of vitamin E.
9. Good during pregnancy: The folate found in endives plays a vital part in helping protect babies from being born with birth defects.
10. Heart health: Endives help counter hypertension owing to their potassium content. They are low in cholesterol and saturated fat making them a heart friendly food and can help stave off coronary disease. The inherent inulin in endives helps lower LDL cholesterol playing a vital part in the health of cardiovascular system.
Endive can be a nice addition to one’s garden. Why not grow endive? Find Endive seeds at our online store. Happy Gardening and Healthy Eating!