13 Amazing Health Benefits of Artichokes

Artichokes are a thistle-like plant native to the southern regions of Europe. North Africa, and Canary islands are also large cultivators and exporters. The earliest records of this plant being used for its medicinal properties dates back to the 4th century.

Artichokes have been a part of the Roman and Greek medicine for a long time; they were used as an effective remedy for stomach issues. By the 16th century, artichokes gained fame as a treatment for jaundice and other liver problems. It was later recognized as food in the 20th as food and the importance of adding it to the diet for nutritional purposes was recognized.

What are Artichokes?

Artichoke is a variety of thistle cultivated for food, it a perennial plant native to the Mediterranean region. Their scientific classification is Cyanara cardunculus, generally known as cartoon. Artichokes are a significant part of the Mediterranean cuisine and are grown all over Europe, America, and Middle Eastern countries.

Harvesting time is extremely crucial for this plant as it should be eaten when the bud within the head of the flower has not fully bloomed. Once the flower fully blooms the bud becomes completely inedible.

The heart of the artichokes is often considered a delicacy, which is actually the base of the artichoke from the where the rest of the buds spring. It is the most delicious part of the artichoke and is comparatively expensive than the other parts.

Nutritional Value

Artichokes are nutritionally dense, composed of various vitamins and minerals. They are an excellent source of Vitamin B6, calcium, iron, folate and fiber. Following is a chart of all the healthy components of an artichoke.

Nutritional component                 Value per 100grams
Calories                                          47
Dietary fiber                                  5g
Protein                                            3.3g
Sugar                                               1g
Sodium                                          94mg
Potassium                                      370mg
Calcium                                          4% of daily recommended value
Vitamin C                                      19% of DRV
Iron                                                7% of DRV
Vitamin-B6                                   5% of DRV
Magnesium                                  15% of DRV
Copper                                          231 mg
Phosphorus                                   90mg

The nutritional value of artichokes is not just limited to the aforementioned components; it also contains several powerful antioxidants with exceptional properties. Following are the details of how artichokes can be beneficial for your health.

13 Amazing Health Benefits of Artichokes

13 Amazing Health Benefits of Artichokes

1. Cancer Prevention

Cancer is a terminal illness that can be prevented by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating a healthy diet. Over 100 types of cancer have been discovered and prevention is better than cure in case of this fatal illness. Artichokes contain plant-based compounds that can be very beneficial in avoiding cancer. The edible parts of the artichoke are high in luteolin, caffeoylquinic acid, chlorogenic acid, and cynarin. The poly phenols present in artichokes also facilitates its cancere fighting properties. Artichokes provide abundance of ant oxidants, which protect and repair cells. Cancer is caused due to cellular damage and artichokes promote health on a cellular level.

2. Protect Your Heart

Heart disease is one of the top reasons for death and can lead to chronic illness otherwise. It may include high blood pressure, clogged arteries and many other issues that can surface due to an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise. Eating healthy is necessary and knowing the components of what you are putting in your body is also necessary. Artichokes are rich in minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which are a winning combination for the health of your heart. In addition to this, it is also rich in fiber, which contributes to the health of blood vessels and arteries.

3. Treat Your Liver

Eating healthy certainly can be a treat for your liver. It is the largest organ in the body with, many functions to perform such as storing energy, digesting food and removing toxins from the body. The phenols and acids present in it act as stimulators, which help expel harmful toxins from the body and also promote the production of bile.

4. Diabetes Management

Diabetes is one of those diseases which open doors to many other diseases. Managing it can be tricky, but nothing a little healthy diet cannot solve. Artichokes have shown hypoglycemic activity that protects the pancreas and keeps the blood sugar level low. The fiber in the artichoke also contributes to the reduction of cholesterol in the blood leading to better heart health.

5. Lower Cholesterol Levels

As mentioned in its benefits for diabetes, artichokes help flush out the bad cholesterol in your body. HDL (the good cholesterol) is necessary for the body to produce vitamin D and also promote brain health. A research conducted on 143 patients in Germany showed that artichoke extract was far more affective than placebos.

6. Healthy Digestion

Caffeic acid and flavonoids that artichokes contain have the ability to ease stomach conditions and also help the digestive system to function properly. The fiber in artichokes also contributes to regular bowel movements, flushing out toxins from the body. Hence, keeping it free from all kinds of stomach related disease even colon cancer.

7. Protect Your Bones

Maintaining bone health is not just limited to an adequate intake of calcium, but also requires various other minerals to promote bone health. Artichokes have the right combination of calcium, iron, copper, potassium, and magnesium along with the power of antioxidants to keep the bone density in check.

8. Enhance Brain Function

Phosphorus and vitamin C are necessary for an active brain.  Scientists have linked most brain disorders to the deficiency of phosphorus in the body and artichokes have a food amount of phosphorus present in them. Regular consumption is sure to benefit your brain.

9. Healthy Gallbladder

The gallbladder carries facilitating functions for other organs in the body and its health is necessary for the overall health. As artichokes promote the production of bile in the body this keeps the gallbladder in excellent condition and prevents the accumulation of minerals in it which can later become the cause of stones.

10. Anti-aging

Aging is natural, but premature aging is not, aging is often related to stress and an unhealthy diet. Where artichokes have an abundance of antioxidants to fight off aging, one antioxidant, in particular, cynaropicrin can actually have a positive effect on the skin aging process and help slow it down.

11. Cure Your Hangover

Artichokes can have a calming the after-effects of alcohol.The diuretic properties of artichokes help clean the body of toxins and calm the symptoms of a hangover.

12. Prevent Viral Infections

Being rich in vitamin C, Artichokes help promote immunity in the body an also display antimicrobial properties that can protect the body from harmful viruses. There are also flavonoids in artichokes that help protect the body against infections.

13. Source of Protein

Artichokes have a good amount of protein. For a vegetable, artichokes can provide good protein which is helpful in promoting muscle regeneration.

Conclusion

Artichokes are full of vitamins. Minerals and antioxidants. Eating healthy is important to maintain health and protect yourself from diseases.