Seven Health Benefits of Artichokes

several artichokes showing outer leavesThe powerful health benefits of artichokes have been known since ancient times. First grown in Ethiopia, it was highly valued both by the Romans and Greeks as an aid to digestion.

Introduced into the New World by early Spanish settlers, artichokes in the United States are principally grown around the town of Castroville in Monterey County, California. It may be of interest to note that Marilyn Monroe was given the title of Artichoke Queen during her visit to the Monterey area in 1947.

Italy is the worlds largest producer of artichokes.

The Benefits of Artichokes

1. Alternative medicine has long promoted the benefits of artichokes in liver function. Now scientific research has shown that they contain cynarin and silymarin, both antioxidants known to be very important to liver health and may also assist in liver tissue regeneration. Cynarin helps good digestion as it also increases bile flow.

2. Artichokes are an aid to better digestion. They are a natural diuretic and help maintain and improve the function of the gall bladder.

3.  The US Drug Agency carried out a study that found artichokes contained more antioxidants than other vegetables and were in the top ten out of one thousand other foods. Among those antioxidants were rutin, quercertin, luteolin, anthocyanins and the previously mentioned cynarin and silymarin.

4.  Eating artichoke leaves reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) and promotes good cholesterol (HDL).

5. Cancer studies have shown that artichoke leaf extract can reduce cell growth in many types of cancer. They are a rich source of flavinoids that are effective in reducing the incidence of cancers such as breast cancer.

6. Artichokes are beneficial in bowel movement due to an average size containing about 25% of the recommended daily consumption of fibre.

7. Popularly regarded as relieving the ‘morning after’ problem of too much alcohol which affects the liver, eating the pulp at the base of the leaves can help alleviate the hangover symptoms.

Preparing, Cooking and Eating Artichokes

They can be boiled, microwaved, made into a soup, stuffed, used as an accompaniment to a variety of dishes and the cooked and cooled hearts are a delicious addition to salads.

The easiest and most healthy way to cook them is to discard the small outer leaves, cut off the top quarter of the leaves and boil for 30 to 40 minutes according to size. Pull the leaves off and eat the pulp at the base, leaving the heart exposed to be enjoyed.

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Category: Natural Food

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Hi ! I'm Jaks and I am the writer for this site. To be completely healthy and fit you must keep your body moving and active and most of all eating the correct food is vital. Learn more about this site

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