Artichoke is a kind of vegetable people shouldn’t leave out from their daily meals due to its amazing benefits. Both the buds and the heart of artichoke are edible making it very versatile to be put in a variety of recipes. Although people have known the benefits of artichokes which have become the reason of why they eat them all this time, there is actually a long list of this superfood benefits to know to make you eat it even more. Before going down to the list of benefits, here are some important nutrients of artichoke your body can absorb.
Artichoke Nutritional Value
People believe that blueberries and avocadoes are rich in antioxidant, but they might not except that a simple food like artichoke has a greater amount of antioxidant than them in every serving. So if what you want is an antioxidant-rich food, try artichoke. Some types of antioxidants contained in artichoke include phytonutrient, rutin, quercetin and anthocyanin. Since vitamin C is also a type of antioxidant, it is also added to the list. This is why artichokes are useful in preventing several types of cancer.
- Folic Acid
Not only antioxidant, but also folic acid provides a huge benefit for the health. recommended daily amount of folic acid is around 400 mcg, but artichoke provides 107 mcg in every serving, which means you can get a lot simply by eating this food. Folic acid is an essential nutrient that can increase your fertility and prevent some complications in pregnancy or birth. Pregnant women should consume this food daily to get the folic acid benefits because they need it the most.
- Dietary Fiber
Your digestive system needs dietary fiber to keep it healthy and regular. You can get this nutrient from artichoke as it offers around 10.3 grams of dietary fiber in every 120 grams. This level is higher compared to avocadoes, oats and sweet potatoes. This amount is already almost half of women’s required dietary fiber, which should be around 21 to 25 grams. Men should consume more with around 30 to 38 grams.
Moreover, artichoke also provides vitamin C, riboflavin, magnesium, iron, potassium, copper and many more. Due to the rich nutrient of this food, here are some excellent benefits you can take from.
Artichoke Health Benefits
- Supporting Digestive System
Health Benefits of Artichoke for supporting digestive system is amazing one. Cynarin contained in artichokes are effective in speeding up the food and waste movement to the intestines. This is automatically relieving bloated feeling so that you can have a healthier digestive system. This is why in German the leaf extract from artichoke has been recommended by doctors to deal with indigestion. Not only cynarin, artichoke also contains a kind of prebiotic called inulin. Your digestive system needs prebiotic to increase the growth of the good bacteria or also known as probiotic.
- Preventing Cancer
Antioxidant is the main key for defending the immune system while immune system is the main key for defending your body from many kinds of diseases including cancer. People who want to be healthy should include antioxidant in their daily meals. Artichoke is one of the foods that must be listed in your menus because this has been considered by the USDA as a type of vegetable with the highest antioxidant content. So why does it has something to do with your immune system? Antioxidant is great in fighting the free radicals. They naturally come from the cell metabolism and they can cause some diseases including the dangerous one like cancer.
There are three types of antioxidant that can be found in artichoke, they are polyphenols, rutin and quercetin. Polyphenols are best because they are helpful in slowing or even stopping the cancer effects in those suffering from thiss disease thanks to their chemopreventive qualities. The other types of antioxidants are also effective in reducing cancer development. Moreover, the high level of vitamin C reduces the risk of breast cancer. So this is a perfect food to eat if you want to stay away from cancer.
- Supporting Proper Blood Pressure
potassium is one of the minerals needed for the blood’s health because it can keep it normal by reducing the sodium effect, which is one of the causes of high blood pressure. If you take medicine for hypertension, consuming artichokes can prevent the condition of potassium deficiency. Consuming artichokes for diabetics is also good as it can prevent them from complications. High blood pressure must be prevented since this is the cause of many deathly diseases such as heart attack.
- Maintaining Healthy Heart
Health benefits of Artichoke for heart already proven in many research. The health of the heart is determined by the level of bad cholesterol in the body. cholesterol buildup in the blood is dangerous for the heart as it blocks the blood supply the heart needs. that is why people with high cholesterol have a higher risk of getting heart attack as the heart is not healthy. Starting from cholesterol, some other dangerous diseases such as high blood pressure and heart attack can happen. So the blood cholesterol must be reduced, one of the methods is by consuming artichokes.
- Fighting Cholesterol
It has been mentioned above about the relation between cholesterol, heart health and artichoke. Bad cholesterol influences the heart health and artichoke can help solving the problem. This has been even proven through a study that artichoke leaf extract consumed by high-cholesterol patients are able reducing the bad cholesterol about 20-percent after around six weeks. So this is clear how effective artichoke is in reducing the cholesterol level.
- Protecting the Cardiovascular
Still talking about cholesterol, it is obvious how bad this thing is for your health because it leads to many dangerous diseases especially for the cardiovascular system. The heart is not healthy when the cholesterol level in your body is high. It makes your heart prone to heart attack, stroke and some other heart-related diseases. Keep your cholesterol level normal by simply eating artichokes so that your heart will be healthy.
- Supporting the Liver Health
Silymarin and cynarin contained in artichoke are excellent for the liver since they reduce the toxin amount. Moreover, these antioxidants are also helpful in getting the toxin out of the liver. Liver is different from the many other organs in your body since this is difficult to regenerate. With the help of artichoke, you can help some liver damage cells to be repaired.
- Maintaining Strong Bones
One of the essential vitamins your bone needs is vitamin K, which can be also found in artichokes. Vitamin K plays an important role in keeping the bone’s formation strong. The more interesting is that vitamin C also has an impact for the bone because this helps your body forming collagen. Collagen is not only important for the skin, but also for the bone at the same time. the bonus of eating artichokes for your bones is the essential minerals such as manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. Before it’s too late, go protect your bones from osteoporosis with this simple method of eating artichoke.
- Supporting Metabollic Function
The importance of metabolic function for your body is that it helps in utilizing the nutrients contained in the foods that you eat. Without a proper metabolic function, the body cant absorb the required nutrients from foods. Manganese and magnesium, some of the minerals found in artichoke, are also able in supporting the metabolic function so that your body can metabolize the fatty acids, cholesterol and amino acids. Magnesium works more in helping the body absorb calcium so that the bones are prevented from loss. People who want to lose weight should also consume artichoke because the metabolism function plays a significant role in providing you with a good result.
- Preventing Alzheimer
Vitamin K is not only beneficial for the bone, but also for the brain. This vitamin works by protecting the brain from degeneration and damage to keep Alzheimer and dementia prevented. It has been even shown in a study that vitamin K can make the cognitive system better. Simply by consuming artichoke, 12-percent of your daily required vitamin K has been supplied.
- Fighting Digestive Issues
Dietary fiber contained in artichoke is not only helpful in keeping your stomach regular, but it is also great for fighting some digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhea, cramps and even stomach cancer. The ability of fiber in keeping your bowel movement normal can decrease the risk of digestive issues.
- Helping to Lose Weight
If you want to lose some weight, you need to add more fiber in your diet. Artichoke maybe just a kind of vegetable, but it is rich in fiber. Soluble fiber contained in artichoke is able removing the visceral fat, which is dangerous for your health as it accumulates around the organs. Fiber is also an important nutrition for weight loss because it can keep you full longer. Rich-in-fiber food are commonly low in calories, which is surely amazing for losing some of your weight. The reason why fiber is able keeping you full longer is because it expands in the intestines and stomach. The expanding results in the fluids soaked up so that your stomach feels full. Feeling full is the key for weight loss as it keeps you away from carving dessert or snacks especially at night.
- Preventing Anemia
Animal products are not the only sources of iron because artichoke is able providing you with around 10-percent of your needed iron daily. So instead of consuming animal products daily just to ensure your body supplied with iron, try artichoke. Iron deficiency commonly happens in women and it causes anemia. You can start including artichoke in your daily meals so that your body can be supplied with red blood cells, preventing anemia and the symptoms.
- Controlling Diabetes
Not only good for your weight, fiber is also good for your blood sugar. Fiber helps your body absorb glucose slower and it is also helpful in preventing the insulin to spike. While keeping your body slim, artichoke are also keeping your body healthy.
- Cleansing Dandruff
Using the liquid of artichoke can help cleansing your hair from dandruff as it can protect the hair, repair the damage and restore the loss minerals that make your hair look dull. More importantly it can also clean your scalp from dandruff. So this can be a solution for clean, healthy hair.
- Supporting Skin Health
You may have known about the relation between antioxidant and skin. Since artichoke is rich in antioxidant, it can be a perfect option for keeping your skin healthy and beautiful. The most interesting is antioxidant can also make your skin younger by removing the aging signs such as wrinkles and fine lines. This is why many anti-aging products claimed they are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidant works by protecting your skin from free radicals, which is the main cause of aging skin. Aside from using anti-aging products, consume artichoke ailment and drink it cold or hot.
- Maintaining Bouncy Look
Not only is artichoke great for getting off dandruff, but also it is excellent for maintaining your hair’s bouncy look. the content of calcium and vitamins in this vegetable can make your hair soft and voluminous. You can simply boil some artichoke leaves and use it for massaging your scalp after letting it cool and straining. Don’t quickly wash it, but leave it first for overnight before rinsing in the morning.
- Preventing Birth Defects
Pregnant women need to consume folic acid because it helps them keep the child healthy. Artichokes contain a high level of folic acid that makes it a super food during pregnancy. By consuming folic acid you can prevent birth defects happen to your baby, so ensure to include it in your daily meals.
Those are some benefits of eating artichokes for your body, hair and skin. Since you now know how good this vegetable is, don’t feel doubt to pick and eat. Here are some ways you can consume artichoke so that you wont feel bored of eating it daily.
How to Eat Artichokes
- Steamed Artichokes
This is an easy recipe that you can do at home because you can simply steam the artichoke using a slow cooker or microwave and serve it with dipping sauces. The dipping sauce recipes can be found at the internet and you can choose your favorite one.
- Grilled Artichokes
After being steamed, artichokes can be grilled to give them the smoky flavor. Don’t grill them too much, just do it lightly to provide a different eating sensation. Steam them lightly too because they wont taste good when they are overcooked.
- Stuffed Artichokes
If you want a different way of eating artichokes, try stuffed artichokes to make them more flavorful. The most interesting is that artichokes can be stuffed with many things including breadcrumbs. You can pick your favorite stuff to combine with the delicious artichoke.
- Salad Artichoke
Mixing artichoke with some other vegetables in a salad can be an amazing idea. There are many salad recipes that you can combine with artichoke to not only improve the flavor, but also the nutrition. You can mix mushroom, parmesan, olive oil and artichoke into one or you can also use other recipes that you love.
Artichoke Side Effects
Artichoke may have so many benefits for your health and this is very versatile you can even mix it with your pasta, but remember that everything always has its downsides, which mean you cant just consume artichoke as much as you want thinking this is all healthy and tasty without considering these side effects below:
- Bile Duct Obstruction
People with bile duct obstruction are not recommended consuming artichoke because this vegetable can make the condition worse. It can increase the bile’s flow, so you ,must check whether or not artichoke is safe to your doctor first.
- Reactions of Allergic
If you are allergic to marigolds, daisies, ragweed and arnica, you might have the same reactions when dealing with artichoke leaf extract considering that this is related with those plants mentioned before. Stop consuming artichoke when some allergic reactions like itching, swelling and difficulty of breathing exist.
- Diuretic Problems
Artichoke leaves can increase the urination frequency because in the former the leaves have been long used for diuretic. People used to cook the leaves to solve diuretic problems, so if you consume the leaves, more frequent urination might happen.
Since everything has its good and bad sides, you need to wisely consume artichokes by putting it in the list of your daily meals just to reap the benefits. Cook this vegetable in your favorite way to make it tasty without losing its nutrient. Find out how to wash and cut artichokes so you can make sure that they are properly cleaned before cooking. Store them properly as well since artichoke needs to be wrapped in aluminum film or plastic before placed in the refrigerator. With those benefits are found in a simple food like artichoke, being healthy is now easy.