Mythology does a good job of helping us understand the beginning of things. Artichokes are said to be the creation of Zeus; after he was rejected by the one who attracted him.
Artichokes have their main nutritional value and amazing properties vested in the leaves. Therefore you should focus on the leafy part rather than the heart.
While it is classified as a vegetable, don’t let that fool you. If prepared right, it can help make dishes fit for a famished crowd and a king alike.
Coming to benefits, they are simply in multitudes and extending to all spheres be it nutritional value, as a supplement, as a cure, as a preventative remedy or simply as a breath cleanser or freshener.
According to a USDA certified study, artichokes ranked high in a collective study of different sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants cleanse your entire system on the inside and also help relieve stress and a range of other issues such as better digestion and so on.
As a preventative
The leaves of this vegetable contain an anticancer property which literally kills rogue cells. When eaten, the leaves suppress the growth of cancer tumors by causing cancer cells to shrivel and die. Several studies have found links between reduction in chances of cancer such as breast cancer, prostate and consumption of artichokes. According to two University of Illinois studies, artichoke contains apigenin and luteolin, flavonoids that kill human pancreatic cancer cells.
As a fitness supplement
Looking for something which helps cut on the fat and be good on the taste buds? A well prepared dish containing artichokes is the solution. Artichokes come in at not more than 60 calories along with virtually zero fat.
Good for the liver
Nothing new here; artichokes have been used as liver treatment as a form of folk medicine. There are study proofs of it in the regeneration of liver tissue. Artichoke is recommended not only for disorders of the liver but also in the prevention of atherosclerosis and hyperlipidemia or dyspeptic disorders.
Lowering cholesterol levels
Hypercholesterolaemia (high levels of cholesterol in the blood) is responsible for an increased risk for coronary heart disease. It has been proved that artichoke leaf extract can significantly reduce blood cholesterol levels.
Hangover recovery tool
You should have avoided partying so hard last night. But if you didn’t listen to your rational self, artichokes are here to get you back on track. The rejuvenating properties found in it have several consumers swearing it is a good remedy for hangovers. And also artichoke compounds have a protective effect on the liver.
Bone density boosters
As if mere health benefits weren’t enough. Artichokes contain magnesium and manganese; minerals which are synonymous with good bone health. These minerals encourage calcium utilization which in turn strengthens the bones.
A good serving of artichokes can help preserve one’s cognitive powers. If taken regularly, one may actually see an overall improvement in mental functions. Nutrients such as phosphorous are found in brain cells as well as in artichokes.
All those things you’re taking for a better baby; add artichokes to the list. They contain a healthy dose of folic acid (the B vitamin) which is essential for healthy births (can prevent birth defects).
Quality matters; if you want the benefits you have to pick up artichokes when they’re in a ripe state. You can press one and hear a reassuring squeak to know you’ve picked the right piece.
Similarly, the leaves should be hugging each other close by. Prior to setting it in the saucepan, you need to thoroughly rinse and clean it.
All tough parts including the top and the base with the stems are to be removed. Your cooking will be complete when simply pulling a center petal gets it to come off.
While artichokes have a lot of benefits; adequate care should be taken when serving this to people suffering from medical conditions. Artichokes belong to the thistle family meaning thereby they’re not exactly hundred percent safe vegetables.
They do work well as preventative measures but in severe cases not be added to one’s diet without prior approval from their physician. Other than that; the next time you’re looking for something healthy and delicious; you know what to choose.
Researches and references
United States Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Service
Antioxidant and AntiproliferativeEffects on Human Liver
HePG2Epithelial Cells from Artichoke