Artichoke Health Benefits, Supplements, and Nutrition Facts
Artichokes are a delicious delicacy among the vegetables. You can eat both the artichoke hearts as the plant leaves. Artichoke hearts are most commonly eaten. It is actually part of the immature artichoke. Artichokes are vegetables that are used as side dishes. However artichokes are not only tasty with a unique taste, but also there are many different health benefits of eating artichokes.
Artichokes get more and more attention from several researchers, especially because of the high content of antioxidants in them. When we talk about artichokes that are used for medicinal purposes, we often talk about the leaves of the artichoke. The leaves are dried and used to make tea.
Artichoke extract is one of the few herbs that clinical trials and experiments have endured which has yielded positive results. From artichoke extract has been proven that it can help with many different health problems, from diabetes to cure a hangover. One of the benefits for many people is the fact that artichoke extract can help with weight loss.
Canned Foods Are not as Good as They Look
If you choose canned marinated artichokes (often people go for easy availability), do not forget that they are canned in oil. The result will be much higher quantities of fat. Marinades can also contain added sugars. Marinated or not, the amount of sodium in canned artichokes means that you have to eat it moderately
Better to choose fresh or cooked artichokes if you want to enjoy this vegetable and get all the nutritional benefits without unnecessary additives.
The Mediterranean Diet
The artichoke is one of the oldest cultivated vegetables that we know. Artichokes are originally from Ethiopia, but today Italy is the largest producer of this vegetable in the world. The use of artichokes for good health is not a surprise, though BC Greeks and Romans used this medicinal plant to improve digestion.
At that time, the artichokes were available only for rich people because they were rare. Both the French and Spaniards exported artichoke to the United States. Today there are large quantities of artichokes grown in California.
In the 1950s, a study had been conducted with the Mediterranean diet to explain why there were so few problems in that region with cardiovascular disease compared with other regions of the world. Artichoke was one of the reasons. Nowadays Mediterranean diet is recommended as a heart-healthy diet, based on healthy vegetable oils, fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish. Artichokes are widely used in Greece and other regions around the Mediterranean.
Health Benefits of Artichoke
Chances are that you've mostly eaten marinated artichoke hearts or with chips or perhaps with other vegetables.
But how many people reading this have ever eaten a whole artichoke? Maybe steamed or stewed? The way you make the artichoke make a big difference in the health benefits you get from it. A whole artichoke, prepared and cooked, contains a lot of fiber, vitamins and minerals and is a nutritious addition to any meal.
However, if you only eat the artichoke hearts, then you miss a lot of the healthy substances that you find in the green leaves of artichokes. If you just choose only canned and marinated artichoke hearts you get unwanted calories and sodium in it.
Artichokes or artichoke extracts have long been used as indigenous medicine for many different health problems. Historically artichokes have been used as a diuretic, as an appetite stimulant, for the production of bile and even for fresh breath.
Artichoke tea can reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood. Before the advent of cholesterol-lowering drugs, the artichoke was used cholesterol lowering medicine.
Reduce digestive problems
Artichoke tea can provide relief from common digestive problems such as heartburn, nausea and vomiting. It can also normalize bowel function and problems with constipation, greatly reducing diarrhea and bloating. The use of dried artichoke leaves seem to influence the production of bile.
The same way that artichoke tea stimulates the production of bile also seems to be good for the liver. Artichoke tea can help to improve the performance and the health of the liver, especially in people who already have liver problems.
Lowering of blood sugar
Artichoke tea can help patients with diabetes with their blood sugar stabilization more effectively. Although artichokes could be used along with an existing diabetes treatment, of course, it is important that people who suffer from diabetes have always first consult their doctor before they carry out any additions or changes to their treatment method.
The artichoke as a natural diuretic
Artichoke extract may act as a natural diuretic. The extract helps to drive off water and sodium and this has positive effects on your blood pressure. Natural diuretics can also cause a person to lose water weight as much as five to 10 pounds in just one week.
Studies also show that diuretics and gout do not go well together. So be careful if you have gout.
Nutrients in canned artichokes
Native to the Mediterranean, artichokes are the immature flower buds of herbaceous plant. The buds of the artichoke, containing many prickly pointed bracts or leaf-like structures about 7 to 10 centimeters in size. You can keep fresh artichokes for about two weeks in the refrigerator while the canned artichokes are preserved almost indefinitely. About a half cup of canned artichoke contains 35 calories.
Artichokes are a good source of dietary fiber, magnesium, chromium and minerals. Artichokes contain vitamin C, manganese, folic acid, biotin, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin A, and potassium.
A half cup of canned artichoke contains 6 grams of carbohydrates, including 4 grams of fiber and 1 gram of sugar. Artichokes are a good choice if you are trying to eat more fiber. Fibers provide protection against heart disease and help to keep blood sugar levels stable throughout the day.
A higher fiber intake also results in lower body weight.
Protein and fat
A serving of canned artichoke contains 2 grams of protein. It naturally contains no cholesterol or fats, making artichokes a healthy source of protein. Of course this does not apply if you choose for canned food. Along with other vegetable protein sources, eating artichokes can help reduce the daily intake of saturated fat.
Vitamins and minerals
A serving of canned artichokes has 200 mg of vitamin A, 3.6 mg of vitamin C, 40 mg of calcium and 2.7 mg of iron. Artichokes are also a good source of potassium and magnesium. Canned artichokes contain about 420 milligrams of sodium, which is 18 percent of the daily value for people who follow a standard 2000 calorie diet per day.
Folic acid in artichokes
Folic acid is also called vitamin B11. This substance helps to build up the DNA. Pregnant women are advised to eat because it reduces the risk of brain abnormalities in the baby.
Vitamins in artichokes
Besides folic acid there are more healthy vitamins in artichoke. Vitamin C is most present in this unusually shaped vegetable; one ounce contains 20% of the RDA. Furthermore, there is vitamin K (12% RDA), pirydoxine or B6 (9% DV), pantothenic acid or B5 (7% RDA) and niacin or B3 (7% DV), thiamine or B1 (6% RDA) and riboflavin or B2 (5% RDA) in this vegetable.
Minerals in artichokes
The artichoke is a vegetable that contains more minerals than vitamins. Copper is an essential element in the delicious artichoke: contains the 27% of the RDA for copper. The other mineral values are pretty close to each other: iron (16% DV), magnesium (15% DV), phosphorus (13% RDA), manganese (11% DV), zinc (5% RDA) and calcium (4% DV).
Phytonutrients in artichokes
Silly Marin, ferulic acid and caffeic acid are plenty in artichokes. These substances are all powerful antioxidants. Silly Marin is extra good for the liver because it triggers liver cells to regenerate. It is therefore prescribed by herbal practitioners in liver diseases. A large part of the healing power of artichokes is derived from anti-oxidants; vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Artichokes are rich in antioxidants, substances that can fight free radicals. Free radicals causes DNA damage, cell damage and cellular inflammation.
Cynarin in artichoke
Cynarin is a phytonutrient with special properties for flavor. The hydroxycinnamic cynarin makes other food and beverage sweeter. Cynarin in artichoke is the reason that wine does not taste with this vegetable. Cynarin stimulate fat burning and is therefore used in supplements that promise weight loss.
You may come across artichoke extract more and more in various weight loss supplements that appear on the market. However, it is important that you know what all things artichoke extract does. It causes bile production to accelerate. As a result, it is easy to lose water. It is like a natural laxative, it can help to remove unwanted waste and toxins from the body This allows for fairly quick (and temporary) loss of weight.
However, it's not a good idea to just rely on artichoke extract when you want to lose weight. The results are only temporary unless you make sure that you get enough exercise and healthy foods.
You should drink plenty of water and make sure that you stay well hydrated.