Endive Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Endive nutrition facts

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Endive (Cichorium endivia) is a member of the chicory family and known for its mild bitter flavor. As with other leafy greens, endive is one of the healthiest foods you can eat because it is loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients to help protect your health.

Endive Nutrition Facts

One cup of raw chopped endive (50g) provides 8.5 calories, 0.6g of protein, 1.7g of carbohydrates, and 0.1g of fat. Endive is rich in vitamin K, potassium, and folate. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 8.5
  • Fat: 0.1g
  • Sodium: 11mg
  • Carbohydrates: 1.7g
  • Fiber: 1.6g
  • Sugars: 0.1g
  • Protein: 0.6g
  • Vitamin K: 115.6mcg
  • Potassium: 157mg
  • Folate: 71mcg

Carbs

Endive is a non-starchy vegetable that is low in carbohydrates. Out of the 17 grams of total carbs in a whole head of endive, 16 of those grams come from fiber. (In a one-cup serving, 1.6 grams of the 1.7 grams are fiber.)

Endive's glycemic index is very low at just 15. If you are looking to prevent spikes in your blood glucose levels after meals, you might consider adding endive to your plate.

Fats

There is 1 gram of fat in an entire head of endive, with 0.1 grams in a 1-cup serving. This makes endive a very low-fat food.

Protein

One cup of chopped endive provides just 0.6 grams of protein. This contributes minimally to your daily protein intake.

Vitamins and Minerals

Endive is rich in several micronutrients, with vitamin K, potassium, and folate topping the list. Endive also contains calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, several B vitamins, and some vitamin C, although in smaller amounts.

Calories

One cup of raw endive provides 8.5 calories. This makes its calorie count similar to that of iceberg lettuce, which supplies 10 calories per cup (shredded) according to the USDA.

Summary

Endive is a vegetable that is low in fat and calories but high in fiber. This leafy green is also a rich source of many nutrients, some of which include vitamin K, potassium, and folate.

Health Benefits

Endive is a nutrient-dense vegetable that offers several favorable compounds to promote good health.

Aids in Cancer Prevention

Endive contains a powerful flavonoid called kaempferol. Preliminary, but promising studies have shown that kaempferol inhibits certain types of cancer, such as those found in the breast, brain, liver, colon, prostate, lung, pancreas, and more.

Kaempferol works by inducing apoptosis (cell death) in tumors and reducing inflammation without negatively impacting healthy cells. Since cancer is a challenging health issue, eating endive is a great way to increase your intake of this cancer-fighting compound.

Promotes Heart Health

Endive is exceptionally high in potassium, fiber, and folate—three valuable nutrients for heart health. Potassium is a well-established blood pressure lowering agent. It counters the effects of high sodium in the blood with urination and helps release tension in the blood vessels.

It is recommended that adult females consume 2,600mg of potassium per day and adult males consume 3,400mg daily, yet most Americans don't meet this amount.

Fiber improves lipid profiles by binding to cholesterol in the intestines, preventing its absorption, then removing it via excretion. The folate in endive protects the arteries by metabolizing homocysteine, a compound associated with cardiovascular disease and stroke when it reaches high levels in the blood.

Supports Good Vision

Endive provides ample vitamin A and beta-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A). Vitamin A plays various roles in eye health, from preventing macular degeneration to enhancing night vision.

Although vitamin A is often associated with orange-colored vegetables, leafy greens like endive are also great sources. Through its vitamin A, endive can also help with immune system function and cell growth and support for the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs.

Aids Weight Loss

Nothing makes it more difficult to lose weight than persistent hunger. Endive is low in calories but high in fiber, a winning combination for promoting satiety during weight loss. Fiber also slows digestion, keeping blood sugar and energy levels stable.

Endive's high fiber and water content allow you to eat a larger volume of food without taking in excess calories. Focusing on getting more fiber through endive and other plant foods is a simple change that can promote weight loss.

Supports a Healthy Pregnancy

Endive offers several crucial nutrients required for a healthy pregnancy. For example, its folate content helps reduce the risk of birth defects, including neural tube defects, congenital heart conditions, and preterm birth.

Pregnant women also need adequate intakes of vitamin A, choline, iron, and calcium—all of which are present in endive. Although endive is no substitute for prenatal vitamins, it makes a great addition to a healthy eating plan for pregnancy.

Allergies

Allergies to leafy greens like endive are not common but still possible. Sometimes this allergy is associated with allergies to carrots, peach, cherry, sycamore pollen, mugwort, or ragweed.

If you experience symptoms such as chest tightness, hives, weak pulse, or swelling after eating endive, meet with an allergist to discuss your concerns.

Adverse Effects

Similar to other leafy greens, endive is high in vitamin K. Vitamin K enhances blood clotting to prevent excessive bleeding after an injury. However, if you take blood thinners like Coumadin (warfarin), this vitamin can interfere with the anticoagulant effects of your medication.

Maintaining a consistent intake of leafy greens while on anticoagulants can help your doctor prescribe the right dosage of medication based on your typical eating habits. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian or nutritionist to determine how endives fit into your meal plan.

Varieties

Endive is available in multiple forms. Among them are broad-leafed escarole, curly-leafed frisée, and Belgian endive (which belong to the chicory family).

Belgian endive produces tight cylindrical heads while the leaves of escarole and frisée form rosettes. Sometimes referred to as French endive or Witloof chicory, Belgian endive includes the red-leafed radicchio and smaller, green-leafed chicory used for salads.

When It's Best

A lot of endive varieties mature in the fall. Though, some are planted in the spring. When grown in cooler temperatures, this tends to temper endive's bitter flavor, as does blanching the heads before they are harvested—which many gardeners do.

If possible, buy endive locally or grow it in your own garden for the freshest harvest. When buying endive at the store or farmer's market, look for bright greenish, whitish, or yellowish crisp leaves. Avoid endive which is browning or wilting.

Storage and Food Safety

Endive should be stored in the refrigerator. Rinse it in cold water and pat it dry with a towel right before eating.

Endive may keep for up to 2 weeks in cold storage. However, it's best to use it within a few days, if possible. Leaves that are wilted or slimy indicate that the endive is spoiled and should be thrown out.

How to Prepare

Eat endive in salads, where it can be blended with other greens. You can also use endive to make finger-friendly appetizers, such as using each leaf as a "boat" to hold ingredients like cheese, avocado, or seafood.

Dip endive leaves in your favorite creamy dips, guacamole, or salsa for a nutrient-rich snack. To reduce the bitterness and enhance the endive's nutty flavor, you can also roast the leaves in the oven.

13 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Malia Frey
 Malia Frey is a weight loss expert, certified health coach, weight management specialist, personal trainer​, and fitness nutrition specialist.