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Endive

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Endive Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 93.8 g
Calories: 17 kcal
Protein: 1.3 g
Carbohydrate: 3.4 g
Dietary fiber: 3.1 g
Sugars: 0.3 g
Fat: 0.2 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1 g
Vitamin C: 6.5 mg
Vitamin B1: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B2: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.4 mg
Vitamin B9: 142 μg
Vitamin A: 108 μg
Vitamin E: 0.4 mg
Vitamin K: 231 μg
Calcium: 52 mg
Iron: 0.8 mg
Magnesium: 15 mg
Phosphorus: 28 mg
Potassium: 314 mg
Sodium: 22 mg
Zinc: 0.8 mg

Endive is a leaf vegetable belonging to the chicory genus, placing it alongside foods such as radicchio, sugarloaf and the Belgian endive. Belgian endive (a variety of common chicory, like radicchio) is often confused with endive because of the name, but in fact endive is a different species: Cichorium endivia.

Endive comes in two main forms: curly endive and escarole, with escarole being less bitter, and has a wide variety of culinary applications, although admittedly often in a series of exotic salads. Low-calorie, nutritious and high in phytonutrients, endive is a great leafy addition to any balanced diet.

Nutritionally, endive shines most prominently as a great weight loss food, because of two things: it is low-calorie and high in fibre. One head of endive (513g) contains just 87 calories, and 64% of your Daily Value (DV) of fibre. Someone would have to eat huge amounts to gain any substantial amount of calories, and the high water and fibre values both contribute to high satiety levels, making sure that dieters continue to lose weight.

But endive also benefits from a number of other nutritional highlights, with a head of endive containing 222% of your DV of vitamin A, 52% DV of vitamin C, 46% DV of potassium, 26% DV of calcium, and 23% DV of iron. While you probably won’t eat a whole head in one go, considering you get all this nutrition for 87 calories, this is quite the nutrient dense food. In addition, these essential vitamins and minerals are great for the long-term health of everything from your eyes to your bones, so it’s important not to skimp on them!

While chicory has unfortunately not been studied much in isolation, there are two evidence based benefits to report. The first is that extracts from the plant may protect the liver, with there being some evidence that endive extract has the ability to prevent and treat liver disease. In addition, endive is high in the flavonoid kaempferol, which has been shown to provide protection from blood vessel damage, and has a broad cancer-protective effect.