Crisp and unique with a slightly bitter taste, endive (pronounced “on-deev“) has been cultivated for medicinal purposes since the ancients documented its use 5000 years ago. A member of the chicory family, it is referenced in the infamous Ebers Papyrus (1550, BCE), and praised in the writings of Horace, Ovid, Virgil, Galenus and Pliny. It was rediscovered in the mid-to-late nineteenth century in Belgium, and has since traveled to France (where it is referred to fondly as “White Gold”,) and North America.
Bursting with important minerals like calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, folate, zinc, magnesium and fiber, endive can be used in all-natural cleansers for your liver and gall bladder. Among typical salad greenery, it is the richest source of vitamin A. As a result, endive is an excellent source of beta-carotene (an important antioxidant that boosts your immune system). In fact, by eating endive or drinking endive juice (especially when mixed with carrots, parsley and spinach), you can improve and sometimes even reverse degenerating eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma.
Endive is also an excellent source of vitamins C and B. Regular consumption of endive can lower your risk of heart disease and cancers of the rectum, bladder and melanoma. Because of the complex fibers cellulose and hemicellulose, endive can help regulate your digestive tract and prevent the absorption of cholesterol and balance blood sugar levels. Endive is also low in fat and sodium and has no cholesterol. One head of endive delivers over 50% of the potassium found in a banana.
Naturally crisp and slightly bitter, endive can be boiled, braised, put in coffee or served fresh in salads. By pairing endive with other juices, you can actually prevent and even reverse many illnesses and other, less serious maladies, such as acne. By mixing endive juice with celery and carrots, asthmatics can significantly reduce their susceptibility for asthma attacks. Anemia can be tempered by mixing endive with celery and parsley. It’s helpful in weight loss. Endive provides a whimsical, curly flair to any salad. Its delightfully crisp texture and slightly bitter taste pair well with other mixed greens and vegetables,
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