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Dec 6, 2013

Radicchio originated in Italy and its name, when literally translated from Italian to English, means "red chicory." It is closely related to other pleasingly bitter, leafy vegetables such as endive and escarole.

Radicchio "Treviso" Although it is grown in some parts of the United States, the majority of it is imported from the Mediterranean, especially from Italy. Some varieties of radicchio are grown and marketed year-round in California (Royal Rose).
Radicchio is slightly bitter and spicy in taste and is mainly used in salads. It can also be grilled, sauteed or roasted, so as to reduce its bitterness. 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 Royal Rose radicchio was officially certified a superfood based on a laboratory analysis of its nutritional breakdown!

Nutritional content of radicchio
Radicchio is a rich source of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. It also has high amounts of antioxidants and plant phytonutrients. It is low in calories and is free of fats and cholesterol. Radicchio is a good source of selenium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, B-vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E and folate.

Radicchio "Castelfranco"- variegated Health benefits of radicchio

1. Radicchio, like other vegetables high in antioxidants, boost overall health, wellness, and energy. Dark red radicchio has an antioxidant score of 3,537 per 100 grams. Antioxidant-rich foods support the body’s metabolism.
In a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, 40 vegetable varieties were analyzed for total phenolic content. Radicchio was higher in total phenols compared to all the other lettuces tested - and indeed had 236% more polyphenols than three types of green leaf lettuce. Radicchio's polyphenol content was also much higher compared to other veggie staples: 684% higher than cucumbers, 119% higher than broccoli and 245% higher than beet greens. Of all the different plant foods tested, highest of all in polyphenols, in descending order, were violet artichokes, red chili peppers, red beets and radicchio. Polyphenols are thought to help neutralize dangerous free radicals which increase the oxidation (think "rust") of otherwise healthy cells.With its high ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) score, radicchio fights the cell damage to DNA that may lead to coronary heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Radicchio "Chioggia" - red 2. Radicchio promotes weight loss by virtue of its high fiber that makes you full and keeps you satiated for longer. 

3. The bitter principle in radicchio is lactucopicrin (intybin), a sesquiterpene lactone which is a potent antimalarial agent and has a sedative and analgesic (painkiller) effect.

4. Radicchio promotes bile production which in turn improves digestion and reduces cholesterol. Reducing cholesterol is directly beneficial to heart health and vigor.

5. Radicchio is an excellent source of vitamin K which has an important role in bone health 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 Alzheimer’s disease.

Radicchio "Chioggia" - variegated 6. Radicchio has 22% of the riboflavin you should consume every day. Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, is an essential vitamin required for proper energy metabolism and cellular processes. Riboflavin aids in metabolizing respiratory proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Riboflavin helps the body sustain healthful skin, nails, eyes, mouths, lips, and tongue. Riboflavin is important for normal vision and to prevent cataracts, and has helped some patients successfully treat migraine headaches.

7. Radicchio is an excellent source of phenolic flavonoid antioxidants such as zea-xanthin and lutein which are known to offer protection to age related eye macular disease by filtering harmful ultraviolet rays.
In a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, 40 vegetable varieties were analyzed for total phenolic content. Radicchio was higher in total phenols compared to all the other lettuces tested - and indeed had 236% more polyphenols than three types of green leaf lettuce. Radicchio's polyphenol content was also much higher compared to other veggie staples: 684% higher than cucumbers, 119% higher than broccoli and 245% higher than beet greens. Of all the different plant foods tested, highest of all in polyphenols, in descending order, were violet artichokes, red chili peppers, red beets and radicchio.
Polyphenols are thought to help neutralize dangerous free radicals which increase the oxidation (think "rust") of otherwise healthy cells.
- See more at: https://www.healthy100.org/articles/radical-radicchio#sthash.kzGlG18u.rvQoCQsN.dpuf
In a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, 40 vegetable varieties were analyzed for total phenolic content. Radicchio was higher in total phenols compared to all the other lettuces tested - and indeed had 236% more polyphenols than three types of green leaf lettuce. Radicchio's polyphenol content was also much higher compared to other veggie staples: 684% higher than cucumbers, 119% higher than broccoli and 245% higher than beet greens. Of all the different plant foods tested, highest of all in polyphenols, in descending order, were violet artichokes, red chili peppers, red beets and radicchio.
Polyphenols are thought to help neutralize dangerous free radicals which increase the oxidation (think "rust") of otherwise healthy cells.
- See more at: https://www.healthy100.org/articles/radical-radicchio#sthash.kzGlG18u.rvQoCQsN.dpuf
8. Chicories, like radicchio, contain a substance called inulin, which naturally helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Diabetes is linked to heart disease and stroke, so by controlling blood sugar levels with chicory patients can lower their risk of cardiovascular disease and complications.
Radicchio "Verona" 9. Health benefits of chicory include its effectiveness at fighting intestinal worms and parasites, aiding in digestion and colon cleansing, and helping to cleanse the blood, liver and circulatory system of harmful toxins. A healthy circulatory system supports overall fitness.
10. The dark red color of radicchio is also important. The red color in fruits and vegetables denotes phytonutrients such as lycopene, ellagic acid, quercetin and hesperidin. Their phytochemical properties are beneficial in regulating blood pressure levels, lowering bad cholesterol levels, and reducing the risk of certain types of cancer.


Here's an idea to take advantage of the benefits of radicchio...

Radicchio and white bean salad
Ingredients
1/4 cup sliced garlic
1 15 ounce can cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained
1/4 cup plus 4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 anchovy, finely chopped
2 heads Royal Rose Treviso, sliced in half through core
2 Tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Sauté garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil until golden brown. Combine garlic, beans, 1/4 cup olive oil, anchovies, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl, set aside. Brush treviso with remaining olive oil and grill until soft. Protect tips of leaves from burning with aluminum foil. Pour bean mixture over Treviso and garnish with parsley.

From: http://rulethediet.blogspot.ca/2013/12/health-benefits-of-radicchio.html

Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Friday December 6, 2013, 10:40 am
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