Fascinating Benefits Of Radicchio To Take Into Consideration

These days many people prefer a healthy lifestyle to an unhealthy one. We can’t say that it is a bad thing – quite on the contrary. However, while a healthy diet involves vegetables and fruit on a daily basis, you are to get bored of the same food quite soon. The thing is that the first thing that you think of when on a healthy diet – a salad. A salad usually involves lots of green, and when consuming it day by day, you may grow tired of it as time passes. That is why today we have something to surprise you with. Today we are going to talk about radicchio. In case, you haven’t heard about it yet, it is a vegetable of Italian origin, which dates as back as ancient Roman times. This vegetable was of great value then, and when you learn more about it, you will not be surprised why. In order not to keep you waiting long we are going to begin our story about unusual vegetable radicchio and its tremendous benefits on your health if you introduce it into your menu!


What Is Radicchio?

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Of course, we should begin the story with the description of what is radicchio, in the first place. As a matter of fact, it is a vegetable native to Italy. It belongs to the Asteraceae family. When it comes to the outlook and the size, it is no bigger than a grapefruit, but the coloring is genuinely magnificent. It possesses wine-red leaves, which are covered with white veins. It should be mentioned also that various cultivars of this vegetable are named after the provincial cities of Veneto they are grown in. For instance:

  • Chioggia is very small, and its leaves are very bitter and beet-red colored.
  • Treviso has long, well-arranged leaves that taste a little less bitter.
  • Radicchio variegate di Castelfranco has a mild bitter flavor and loose leaves.
  • Verona also has loose, red leaves with white veins and peculiar taste.

Now, when you know about all the types of radicchio, it is time you also learn why it is so popular among those who lead a healthy lifestyle. Read on, and you will learn everything about the benefits of this unusual vegetable.


Health Benefits Of Radicchio

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As promised, all radicchio health benefits gathered in one place at your disposal:

  • The element that grants radicchio its bitter taste is a powerful sedative as well as a painkiller.
  • Due to being high in fiber, it keeps you feeling full for long, and that helps the weight loss process.
  • The antioxidants it is packed with supply your organism with energy and add up to the overall health.
  • This vegetable also increases bile production, which results in proper digestion and lowered cholesterol levels.
  • Radicchio is full of vitamin K, which is necessary for healthy bones. What is more, the very same vitamin K helps against neuronal damage in the brain.
  • The flavonoid antioxidants in this vegetable protect you from the age-related macular disease in the way of filtering the UV rays.
  • Radicchio helps against the free radicals in the human body.
  • Since it can add up to the blood sugar level regulation, it also reduces the risk of heart disease or diabetes and even cancer.
  • This plant can also help those who suffer from intestinal parasites.
  • It improves the eyesight.

How To Use Radicchio?

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After we have learned everything about the potent benefits of radicchio, it is time to figure out how to consume it. To tell the truth, there are various ways you can introduce this useful vegetable into your menu. Depending on your preferences, choose the best one or try them all.

  • Salad: it is true that the first thing that comes to mind when you think about a vegetable is a salad and radicchio is undoubtedly not the exception. You need to keep it in mind, though that the addition of this plant to your salad will introduce its spicy flavor to the salad. If you are okay with it then pair radicchio with your favorite veggies, dress them with lemon juice and olive oil and enjoy the tasty and healthy food!
  • Vegetable Smoothie: in case salads are not your cup of tea and you are looking for a nutritious smoothie instead, radicchio can be helpful too. Just combine it with carrots, spinach, celery, and apples, and you will get a drink that will keep you full throughout the day.
  • Sautéing: truth be told when you sauté this plant its flavor changes dramatically. The thing is that the bitterness almost disappears and then you can increase the number of dishes to add this component to.
  • Salting: this procedure as well as sautéing reduces the spicy flavor, which makes it consumable for a broader range of people.
  • Sweetening: it is true that you can combine radicchio with sugar or jam, to even the taste, but that is something that only a few people may enjoy. However, it is still worth trying out.


How To Find And Select Radicchio?

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We are sure that when you know about all the radicchio benefits and the ways to introduce it into your menu, it seems only fair to figure out how to select it. While you can find it in many stores, you need to be able to choose the right one too. Here is a list of things to pay attention to while picking up a right radicchio:

  • First of all, you need to pay attention to the firmness of the head. It is supposed to be crisp and well hydrated.
  • If you notice that the edges of the plant are going brown, rest assured – this one is not good for you.
  • Even though, radicchio is quite small it still should not be too light for the size.

As it has been already noted, this vegetable is pretty small in size, and that means that some people can consume it in one serving. However, if you wish to store it, here is what you need to do:

  • Wrap it in a paper towel.
  • Place it in a plastic bag.
  • Store it up to four days in the fridge.

Possible Side Effects

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People are all different and if someone can eat radicchio in significant amounts – other people may be allergic to it. That is one of its few downsides. This means that in case you feel a swelling of your mouth or throat, your lips begin to itch you should better stop consuming radicchio. In cases like this, you need to consult your doctor immediately. Also, it is said that pregnant or breastfeeding ladies need to keep away from radicchio although there is no actual proof that it can be harmful. However, it is still the safest to speak with your doctor first.

Radicchio is a vegetable of Italian origin that you need to be familiar with. Not only is it tasty but very useful. All the benefits, ways of cooking it and even the side effects are gathered in one place! And if you like eating plums you can read about plum benefits.


FAQ: Radicchio

Is radicchio a lettuce or cabbage?

Radicchio is a leafy vegetable which is similar to red cabbage, however, it does not belong neither to lettuce nor cabbage. It has a bitter taste and fleshy texture. These vegetables are red chicories which are grown in the Veneto region of northern Italy.

Can I eat radicchio raw?

Radicchio is a vegetable that can both be consumed raw and cooked. As it belongs to chicories group, it can be used in place of chicory and escarole in most recipes. Cooking it makes it taste less bitter. You can use radicchio in salads, pasta, soup and pizza.