Licorice: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Licorice: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Overview

Licorice is one of the most popular spices that comes from dried roots of the plant Glycyrrhiza.

Europe and Asia are the hometown of this herb with a long history.

In addition to sweet and rich flavor, licorice has been famous for its medicinal applications for centuries.

Besides, in the industry, people use licorice to enrich the flavors of chewing gum, toothpaste or beverages.

Nowadays, licorice is popular on the global scale.

Nutrition Facts

Licorice: Nutrition Facts

When it comes to licorice nutrition facts, carbs make up for a significant amount of its content.

About 30 percent of licorice’s content of carbs is starch and sugars account for the rest.

Licorice root is also an excellent source of fibers (both soluble and insoluble). However, in licorice extract, there are only soluble fibers.

In addition, what is special in licorice nutrition is the presence of numerous bioactive compounds, such as saponins and polyphenol antioxidants.

Vitamins are one of the most outstanding licorice nutrition facts, with the appearance of many types of vitamins, such as B1, B2, B3, B5 or E.

Licorice contains a great number of minerals, like magnesium, potassium or iron

Health Benefits of Licorice

Licorice has served as a herbal medicine for many ages.

Here are top 6 health benefits of licorice that modern science has managed to prove.

1. Weight Loss

The concentration of fat in the body will finally lead to obesity, which has many negative impacts on our health.

With proof from many studies, it is possible that one of top health benefits of licorice is to prevent obesity and weight gain (123).

Even though these studies are on animals, the same effects have occurred to humans.

When 84 obese people participated in a trial and consumed a daily 300-900mg supplement of licorice for 2 months, their body fat reduced considerably (4).

How the nutrients from licorice help control the weight remains unclear. Nevertheless, scientists claimed that glycyrrhizin might be the reason.

Yet, licorice candy cannot generate the same impacts because it is full of added sugar.

Bottom Line: Licorice, in the form of flavonoid oil or extract, can speed up your weight loss.

2. Protect Liver

Licorice: Liver Protection

With hepatoprotective impacts, one of the best health benefits of licorice is to promote the liver’s function.

The presence of glycyrrhizin is a great advantage to improve the eradication of toxins (567).

Some studies even showed that licorice contains some antioxidant flavonoids, such as isoliquiritigenin.

These flavonoids are effective to prevent damage to the liver caused by high-fat injuries or oxidative stress (89).

Bottom Line: With antioxidants flavonoids in its content, licorice can have protective effects on your liver.

3. Menopause

Among top benefits of licorice, you can also find its great effects to cope with menopause.

Isoflavones which are present much in licorice can guarantee the balance of estrogen and progesterone in your body (101112).

According to a number of research, licorice is effective to promote both physical and mental conditions of menopausal women.

In addition, licorice can help you get rid of cramps and annoying symptoms during menstruation by increasing progesterone hormones.

4. Prevent Peptic Ulcers

Peptic ulcers refer to the appearance of sores in the stomach lining.

Sufferers might experience a number of symptoms, such as nausea, abdominal pain or even appetite loss.

This problem comes from the bacterial infections known as Helicobacter pylori.

Benefits of licorice on treating peptic ulcers have been well-known for ages (13).

The effectiveness of licorice in this treatment perhaps results from its bioactive compounds, such as glycyrrhizin (1415).

Besides, licorice’s antibacterial property also contributes to these licorice health benefits.

Glabridin has great impacts on hindering the development of Helicobacter pylori, which triggers pepper ulcers in most cases (16).

Bottom Line: People experiencing peptic ulcer treatment might find licorice helpful.

5. Anti-Cancer

As licorice has chemopreventive impacts, one of the best benefits of licorice is to prevent cancer.

Some studies indicated that with anti-proliferative property, licorice root can limit the development of breast cancer (1718).

Its high content of flavonoids, namely, isoliquiritigenin, can hinder apoptosis (1920).

The anti-tumor quality of licorice has been tested in a number of research and the results were very positive (2122).

Besides, this herb is beneficial for the prevention against prostate cancer or chronic prostatitis as well.

Bottom Line: With chemopreventive effects and a lot of flavonoids, licorice root might have protective impacts against many types of cancer.

6. HIV Treatment

Even though HIV is a fatal disease without the cure, there is still something that we can do to slow down its effects.

Luckily, one of top health benefits of licorice is to strengthen our immune system and reduce the risk of HIV-related diseases.

Scientific proof showed that thanks to glycyrrhizin in licorice roots, the body can stimulate the release of beta-chemokines (23).

This will protect our white blood cells from being destroyed by HIV.

Only a limited number of foods have potentials to cope with HIV, including echinacea.

Bottom Line: HIV patients can use licorice as a way to reduce its complications.

Side Effects

Like any other food, you might have troubles if you use too much licorice.

Some common problems that may appear due to the excessive consumption are swelling, headaches or high blood pressure.

In one study, 30 healthy participants consumed 100 grams on a daily basis for one month. Their blood pressure witnessed a considerable rise (24).

Moreover, too much licorice will cause hypokalemia, also known as the loss of potassium.

This problem will lead to a series of other issues, such as muscle weakness or cramps.

Some observational studies even mentioned the link between licorice and premature birth (2526).

With all above-mentioned side effects, you had better avoid consuming licorice excessively.

Infographics

This section is designed to provide you with some infographics to grab a quick understanding of licorice nutrition and health benefits.

Do you agree with all of these amazing health benefits of licorice? You can comment your ideas on the box below or simply share your own experience. 

 

And do not forget to LIKE, SHARE or PIN this article on social media.

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Licorice Nutrition Facts

Licorice Health Benefits

Licorice Health Benefits

Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.

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