Artichoke is a member of sunflower family, a bud of a thistle like plant, and it has been considered a delicacy for ages; in fact, its history goes back to Greek and Roman times. The bottom of the choke is called a heart and the base and the heart are the only parts eaten.
The Benefits in an Artichoke
Artichoke is rich in fiber, magnesium, manganese, folate, chromium, potassium, iron, calcium, and vitamin C. It is low in calories because most of its carbohydrate is inulin, which is a prebiotic starch that feeds the beneficial gut bacteria but is not used for energy by the body, so it has no effect on blood sugar. This is why artichoke is very beneficial for diabetes: it has been shown to improve blood sugar control in DM. Inulin is broken down into other sugar in longer storage, so only fresh artichoke should be picked for this benefit. It is low in calories, and a starch that is actually good to combat diabetes. It is used in the treatment of liver diseases. They can help lower your cholesterol. They help the cells of the lining or your arteries.
Caffeoylquinic acids such as cynarin are the most active ingredients that are liver-supportive, and that is why artichoke has been used in treatment of hepatitis and other liver diseases. They are also choleretics, which means promote the flow of bile and fat to and from the liver, which may help help in digestive disorders of poor assimilation of fat This is important because if the bile is not transported adequately t the gallbladder, the liver is at an increased risk of damage. Choleretics have also been shown to lower blood cholesterol and triglycerides.
Artichoke leaf extract improves the function of endothelial cells, which are the cells that are damaged in atherosclerosis. We know that conditions such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease are caused by endothelial damage, mostly from inflammation. Additionally, artichokes have a neutralizing effect on some toxins and speed blood clotting.
Artichokes are tridoshic, so from the Ayurvedic perspective, anyone benefits from it.
Enjoy this Garlic and Herb Marinated Artichokes recipe! Looking for more recipes with functional nutrition benefits? Follow me on Pinterest!
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