Health Benefits of Artichoke



Artichoke has been used since the era of Roman Empire as food ingredient and to treat a number of ailment. For this purpose, Romans used the vegetable to treat bad digestion. They used artichoke as appetizer and today, it is commonly used in modern Italian cuisine. The greenish purple vegetable is actually the flower of the Cynara scolymus plant. A medium-sized artichoke could provide 20 percent of our daily requirement of vitamin C at only 60 calories. Artichoke should also be a proper source of magnesium and potassium. Just like any vegetable and fruit; artichoke should be great for the health of heart. It’s packed with plenty of antioxidants.

It is clear that regular consumption of artichoke can improve your digestion and it should be able to help your heart to form bile, which is important for your digestion. If your body doesn’t make enough bile, it is possible that your food won’t be able to break down food properly. This could cause you to have indigestion and stomach pain. After eating a normal meal, lack of bile may cause you to have abdominal pain and you will feel overly full. It is possible that you have poor digestion or dyspepsia. People who are treated with enough artichoke extract will have better digestion performance. But, you should be able to do it in a tastier way, especially by putting enough artichoke on your plate.

Artichoke should also help you to significantly reduce the risks of heart disease. Because enough bile is produced, excess cholesterol will be broken down. People who have problem with their liver are also likely to have higher level of cholesterol, because their bodies can’t make enough bile. A study has shown that regular intake of artichoke extract should cause the reduction of LDL or bad cholesterol by about 20 percent. Artichokes should also be able to prevent excessive production of cholesterol in our liver. Artichoke should be able to lower the level of blood sugar. It is important to know that our liver is a busy organ. Other than breaking down fatty foods, our liver also stores sugar or glucose as glycogen. On some people, the system doesn’t work properly, our liver cranks out too much glucose and it’s dumped to our blood.

If the overproduction of glucose happens for a long period of time, the risks of diabetes will be significantly elevated and there’s a reason to believe that artichoke should be helpful for diabetes patients who are not dependent on insulin. When choosing artichoke, you should make sure to choose those with even, green color. Old artichoke may look dry, wilted and even mouldy. If you want to use artichoke for appetizer, choose smaller ones. Bigger artichoke should be idea for filling or any kind of entree. Tip of the upper leaves are inedible and hard, so you need to trim approximately an inch of it. You may boil, steam or grill artichoke. After 30 minutes, artichoke should be tender and proper for eating.