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Artichoke is one of the popular edible flower bud of Mediterranean origin. From the leaves to the heart, artichokes are simply delicious. This humble artichoke is a nutrient powerhouse and has amazing health benefits such as discussed below.
Antioxidants are one of the primary means of defense for the immune system against the effects of free radicals, natural byproducts of cell metabolism that can lead to a number of dangerous conditions and diseases in the body, including cancer and heart disease, among others. The antioxidant properties of artichokes come from polyphenols, quercetin and rutin, specific antioxidants that prevent cancer. Vitamin-C is also a well-known antioxidant found in artichokes. Vitamin-C and flavonoids also found in artichokes has been shown to actively discourage conditions like mucositis and fibrosis, and also to reduce the chances of breast cancer.
Green tea is also very rich in antioxidants, click here to know more
Studies have shown that artichoke leaf extract can be very helpful for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and dyspepsia, or upset stomachs, because of a compound found in artichokes called cynarin. This helps to stimulate the production of bile, which enables us to digest fats and absorb vitamins from our food, making artichokes an excellent way to start any meal. This also helps to speed up the movement of food and waste through the intestines and reduce feelings of being bloated. Artichokes are a rich source of fiber that adds bulk to the food you eat, which helps to keep your bowel movements regular and normal, and decreasing the symptoms of constipation, fiber can reduce chances of a variety of stomach and intestinal cancers, as well as bloating, cramps, excess flatulence, and general discomfort in the stomach. Furthermore, fiber can absorb excess liquid and form healthy, predictable bowel movements in patients. Fiber also acts as a clean up crew for excess LDL cholesterol, thereby cleaning your arteries and further reducing your chances of heart disease. These protect from many potential health effects such as an increased risk of gut-related diseases and colonic cancer.
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Artichokes provide around 12% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K. This vitamin has been shown to offer protection against neuronal damage and degeneration, thereby helping to keep cognitive diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease at bay in elderly individuals. There are a number of aspects of artichokes that make them beneficial for brain health, including their quality as a vasodilator that allows more oxygen to reach the brain for elevated cognitive function, for phosphorous an essential mineral that is found in artichokes and is also packed into brain cells. Phosphorous deficiencies have been associated with a serious decline in cognitive ability.
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Artichokes contain a substance known as cynarin, which helps to promote bile production and its flow through gallbladder. The bile that your liver produces helps to remove dangerous toxins and digest fats. Artichokes also contain the flavonoid silymarin, a powerful liver protectant, which averts the process of lipid peroxidation from occurring in the cell membranes of the tissues of the liver, making the artichoke an ideal weapon in your arsenal to help you obtain optimal liver function. This is decrease in fat and cholesterol levels is also accompanied by an increase in vitamin E levels in the liver, which helps to provide further antioxidant protection for the liver specifically.
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Another interesting benefit of vitamin K is the role that it plays in the formation of bones and the general support of ongoing bone health. Artichokes also contain vitamin C which is directly involved in the formation of a protein known as collagen. Collagen is essential for the health of our skin, bones, and connective tissues. Magnesium and potassium are also crucial building blocks of many tissues throughout the body, with magnesium helping to enhance the uptake and absorption of calcium. Artichokes are one of the best foods on the market for acquiring vitamins and minerals. These minerals are essential parts of increasing bone health and density, thereby reducing the chances of conditions like osteoporosis.
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While artichokes may not be the easiest food to consume, the sheer volume of nutrients, minerals make eating them well worth it!
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