Why the Artichoke Deserves More Respect
When people think of vegetables, an artichoke is usually not the first food to come to mind. While artichokes may not be the most popular vegetable, it possesses many amazing health benefits that could change the way many people view this food. If you want more nutrients, the artichoke is a great vegetable to add to your diet. Here are a few of the many reasons why the artichoke deserves more respect.
4 Reasons The Artichoke Deserves More Respect
While blueberries and chocolate are the two foods most frequently touted to have high levels of antioxidants, the artichoke is arguably the best source of antioxidants. While one cup of blueberries offers approximately 2.68 mmol of antioxidants, one cup of artichoke hearts contains approximately 3.56 mmol of antioxidants. A 2006 study performed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture also shows that artichokes contain more antioxidants than red wine and dark chocolate, which are both traditionally seen as antioxidant-rich foods.
Some of the antioxidants in fresh artichokes include rutin, anthocyanins, and quercetin. The health benefits of antioxidants include heart disease prevention, cancer prevention, and immune support.
2. Dietary Fiber
It is recommended that men intake at least 30 grams of dietary fiber each day and that women intake at least 21 grams of fiber each day. However, according to the recent studies, most Americans consume half the amount of dietary fiber recommended. The lack of dietary fiber in a diet can increase the chance of gut-related diseases, such as colon cancer.
Fortunately, one artichoke contains about 10 grams of dietary fiber. Therefore, most people will be able to get the daily recommended amount of dietary fiber by simply eating two or three artichokes every day. Not only will artichokes keep you regular, but they will also help protect you against diseases of the digestive system.
3. Digestive Support
If you suffer from upset stomach and indigestion, artichoke leaf extract may be able to provide you with some relief. Artichokes contain a compound called cynarin. According to research, cynarin can increase bile production, reduce bloating, and speed up movement of both both food and waste through the digestive system. Studies have shown that artichoke leaf extra supplement can improve symptoms of flatulence as well.
Inulin, which is found in artichokes, is not just a source of fiber, but it is also a prebiotic. A prebiotic is able to help boost the number of beneficial bacteria in your digestive system.
Artichoke leaf extract may be able to help patients suffering from high cholesterol. In a study conducted in 2001, 143 patients were given 1800 mg of extract each day for six months. The patients who received the extract experienced a 20 percent reduction of LDL cholesterol while the patients who received the placebo experienced an eight percent reduction of LDL cholesterol. Not only can artichoke leaf extracts possibly help with cholesterol, but they are also largely free of side effects.
Undoubtedly, artichokes are a super food. If you’re looking to add artichokes to your diet, you should consider incorporating the vegetable into your dishes or taking supplements.
source : Eisenstein Center