Artichokes serve as a delicious way to fulfill all the nutrient needs of our body. Here’s an article on its nutrition facts and health benefits. Read on…
The globe artichoke, scientifically known as Cynara cardunculus, is a perennial thistle, that belongs to the sunflower family. Native to the Mediterranean and Canary islands, it is commonly found in Southern Europe. The name artichokes is derived from the Italian words articiocco and articoclos, which means pine cone. It is characterized by arching, deeply lobed, silvery glaucous green leaves. The edible portion of artichokes is the flower bud, that develops into purple florets, with numerous triangular scales. The lower portion of the involucral bracts and base, known as the ‘heart’, and the mass of immature florets, called ‘chokes’, are fleshy and edible.
The table below states the artichoke nutritional value, per 100gm of artichokes, that are cooked, boiled and salted. Have a look at it.
|Dietary Fiber||5.4 gm|
|Vitamin B1||0.054 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.089 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.111 mg|
|Vitamin B5||0.240 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.81 mg|
|Vitamin B9||89 µg|
|Vitamin C||7.4 mg|
Artichokes have a number of health benefits. Their nutritional importance is known since ancient times. The Egyptians prized them as health and diet food. Research is still going on to find and confirm the various health benefits contributed by the artichoke.
Artichokes are rich in fibers and minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and other trace elements that are required for various important functions of the body. They can provide you with many essential nutrients needed for a balanced diet. The high potassium content in them, protects against kidney stones. Artichokes are naturally fat free and low in calories. Moreover, they are beneficial for the heart as they are low in sodium content. Hence, one can consume them on a regular basis and enjoy all the benefits offered by them.
Artichokes are rich in antioxidants, in the form of phyto-nutrients, namely cynarine and silymarin. They aid in the process of digestion, as cynarine stimulates the production of bile. It causes an increase in the bile flow, thus helping the digestion process. Cynarine and silymarin boost the regeneration of liver cells, thus supporting healthy liver function. This in turn helps in lowering blood cholesterol by speeding up excretion. Artichokes are considered to be a good remedy for treating hepatitis, since long. The phyto-chemicals found in them have been investigated for their antioxidant, anti microbial and hepato-protective properties.
Artichokes are natural diuretics and help the body to get rid of excess water and toxins. This in turn is good for skin health. They are known to alleviate migraines, caused due to increased toxins in the blood. Studies show that they help in controlling blood sugar levels in diabetics. Artichokes also help in regulating blood cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of atherosclerosis. They are high in insoluble fibers, that help in cleaning the intestinal tract and aid in the process of digestion.
Consuming artichokes is believed to contribute to prevention of certain types of cancers, heart diseases, and birth defects. Now that you know how beneficial these are, make sure to include them in your daily diet!