DIET AND FITNESS:

Endives --- What Are They Good For?
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December 17, 2016

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist






Have you heard of endive? This distinguished member of the
chicory family is one of the most difficult vegetables to grow,
and actually needs to be grown twice. Endive has a crisp
texture and a nutty taste with a hint of bitterness. It tastes
great raw or cooked and, as it turns out, the vegetable is
surprisingly good for your health.

The History of Endives

The story goes that endive was discovered in Belgium in
1830 by a man who forgot he’d put some chicory roots in
his cellar. When they had sprouted, he found a new type of
plant with tasty leaves. The endive was introduced to Paris in
1872 and quickly gained the nickname “white gold”. The
French pronounce it “on-deev,” by the way.

Growing endive is a labor of love. The first growth of the
plant takes around 150 days and in this time the chicory
grows from a seed into a leafy plant. When harvested, the
top of the plant is cut off and the roots are dug up, and then
places in cold storage.

The second growth occurs when the plants are taken from
cold storage and grown again in a cool, dark room – rather
like a mushroom.

Therefore endives can be grown year-round. It sounds like a
lot of effort for a simple salad plant but there are many
rewards – including health benefits like protection against
cognitive decline, benefits from dietary fiber, and even help
for treating liver disease.

How to Use and Store Endive

You don't need to wash endive before eating as the leaves
have not touched the soil. If you are eating endive raw,
remove the core; when cooking it is not necessary to remove
it, as it sweetens with cooking.

Endive is ideal for combining with other greens in a salad. It
has a distinctive tangy taste and it can also be served in
soups and stir fries. Try endive in a salad with a honey
balsamic dressing, combined with apples, walnuts and blue
cheese.

What Are the Nutritional Benefits of Endives?

Endive is surprisingly full of nutritional benefits. If you eat
just a couple of cups of endive – 100g – you get 43 percent
of the daily value of vitamin A, as well as 35 percent of
folate, and 21 percent of manganese.

In addition, 100g of endive gives you a massive 289 percent
of the daily value for vitamin K. Vitamin K is important for
healthy blood clotting.

Other vitamins in endive include thiamin, niacin, pantothenic
acid, and pyridoxine. Endive contains flavonoids that can
protect against inflammation and cell damage.

We looked closely at endive to find out exactly how this
special vegetable can benefit your health.

























1.
Vitamin A in Endive Helps Protect Against Cognitive Decline

Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body and
research shows that men who take beta carotene
supplements have a lower risk of experiencing cognitive
decline than other men.

In 2016, scientists from Harvard Medical School
demonstrated that men with high levels of beta carotene
over 15 years or more had a significantly lower risk of
suffering from cognitive decline.

The study looked at 4,052 men. Experts think that beta
carotene in endive helps because it is an antioxidant that
helps to protect against cell damage.

2.
Endives Contain High Levels of Vitamin K

Vitamin K helps your blood to clot correctly but it also plays
an important role in the formation of bone, according to
experts.

Scientists have been looking at Vitamin K, which is found in
high levels in endive, as a means of helping protect against
bone loss and therefore help prevent osteoporosis.

In a 2003 study from University of Maastricht, The
Netherlands, 181 women taking Vitamin K along with
calcium, Vitamin D and magnesium lost less bone during the
trial than the women taking the other nutrients alone.

3.
Endive is a Good Dietary Source of Folate

Did you know that eating endive may help if you are
suffering from depression?

That’s because folate (endive contains 142mcg of folate per
100g) has been suggested as a treatment for depression in
several studies.

A 2000 study from MRC Neuropsychiatry Laboratory, West
Park Hospital, Surrey, in the UK found folate supplements at
a dose of 500mcg daily helped antidepressants work more
effectively – but only in women. So, who knows, perhaps
eating endive will help chase away the blues.

4.
The Manganese in Endive Strengthens Your Bones

Given that a 100g serving of endive contains 21 percent of
the daily value for manganese, it is a good source of this
important nutrient.

Manganese helps your blood to clot as well as helps form
bones, tissues, and hormones.

Manganese in endive could also help ease menstrual
discomfort, according to a small 1993 study from Grand
Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, the United States
Department of Agriculture. The study showed that 10
women taking 5.6mg of manganese a day experienced fewer
symptoms of menstrual discomfort compared to women
taking a placebo.

While you may not get this much manganese by eating
endive, it could be worth a try for natural pain relief.

5.
Get Dietary Fiber by Eating Endives

Eating 100g of endives provides 3.1g of fiber, which is 12
percent of the recommended daily value. This is good news
considering that the same amount delivers just 71kcal.

New 2016 research from the University of Michigan Medical
School shows that our bodies must get enough fiber,
otherwise the gut microbes actually start eating your gut.

The researchers looked at specially-bred mice that were
raised without gut bacteria of their own. Bacteria were
introduced, and the mice put on diets with varying amounts
of fiber. Gut microbes rely on fiber for food.

When the diet lacked fiber, the gut microbes started eating
the mucus lining of the gut, and within a few days they had
started to attack the colon wall. This action makes the gut
more prone to infections. Boost your fiber intake with leafy
vegetables like endive.

6.
Endive May Protect Against Liver Disease

A 2011 study from Peking Union Medical College and Chinese
Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China shows that
extract of endive actually has a protective effect on the liver.
The scientists discovered that properties in endive blocked
the oxidative stress on cells and helped to protect against
toxicity, protecting cells from oxidative damage. The
scientists suggest that endive could be a “safe remedy to
cure liver disease”.

7.
Flavonoids in Endive Lower Your Risk for Cancer and
Heart Disease

Kaempferol is a flavonoid found in edible plants like endive,
cabbage, kale, and beans, and it has a strongly protective
effect on human health, according to a 2011 study from the
University of Seville, Sevilla, Spain.

According to the authors of the report, “some
epidemiological studies have found a positive association
between the consumption of foods containing kaempferol
and a reduced risk of developing several disorders such as
cancer and cardiovascular diseases.” These studies include a
2016 report from Chungbuk National University in the
Republic of Korea that looks into the positive action of
kaempferol against breast cancer cells.

The flavonoid kaempferol  has “a wide range of
pharmacological activities, including antioxidant, anti-
inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, cardio protective,
neuroprotective, antidiabetic, anti-osteoporotic,
estrogenic/antiestrogenic, anxiolytic, analgesic and
antiallergic activities.”












































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Endives are rich in Vitamin K which
helps your blood to clot.