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All About Artichokes: Interesting Facts and Health Benefits

5 mins read
Viktoriia Volyk
Written by Viktoriia Volyk on October 17, 2022
Ievgeniia Dobrynina
Fact checked by Ievgeniia Dobrynina
Ievgeniia Dobrynina

Fact checked by Ievgeniia Dobrynina

Ievgeniia Dobrynina is the Head of Nutrition and a fact checker at Unimeal.

The Unimeal team works to give you the most accurate and up-to-date information. All texts are reviewed by a panel of experts and editors and updated according to the latest research. Only evidenced-based and verified sources of leading medical publications and universities get into the article materials.

Pretty sure you saw artichokes at the grocery, and every time you looked at them with suspicion: Should I try? Are they tasty? Do they have some benefits? The answer is yes! We will describe all the advantages of this superfood. Attention: at the end of the article, there is a tasty secret on how to cook artichokes in the most healthy way.

Are artichokes good for you?

Artichokes are very healthy and nutritious; they are considered one of the most antioxidant-rich plant types. They also contain vitamins C and K, which protect your cells against the effects of free radicals and help with blood clotting. In the composition of artichokes, you can find some essential minerals: phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and iron.

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Benefits
Benefits

Here are the nutrients for one boiled and drained artichoke per 100 g: 

  • Energy: 53 kcal
  • Protein: 2.89 g
  • Fat: 0.34 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12 g
  • Fiber: 5.7 g
  • Sugars: 0.99 g

Equally important, these thistles are cholesterol and fat-free, low-sodium, and high in fiber.

8 health benefits of artichokes

Artichokes have a lot of potential medicinal properties, so eating them can improve your health. This plant can be cooked or consulted as a food supplement: both provide health benefits for your body.

Improve digestion

Artichokes are high in fiber, contributing to healthy gut bacteria growth. One study showed an increased level of good intestinal bacteria for people who daily contain artichoke extract for three weeks. Another research proved that artichoke leaf extract daily for six weeks reduced symptoms, such as flatulence and uncomfortable feelings of fullness.

Improve digestion and help to lose weight
Improve digestion and help to lose weight

Help to lose weight

Firstly, you can eat them and not be afraid to get fat because artichokes are low-calorie and fat-free: 100 g of artichokes contain only 53 kcal. Additionally, they have diuretic effects that eliminate toxic waste accumulated and thus contribute to weight reduction.

Boost immune system

The consumption of artichokes helps to saturate your body with vitamin C, which increases immunity. Adding them to the meals in the process of cooking, you thereby significantly increase the protective properties of your body, maintain good health, and, as a result, you are sick less often.

boost immune systeam and treat allergies
boost immune systeam and treat allergies

Treat allergies

Artichokes are rich in folate, which can help reduce inflammation; if you have asthma or some allergies, artichokes can alleviate problems. But you have to be careful: for someone, this plant can be dangerous; people with the most significant risk of allergic reactions to artichokes are allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, and daisies. So, before adding artichokes to your meal, consult a doctor.

Regulate blood pressure

If you have elevated blood pressure levels, you have to include artichokes in your ratio. According to the study, artichoke leaf juice helps patients with mild hypertension after 12 weeks of consumption. The fact is that artichoke extract promotes ferment, which supports vasodilation. Some scientists believe these vegetables work like this because of the high potassium level, which can also protect your body against stroke and prevent osteoporosis and kidney stones.

regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of cancer
regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of cancer

Reduce the risk of cancer

Artichokes additives have anti-cancer effects. They contain some antioxidants, such as rutin, quercetin, silymarin, and gallic acid, which fight cancer. For example, one animal study found that silymarin helps prevent and treat skin cancer.

Reduce cholesterol level

Artichokes are packed with the antioxidant luteolin, which prevents cholesterol formation. According to a study, the daily consumption of artichoke leaf extract for 5–13 weeks reduced the cholesterol level.

reduce cholesterol level and improve liver health
reduce cholesterol level and improve liver health

Improve liver health

Artichokes positively affect liver health. They increase the production of bile, which flushes harmful toxins from the liver. The effect of leaf artichokes has been shown in a 2018 study. People with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease consumed 600 mg of artichoke extract daily for two months, improving their liver function

Interesting facts

facts
facts

As we promised at the beginning of the article, in addition to nutritional properties, we will tell you interesting facts about artichokes, as well as share the easiest and most delicious way to cook artichokes.

  • There are several theories on why artichokes are called artichokes. One view is that initially, this plant was called "hartichoke", because they have a heart-shaped form.
  • Artichokes symbolize optimism, peace and wealth.
  • The largest manufacturer of artichokes is Italy. It produces about 366,000 tonnes per year. 
  • If you have insomnia, add artichokes to your ratio. They can help you to relax.
  • In Vietnam, people use this tasty and nutritious plant to make tea.
  • Artichokes are edible, not only roasted and boiled, but they can also be stuffed. Italian cuisine for filling is usually used as a mixture of fresh herbs like oregano and parsley, with cheese, prosciutto, and garlic.
  • Your taste and preferences should guide you when cooking artichokes: they are tasty and nutritious on a grill or in a pot. But the easiest way to cook is to steam artichokes. When you are boiling them, artichokes are saturated with water; steaming, in its turn, preserves the natural taste without making them watery.

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Unimeal does not diagnose or suggest treatments. Any description of the diet, training plan or supplement should be discussed with your current physician or nutritionist. This article does not address specific conditions and is simply meant to provide general information on healthcare topics. Following any advice is at your own initiative and does not impose any responsibility on the blog authors for your health and safety.

Sources:

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By choosing high-quality sources, we make sure that all articles on the Unimeal blog are reliable and trustworthy. Learn more about our editorial processes.

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Ramirez-Farias C, Slezak K, Fuller Z, Duncan A, Holtrop G, Louis P. February 2014. Effect of inulin on the human gut microbiota: stimulation of Bifidobacterium adolescentis and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii. Br J Nutr. DOI:10.1017/S0007114508019880.
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Panahi Y, Kianpour P, Mohtashami R, Atkin SL, Butler AE, Jafari R, Badeli R, Sahebkar A. July 2018. Efficacy of artichoke leaf extract in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: A pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial. Phytother Res. DOI:10.1002/ptr.6073.