Could chicory root coffee reduce your appetite? If it does help regulate your appetite, how does it work and why?
Well, I discovered this sort of by accident. This week I started rotating chicory root coffee with my regular coffee. Halfway through my cup of chicory root coffee, I realized I wasn’t hungry. I did not switch to chicory root coffee to reduce my appetite. I switched for two reasons – one to reduce my caffeine intake and two for the prebiotics. My next step was to do some research to see if this was just in my head.
I did not find a lot of information on chicory root coffee. Nevertheless, I found research on chicory root powder, inulin, and oligofructose, the fiber in chicory root. Chicory root powder, inulin, and oligofructose are all derived from the same plant, so all of these components will have the same health benefits. Therefore, it stands to reason that chicory root coffee would also have the same health benefits.
Chicory root powder increases satiety
An experiment comparing chicory root powder with a control found that chicory root powder increased feelings of satiety (Wijlens, Mars, Dull, & De Graaf, 2013).
In order to find out why I felt less hungry after drinking chicory root coffee, I looked up more research on the topic.
Chicory root has fiber which decreases appetite
I found out that chicory root contains high amounts of dietary fiber, which helps to slow down digestion and make you feel fuller for longer. This helps to reduce hunger and cravings, which could explain why I felt less hungry after drinking chicory root coffee.
Chicory root influences hormones that regulate appetite
However, there’s science beyond just fiber as to why it may affect your appetite. It is able to influence the hormones produced in your gut that affect appetite regulation. A hormone called GLP-1 increases fullness and satiety, while grehlin increases hunger. It appears that chicory root increases GLP-1, which increases satiety, as well as decreases grehlin, thereby reducing appetite. (Check out my article Is Your Gut Microbiome Related to Food Addiction for more information about your gut’s influence on appetite.)
Other health benefits of chicory root
Other health benefits of chicory root include improving bowel regularity, improving gut health, and enhancing mineral absorption. It may also boost your immune system (Alexiou & Franck, 2008).
Whether or not I will continue to observe these effects remains to be seen. Also, it appears researchers are unsure of what dosage is needed for this effect to occur.
The final study I looked at was trying to determine how much was necessary to influence appetite. A 10 g oligofructose supplement, a 16 g oligofructose supplement, and a control group were tested. The 16 g group was the only one to report a decrease in calorie consumption (Verhoef, Meyer, & Westerterp, 2011).
Please, please remember there is no “quick fix” for achieving a healthy weight. I am more about overall nutrition than weight management these days and being skinny means nothing if you live on Snickers bars and Coca-Cola.
If you replace some or all of your coffee with chicory root coffee, you won’t see magical results. However, I do think this is something you can add to your arsenal to help keep you on track with a healthy weight. You will also reduce your caffeine intake and reap the health benefits I mentioned earlier.
References Alexiou, H., & Franck, A. (2008). Prebiotic inulin-type fructans: nutritional benefits beyond dietary fibre source. Nutrition Bulletin, 33, 227-233. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-3010.2008.00710.x Verhoef, S., Meyer, D., & & Westerterp, K. (2011). Effects of oligofructose on appetite profile, glucagon-like peptide 1 and peptide YY3-36 concentrations and energy intake. British Journal of Nutrition, 106(11), 757-1762. doi:https://10.1017/S0007114511002194 Wijlens, A., Mars, M., Dull, D., & De Graaf, K. (2013). Short term effect of chicory root fibre on appetite ratings and energy intake. Appetite, 71, 490. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2013.06.076.