Radicchio (scientifical name – Cichorium intybus), also known as Italian chicory, is a leafy vegetable which has white stems/veins and red leaves. It is most commonly confused with the purple lettuce and cabbage and is related to the Belgian endive.
It has a spicy and bitter taste, that mellows when roasted or grilled.
Possible substitutions of radicchio include the following:
- curly endive;
- Belgian endive.
100g of raw radicchio contains:
- 23 calories;
- 0.9g Fiber – 4% daily value;
- 1.4g Protein – 3% DV;
- 27 IU Vitamin A – 1% DV;
- 8 mg Vitamin C – 13% DV;
- 2.3 mg Vitamin E – 11% DV;
- 255mcg Vitamin K – 319% DV;
- 0.0mg Thiamin – 1% DV;
- 0.0mg Riboflavin – 2% DV;
- 0.3mg Niacin – 1% DV;
- 0.1mg Vitamin B6 – 3% DV;
- 60mcg Folate – 15% DV;
- 0.3mg Panthothenic Acid – 3% DV;
- 11mg Choline;
- 19mg Calcium – 2% DV;
- 0.6mg Iron – 3% DV;
- 13mg Magnesium – 3% DV;
- 40mg Phosphorus – 2% DV;
- 302mg Potassium – 9% DV;
- 0.6mg Zinc – 1% DV;
- 0.3mg Copper – 17% DV;
- 0.1mg Manganese –% DV;
- 0.9mcg Selenium – 1% DV.
There are also other health-boosting active compounds in this vegetable, such as:
- inulin – it is a soluble plant fiber which clings to cholesterol to help prevent metabolic syndrome;
- quercetin – it is a plant pigment that may prevent the release of histamine from certain immune cells;
- ellagic acid – it is a polyphenol found in some fruits and vegetables and plays an important role in guarding against disease and promoting health;
- lycopene – it is a bright red carotene and carotenoid pigment which gives fruits and vegetables a red color; according to recent studies, a regular intake of foods rich in lycopene decreases the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease;
- zeaxanthin and lutein – they are two carotenoid pigments of the xanthophyll subclass that have been linked to disease prevention, particularly age-related eye diseases; also, both block out harmful UV rays.
- lactucopicrin – it may even decrease hunger pains and is effective as an anti-malarial agent.
Raw radicchio contains a high content of vitamin K, a type of vitamin which may help prevent rapid deterioration in individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease (a progressive brain disorder which destroys thinking skills and memory) and improve brain health. In addition, this vitamin may help limit neuronal damages in the brain.
With moderate amounts of potassium, this colorful vegetable can help to substantially reduce cardiovascular strain and blood pressure to normal levels. Potassium is a mineral which has also been strongly associated with an increased blood flow to the brain and improved concentration, cognition, and neural function.
Moreover, this mineral prevents heart muscle stress by supporting the contraction which fuels the heartbeat.
Good For Diabetics
Due to its content of inulin, this vegetable is recommended for people with high blood sugar since inulin helps to regulate blood sugar levels. This is good news since there are over 30 million type 2 diabetes sufferers in the United States.
This vegetable also contains a large amount of copper, a mineral that is involved in the regulation of heart rate and blood pressure.
Other health benefits of this essential trace mineral include:
- fights cancer;
- protects cognitive function;
- supports thyroid function;
- boosts energy levels;
- promotes immune function;
- slows down the aging process;
- supports bone density;
- aids digestion;
- supports iron absorption;
- relieves arthritis;
- helps with faster skin healing;
- supports the production of melanin;
- supports growth and development.
Purple cabbage, also referred to as red cabbage, is a cruciferous vegetable that is a colorful variety from the brassica family. It can be found throughout America, Northern Europe, and parts of China.
This cruciferous vegetable is most often used in salads, however, it can be cooked and served as a side dish to specific meat dishes.
Tip – to stay fresh for up to 14 days, keep the purple cabbage in a plastic bag and place it in the refrigerator.
Possible substitutions of purple cabbage include the following:
- napa cabbage;
- Brussels sprouts;
- white cabbage.
100g of raw purple cabbage contains:
- 31 calories;
- 2.1g Fiber – 8% daily value;
- 1.4g Protein – 3% DV;
- 1116 IU Vitamin A – 22% DV;
- 57mg Vitamin C – 95% DV;
- 0.1 mg Vitamin E – 1% DV;
- 38.2mcg Vitamin K – 48% DV;
- 0.1mg Thiamin – 4% DV;
- 0.1mg Riboflavin – 4% DV;
- 0.4mg Niacin – 2% DV;
- 0.2mg Vitamin B6 – 10% DV;
- 18mcg Folate – 5% DV;
- 0.1mg Panthothenic Acid – 1% DV;
- 17mg Choline;
- 0.1mg betaine;
- 45mg Calcium – 4% DV;
- 0.8mg Iron – 4% DV;
- 16mg Magnesium – 4% DV;
- 30mg Phosphorus – 3% DV;
- 243mg Potassium – 7% DV;
- 0.2mg Zinc – 1% DV;
- 0.0mg Copper – 1% DV;
- 0.1mg Manganese – 12% DV;
- 0.6mcg Selenium – 1% DV.
Note – the red color of this cruciferous vegetable is caused by the presence of anthocyanin polyphenols that have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
It contains high levels of vitamin C, an effective antioxidant which protects cells from free radical damage. Also, vitamin C is required in the creation of collagen, a type of protein that is responsible for keeping our skin and cells intact. Furthermore, for each daily 100-mg increase in vitamin C intake, the risk of lung cancer decreased by about 7 percent, according to a 2017 analysis of 21 studies.
This cruciferous vegetable contains sulforaphane, a potent inflammation killer which may help reduce chronic inflammation levels in the human body. According to recent research, sulforaphane may have the potential to stop cancer growth by destroying cells that are already damaged. Additionally, it protects against neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases.
Red cabbage contains a large amount of glutamine, an amino acid that is effective at reducing pain and inflammation linked to ulcers in the gastrointestinal system.
Moreover, the dietary fiber from this cruciferous vegetable is known to lower the risk of developing the diverticular disease, prevent constipation, and relieve irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
In conclusion, both should be included in your regular nutrition since they are highly nutritious, but, purple cabbage is more nutrient dense than radicchio due to the higher content of vitamin A, vitamin C, and dietary fiber.