Escarole, like any green leafy vegetable, provides important amounts of folate, especially during pregnancy
Folate, what they are for and the foods that contain them
Escarole is a variety of endive, a bright green salad with a bitter taste that can give an extra touch to many delicious dishes. Its use in cooking is quite wide, being a very versatile vegetable. Not to mention its nutritional properties: it is a real ally for our well-being.
Low in calories and naturally fat-free, escarole is an excellent complement to the diet of those who want to lose weight. Its high satiating power, which is responsible for its water and fiber content, is in fact essential to reduce portions at the table and to keep weight under control. The fibers also contribute to better digestion and to have a correct intestinal functioning, deflating the belly and fighting problems such as constipation – a portion of escarole provides 12% of its recommended daily amount.
This vegetable is also a very precious source of vitamins and minerals, which are important for our health. It is rich in vitamin A (in one portion we can find an amount equal to 54% of the recommended daily ration), essential for eyesight: as evidenced by a large review published in the Journal of Nutrition, its deficiency is in fact often correlated to visual problems such as night blindness, retinal disorders and macular degeneration.
The escarole also contains significant quantities of vitamin K (over 160% of the recommended daily allowance), a substance that intervenes in the blood coagulation process and in the metabolism of calcium in the bones. If you are following anticoagulant therapy, it is good to moderate the consumption of this vegetable due to the interaction of vitamin K with some drugs: ask your doctor for advice to find out more.
Very important is also the presence of folate, or B vitamins, which play a fundamental role in the synthesis of white and red blood cells. Folic acid is particularly useful in pregnancy, because it helps the correct development of the fetus – a deficiency is linked to an increased risk of neural tube defects, as shown in a study published in Reproductive Sciences. Furthermore, this vitamin helps fight fatigue and strengthens the immune system.
The antioxidants contained in escarole have a remarkable action against free radicals and their harmful consequences for health, in particular the risk of developing cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Vitamin C and kaempferol play an important role in fighting inflammation of the body, a chronic condition often linked to the onset of various diseases.
Finally, this vegetable provides good quantities of mineral salts such as zinc and copper, both essential for the proper functioning of our body. But be careful not to abuse it in case of predisposition to the formation of kidney stones: its high content of oxalates is in fact a risk factor, because these substances help the elimination of excess calcium through the kidneys, where it can give rise to painful stones.