Artichoke is one of the popular flower bud of Mediterranean origin in the winter.
The ancients considered the artichoke full of health benefits, using it as an aphrodisiac, a diuretic, a breath freshener, and even a deodorant.
Artichokes can be found throughout Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas, but they are less frequently encountered in Asian nations.
The edible part of the artichokes is buds that form within the flower head, before it fully blooms. One of the most sought after parts of the thistle is the “heart and it is often considered a delicacy, and is typically more expensive.
Artichokes are low in saturated fat and cholesterol, but are a rich source of fiber, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, B12, A, E, D and vitamin K. Artichokes also provide calcium, iron, zinc, sodium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc.
In the store, choose fresh artichokes that feel heavy for their size and without any cuts or bruise. Its leaves should be compact (appose tightly together), should feature dark green and squeak slightly when squeezed. Avoid very large, tough globes as they are unappetizing.
The globes best used while they are fresh. However, they can keep well if stored inside the refrigerator in a sealed plastic bag for up to a week.
- Artichoke contains a number of vital antioxidants and phytonutrients, such as quercetin, rutin, gallic acid, and cynarinwhich fight against cancer.
- Artichoke reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.
- The high concentration of cynarin in artichokes can contribute to aiding in digestive health.
- Artichokes also contain the flavonoid silymarin, a powerful liver protectant.
- Artichoke is helping the body to detox itself of waste, extra cholesterol, sugar and toxins, plus fiber acts to facilitate liver function and to make us feel full after eating.
- The high amount of fiber found in artichokes has the ability to help keep blood sugar levels stable, avoiding spikes and dips in insulin that can lead to serious problems for diabetics.
- A one cup serving of artichokes provides about 10% of the average person’s daily requirement for iron.
- Artichoke is a perfect hangover cure, and some people choose to chew on a few artichoke leaves after a night of heavy drinking.
- The minerals in artichokes are essential parts of increasing bone health and density, thereby reducing the chances of conditions like osteoporosis.
Some people are allergic to artichokes, so be careful. An artichoke diet should be used as a preventative method for liver and gallbladder disease, not a cure. Finally, it does make people urinate more frequently, so if you already suffer from an overactive bladder, artichokes could make that minor condition even worse.