CHICORY (DANDELION)


Description

The chicories are winter plants that sprout from autumn until spring. They are harvested in autumn with the first rains till spring, either all at once or in stages when they are developed enough in size.

The chicory is rich in vitamin C, A, B1, B2 and carotenoids as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, sodium, phosphorus and magnesium. The abundance in beta carotene fortifies the body and prevents the development of "free radicals", helping to protect against cardiovascular diseases.

Chicory is considered an excellent diuretic. Also it is a very good tonic, digestive and detoxifying. It is ideal for purifying blood, it is cholagogue, laxative, tonic, antirheumatic.

Dandelion is an excellent source of beta-carotene which is converted into vitamin A in the human body providing about 338% of the daily-recommended intake. Vitamin A is an important fat-soluble vitamin and anti-oxidant, required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes, skin and vision.

It is also rich in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids, which helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Iron is essential for red blood cell production.

It is a good source of B complex vitamins, trace minerals and organic sodium. It also contains protein.

As an excellent source of vitamin C, manganese (a cofactor for antioxidant enzyme activity by the enzyme superoxide dismutase) and several phytonutrients dandelion has high antioxidant activity. The phytonutrients in dandelion include tetraidroridentin B, taraxicolyde-b-O-glycoside, taraxicoside, taraxasterol, sitosterol, stigmasterol, b-amirin, and flavonoids.

Dandelion is an excellent source of vitamin K, providing 649% of DRI. Vitamin-K has potential role in bone mass building by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones. It also has an established role in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.

Because dandelion is rich in antioxidants like vitamin-C and and the phytonutrient luteolin, it protects bones from age-related damage. Its antioxidant activity has been shown in in vitro studies.

It has also been shown to have hepatoprotective effect against alcohol induced oxidative stress.

Protein  2.70 g  5%DRI  
Carbohydrates  9.20 g   7%DRI  
Fat-total  0.70 g 
Dietary fiber   3.50 g   9%DRI
Calories  39   2.17%DRI
Folate  27 mg   7%DRI
Pantothenic acid  0.084 mg   1.5%DRI
Thiamin  0.19 mg   17%DRI
Vitamin A  10161 IU   338%DRI
Vitamin C  35 mg   58%DRI
Vitamin E  3.44 mg   23%DRI
Vitamin K  778.4 mg   649%DRI
Potassium  387 mg   8%DRI
Iron  3.10 mg   39%DRI
Magnesium  36 mg   9%DRI
Manganese  0.342 mg   15%DRI
Phosphorus  66 mg   9%DRI   
Selenium  0.5 mg   1%DRI
Zinc  0.41 mg   4%DRI

Microbiological Analysis
Aerobic Total Plate Count (PCA-agar): 1.7 x 104 cfu/g
Anaerobic Total Plate Count (Brewer’s anaerobic agar): 3.9 x 104 cfu/g
Yeasts and Molds (PDA): 2.6 x 102 cfu/g
Lactic acid bacteria (MRS agar): 3.5 x 104 cfu/g
Gram- , Lactose fermenters (Mc Conkey agar): 5.8 x 103 cfu/g
Gram- , Lactose non fermenters  (Mc Conkey agar): 1.3 x 102 cfu/g
E. coli (Eosin Methylene blue agar): <101 cfu/g
Micrococcaceae (Mannitol salt agar): 4.1 x 103 cfu/g
S. aureus (Baird-Parker agar): <101 cfu/g 
L. monocytogenes (Ottaviani and Agosti Listeria agar): <101 cfu/g
Salmonella (Rappaport-Vassiliadis, Salmonella-Shigella agar, TSI slant): <101 cfu/g