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

Radicchio Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 93.1 g
Calories: 23 kcal
Protein: 1.4 g
Carbohydrate: 4.5 g
Dietary fiber: 0.9 g
Sugars: 0.6 g
Fat: 0.3 g
Saturated fat: 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1 g
Vitamin C: 8 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.3 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B9: 60 μg
Vitamin A: 1 μg
Vitamin E: 2.3 mg
Vitamin K: 255.2 μg
Calcium: 19 mg
Iron: 0.6 mg
Magnesium: 13 mg
Phosphorus: 40 mg
Potassium: 302 mg
Sodium: 22 mg
Zinc: 0.6 mg

Radicchio (also known as Italian chicory), is a leaf vegetable, and a cultivar of the common chicory plant. Relatively easy to grow, this salad green has a slightly bitter, peppery taste when raw, and a mellower flavour when cooked (it is commonly roasted or grilled). Fantastic raw in a more adventurous salad or simply stirred into risottos, this Mediterranean vegetable is a different choice for those who need more leafy vegetables in their diet, but perhaps are bored of broccoli. Low calorie, nutritious and with great antioxidant potential, radicchio is a great leaf to add to any diet.

Like most things leafy, radicchio is very low in calories. In addition, however, radicchio also has decent amounts of some essential nutrients. 100g of radicchio will cost you just 23 calories: making it a fantastic snack for those looking to restrict their calories. And with 13% of your Daily Value (DV) of vitamin C, 8% DV of potassium, and 5% DV of B6, radicchio boasts an impressive boost to your cardiovascular system. Avoiding common deficiencies like these is vital, but it is actually in the less common vitamins, K and E, that radicchio shines. With over 200% DV of vitamin K and around 15% DV of vitamin E, radicchio’s nutrient density is one more reason to keep exploring the world of leafy greens.

Aside from the nutrient density, radicchio does have one or two interesting health benefits up its sleeve. First, it has very high levels of antioxidant activity, with the authors of that paper speculating that this may be due to anthocyanins in the leaf. In addition, radicchio contains two very interesting compounds: lactucin and lactopiricin. What is interesting about the benefits of these two compounds is twofold: first, they are antimalarial. While it must be admitted that that’s probably not an immediate concern for a lot of our readers, they also have some researched analgesic and sedative properties. If nothing else, this goes to show what a long way we have to go in understanding the nutritional benefits of our foods.