Radicchio (Cichorium intybus) of the Asteraceae family, also known as Italian chicory-is a leafy vegetable with white-veined 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.
Radicchio is packed with antioxidants and high energy. The dark, red radicchio for instant, fares well in the anti-oxidant score at 3537 per every 100grams.
Radicchio helps in the metabolism which is useful for the wellness of the body. Metabolism refers to the body’s rate of conversion of food from one form to another.
Radicchio is quite effective in fighting free radicals in the body. Free radicals are responsible for damaging the DNA of cells, leading to diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Radicchio fares well in the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) which helps in combating free radicals.
Radicchio is rich in fiber hence helpful in management of weight. High fiber makes you full hence keep your desire to eat low; consequently, you will tend to eat less, losing on your weight gradually.
Radicchio is laden with various minerals such as Zinc, copper and magnesium. It is also rich in Vitamin C, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B-6, Vitamins A and E. It is noteworthy that our bodies are able to absorb vitamins and minerals best when obtained from vegetables such as Radicchio as opposed to taking supplements.
Radicchio helps in the management of sugar levels in the body hence minimizing cases of cardiovascular diseases like stroke and heart attack. This is due to the presence of inulin, a substance found in radicchio which helps in the regulation of blood sugar.
Bile is used in the digestive system whereby the bile salts help in the breakdown of fats and amino acids. In the process, it helps in reducing cholesterol in the body. Radicchio assists the body in the production of bile.
The phytonutrients such as lycopene, Ellagic acid and quercitin are responsible for giving radicchio its color. This property is useful in the regulation of blood pressure and consequently, reducing Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) which is responsible for certain types of cancers.
Roasting the radicchio mellows its slightly bitter flavor; balsamic vinegar adds a touch of sweetness. You can use either of the popular varieties of radicchio -- round Verona or slender Treviso -- in this recipe, since they both yield delicious results. Serve the radicchio wedges alongside the pasta.
• 2 medium heads radicchio, quartered lengthwise
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
• 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
• 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put radicchio wedges on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat, and turn each wedge so a cut side faces sheet. Roast, turning once, until leaves are wilted and slightly charred, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a platter.
Just before serving, drizzle vinegar over each wedge, and garnish with cheese shavings.