Chicory root - what it is and why we use it
Chicory root comes from a plant with bright blue flowers that belongs to the dandelion family. Chicory has been used for centuries in cooking and traditional medicine. You’ll commonly find it used to make a coffee alternative, as it has a similar taste and colour.
We want to talk about Chicory root, its health benefits, and why we use it in our products.
How is Chicory root used today?
Nowadays, the fibre from this root is often extracted and processed down into powder or liquid form and used in food manufacturing and health supplements. We use the liquid form in our Roam bars as the mixing process is much easier.
Chicory root is composed of 68% inulin. Inulin is a type of fibre known as a fructan or fructooligosaccharide. A carbohydrate made from a short chain of fructose molecules that your body doesn’t digest. Other food sources of inulin include:
Chicory has a very low GI rating due in part to its high fibre content. Carbohydrates are often categorised into high and Low GI, which refers to how fast they increase glucose levels in the blood.
Health benefits of Chicory
Inulin acts as a prebiotic, meaning that it feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut. These helpful bacteria play a role in reducing inflammation, fighting harmful bacteria, and improving mineral absorption.
Additionally, foods containing Inulin may support normal bowel movements as the fibre passes through your digestive tract undigested feeding bacteria along the way.
You will likely see many articles about Chicory supporting blood sugar balance, carbohydrate metabolism and increasing Insulin sensitivity. This may well be true, but our take on this is that these studies are small and still in their early stages, so need to be taken with a pinch of salt rather than absolute truth.
The number one way to regulate blood sugar balance and improve carbohydrate metabolism is to build your diet around quality protein, plant fibres, and low GI carbohydrates. This, in conjunction with the right training program and adequate recovery, will help with body composition, which is also critical when it comes to how efficiently our bodies process and use carbohydrates.
Why we use it
We use Chicory in our bars to add a very subtle sweetness to complement our grass-fed beef’s savoury flavour. We chose Chicory because of its taste and nutritional profile.
Including Chicory, dried fruits, berries, and roasted nuts in our Roam bars means they’re high in beneficial fibre, which we feel is quite unique considering that its a bar made primarily from beef.
As we always say, it's widely regarded that diets centered around minimally processed foods that are high in quality protein and plant fibres are the most sustainable and beneficial for us. We feel we’ve captured this into a convenient format with our Roam bars.