licorice nutrition discusses nutrotional values of licorice like its vitamins and minerals, sugar, calories, its effects on health and body.
Glycyrrhizin glabra is commonly known as licorice or liquorice. Licorice is a plant which has been widely used in traditional medicine and food since ancient times. In Persian, Indian, Chinese and Greek herbalism, licorice has been an herbal remedy for digestive disorders, heartburn, indigestion, peptic ulcers, skin inflammation, eczema, psoriasis, hair loss, sore- throat, cough, respiratory diseases and many others.
Licorice is a popular herb in cooking and foods. It is a natural flavoring and sweetener. It creates a distinctive and special taste.
Licorice is popular in various industries. Confectionery, food, chocolate and candy, tobacco, cosmetics, pharmaceutical etc., are among these industries.
In this article we discuss licorice nutrition.
Licorice in Nutrition
Generally, nutrition is the scientific study of food, its vitamins, necessary food for body, introducing healthy food, the effects of food on body and health.
Glycyrrhizin is the main component of licorice. The sweetness in licorice is because of this substance. Licorice is 30-50 times sweeter than sugar.
There are 20 triterpenoids and nearly 300 flavonoids in licorice. Triterpenoids are natural glycosides. Flavonoids have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer features. Moreover, they regulate the functions of cellular enzymes.
Minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and etc. are found in this plant.
Licorice has some positive effects on our body. It reduces acid reflux and treats indigestion, heartburn, upset stomach, inflammation, peptic ulcers. Because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-viral features, it is useful in treatment of respiratory ailments such as asthma, bronchitis, cough, sore throat. Furthermore, it keeps dental and oral health and prevents tooth cavity.
Licorice is used in making teas, herbal drinks, beverages and alcoholic drinks. In candies, chocolate, pastilles, cakes and bread, ice cream, chewing gum and confectionery, licorice is also used. It is considered a natural flavoring and sweetener. it is consumed as a spice in various kinds of food. You can put it in dry food like sugar and coffee to give them a pleasant flavor.
According to USDA, 14g of licorice candy contains:
- No protein
- No fiber
- No fat
- 8 sugar
- 53 calories
- 7 mg sodium
- 13 g carbohydrate
Another study on licorice components showed that licorice:
Per 184g licorice has 683 calories. It contains IU vitamin A, 0.24 mg iron, 5.46g calcium, 67 mg potassium.
Do not Overuse Licorice
Excessive licorice use makes us feel weakness in our muscles and results in fatigue. It possibly changes heart beat rhythms. Rarely licorice poisoning happens, but it causes disorders in kidneys.
During pregnancy and breastfeeding is necessary for women to consult their general practitioner about using licorice and its amount to see if licorice is safe.
People suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney diseases, is better to talk with their GP about using licorice.
Licorice may have interactions with medications and drugs.
Witten by: Sepidan Osareh Jonoob Co.
Edited by: Shokripour, Meysam
Shokripour, Ahmad (interview: November 30, 2021). Sepidan Osareh Jonoob Co., Iran.
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