Scientific Name: Cichorium endivia
Endive (Cichorium endivia) is a leaf vegetable in the Asteraceae, a large plant family that includes dandelions and sunflowers. Although it may have originated from Egypt, it is widely cultivated in Europe. It is an important ingredient in various European dishes, especially salads. Endive is often served as an appetizer as well. Raw endive is bitter and crisp, but after roasting, this leafy green has a sweet and nutty flavor.
Endive contains a sufficient amount of vitamin A (43% daily value [DV]). Vitamin A plays a role in healthy vision by maintaining cornea integrity. This vitamin also supports a healthy immune system because it is involved in the production and function of white blood cells. In addition to vitamin A, endive is rich in vitamin K (289% DV), a necessary vitamin involved in bone health and the production of prothrombin. Prothrombin is a protein required for normal blood clotting.
Folate (36% DV) is also present in endive. This B vitamin is important for amino acid metabolism and prevents neural tube defects in a developing fetus. Endive also contains manganese (21% DV). Reported as an antioxidant, this mineral is necessary for bone development and maintenance by supporting bone mineral density. This mineral may also be crucial for cellular respiration and glucose metabolism.