Escarole: 6 benefits and healthy recipes

Escarole benefits and healthy recipes

Have you ever eaten escarole? This vegetable, which is also called chicory , has a characteristic bitter taste and can be consumed in different ways, but it is still not so popular in Brazil.

This vegetable has a slimming effect, helps to regulate bowel function and also prevents anemia, all because it is full of important nutrients.

Curious to learn more and enjoy this food? So stick it here, because nutritionist Jéssika Gracielly exposed some of the positive points of adding it to your diet.

Discover 6 benefits of consuming endive

The nutritionist explains that endive is a very rich food nutritionally speaking, as it is full of vitamins and minerals important for health..

In each 100-gram portion, according to her, it is possible to find vitamins A, the complex B, C , E and K. ( 1 )

Furthermore, it draws attention to the good fractions of dietary fiber and minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc , potassium, selenium, phosphorus, manganese and copper in the leaves.

Vegetables are still a source of proteins and essential amino acids, with a greater emphasis on arginine. ( 2 )

1. Helps you lose weight with health

According to the professional, there are good reasons why endive is often indicated in weight loss diets.

The first one is the fact that it has a very low caloric value . An amount of 100 grams of the vegetable has only 16 calories. ( 1 )

Also because it is a source of several nutrients, it provides most of the compounds necessary for the body to remain healthy, but without causing a caloric accumulation that leads to weight gain.

Another point is that it is full of dietary fiber , about 1.9 grams per serving, which serve to satiate hunger faster and take longer to be removed from the stomach.

As a result, you feel less like eating throughout the day. Reducing calorie intake. ( 3 )

2. Regulates the bowel

Fiber also has another very important function: to regulate bowel function.

To better understand: This is a part of food that the body cannot digest, passing straight to the intestines, taking with it a large amount of water.

There, they increase the size of the stool, forcing the body to secrete it faster, while leaving the poop with a softer consistency, allowing for a smoother exit, and speeding up the peristaltic movements, which push it all out. ( 3 )

3. It’s good for mom and baby

The presence of folic acid in endive favors the health of pregnant women and babies, as it acts in the formation of the nervous system of fetuses and newborns.

This vitamin is used in the formation of children’s central nervous system. Thus, its supplementation is necessary to prevent deficiencies such as spina bifida and anencephaly.

The nutrient is equally important at other stages of life and reduces the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia, chronic diseases and even affects the fertility rate of men and women. ( 4 )

4. Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer

The consumption of endive is linked to a lower chance of developing colon and rectal cancer , as it prevents the growth of tumors and the spread of the disease to other tissues. ( 5 )

The plant also protects the body against injuries caused oxidative stress, improving the response of the immune system (body defense) so that they can identify diseased regions faster and this is due to the presence of phenolic compounds. ( 6 )

Fibers, on the other hand, are capable of fermenting when they reach the intestines, favoring the proliferation of beneficial bacterial flora, which is another key point in preventing this type of cancer, because these microorganisms protect the region against various aggressions. ( 3 )

5. Protects against anemia

“It is worth noting that it is of great importance for the treatment of anemia because it is a source of iron . It also acts as a tonic for the blood , helping the blood production process in the body”, says nutritionist Jéssika Gracielly.

Iron, as she also warned, is used the body in the production of red blood cells (red blood cells), which are a type of blood cell and are responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.

When its levels are insufficient, there is a decrease in these small structures, causing a loss for this shipping rate. Because of this, the main symptoms of the disease are usually muscle weakness and dizziness.

6. Strengthens bones

The last benefit of escarole on our list is that it strengthens the bones and thus prevents fractures and diseases such as osteoporosis , which are caused the weakening of this structure.

Calcium, present in the leaves of the vegetable, is continuously deposited in the bones to make up for the natural deterioration of bone cells.

Dental health also benefits from this, ok? Since, as with the skeletal system, they also need calcium from their diet to stay strong and healthy. ( 7 )

How to eat: amazing recipes with escarole

Endive cake

dough ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • ½ cup of oil
  • ¾ cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 puff of salt.

stuffing ingredients

  • 1 bunch of finely chopped endive
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • tomatoes 
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Preparation mode

Beat the dough ingredients in a blender, until you get a very smooth mixture, and set aside. Saute the onion until it becomes transparent. Then add the endive, tomato and season everything with salt and pepper.

Place half of the dough in a large baking tin, previously greased with butter and flour, distribute the filling evenly and cover with the rest of the dough. Bring to a preheated fire at 180ºC to bake for 30 minutes or until golden.

Endive pizza


  • 1 medium pizza dough
  • 1 mallet of endive
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup of homemade tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • Salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese to taste.

Preparation mode

Saute the garlic with oil over low heat. Add the escarole cut very finely, add salt and pepper and cook until the leaves wither.

Spread the tomato sauce on the pizza dough, spread the stew and finish with the cheese. Place in a high oven, and preheated, for about 10 minutes and the pizza will be ready to be enjoyed.

Light salad with endive


  • 1 mallet (foot) of endive
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • ½ cup diced ricotta
  • ¼ cup of olives
  • 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons of oil.

Preparation mode

Tear off the endive leaves, using your bare hands, and place in a large bowl. Then add the tomatoes, diced ricotta and chopped olives and mix everything together.

In another container mix the vinegar with the oil. Serve the salad, adding the sauce just before serving to keep the leaves crisp.

How to choose, sanitize and store

There are two main types of endive, the one with the smooth leaf and the one with the curly leaf, but in both cases they need to be shiny, firm and without blemishes in order to be in perfect condition for consumption.

A tip is to squeeze a sheet between your fingers, if it is firm, it’s good to take home.

Before eating, the leaves should be washed under running water to remove visible dirt, and then left to soak for at least 10 minutes in a solution of 1 teaspoon of bleach for each liter of water. Especially if they are eaten raw.

After sanitizing, you can eat it raw, use the vegetable in your favorite recipe, or dry and store it in the underside of the refrigerator, in an open bag, for 3 or 4 days.

If you want to freeze , to keep it longer, you must cook the leaves for 3 minutes and then store them in a plastic bag. Thus, they last up to 3 months in the freezer. ( 8 )

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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