People love eating artichokes because of their delicious taste. However, not many people know that artichokes are packed with numerous fantastic health benefits. Nutritionists recommend adding them to your diet for the various health benefits they offer. Though many people think artichokes are vegetables, they are classified as a thistle in the sunflower family. Beyond eating artichokes directly, artichoke extract is becoming more popular as a supplement. And it’s not hard to see why! They are loaded with nutrients, low in carbs and saturated fat, but rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They may even positively affect your immune function, cholesterol, and insulin levels.
Artichoke Nutrition Facts
A cup of fresh artichokes contains the following powerful nutrients. (1)
- 80 calories
- 0.5 grams of fat
- 18 grams of carbohydrates
- 4.3 grams of protein
- 8.6 grams of fiber
- 32 milligrams of calcium
- 429 milligrams of potassium
- 11.1 milligrams of vitamin C
Additionally, artichokes are a rich source of magnesium, phosphorous, iron, and manganese.
What Does an Artichoke Taste Like?
Artichokes have a lighter, crunchier, nuttier flavor than other green vegetables. Some people describe artichokes’ flavor as milder and less bitter than asparagus. Artichokes are considered sweeter and nuttier in taste, with a water chestnut-like aftertaste.
Artichoke Health Benefits
Help Keep Cancer at Bay
Artichokes are packed with powerful antioxidants that can help the immune system fight against free radicals in your body. Polyphenols are antioxidants in artichokes. It can inhibit, stop or reverse the cancer cells in patients. Rutin and quercetin found in artichokes also contain antioxidant properties that can lower the chance of developing various types of cancer.
Artichokes have a significant level of vitamin C. Increasing your vitamin C intake can help keep breast cancer at bay. Moreover, flavonoids share the same benefit as vitamin C.
Lower Blood Pressure
Another health benefit of artichokes is aiding in lowering blood pressure. Artichokes are rich in potassium, which helps regulate sodium’s effects on your body. A high level of sodium may result in increased blood pressure. Patients with high blood pressure or hypertension often have a potassium deficiency. Therefore, you should increase potassium intake through your diet. Patients with diabetes should consume artichoke regularly to help prevent complications like high blood pressure.
Boost Cardiovascular Health
Artichoke boosts cardiovascular health by helping to increase good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol. Cholesterol that builds up in the arteries may affect your cardiovascular system, increase blood pressure, block blood flow and lead to fatal heart diseases and stroke. Furthermore, artichokes’ lipid- and glucose-lowering properties help to prevent coronary heart disease and metabolic problems.
To help reduce bad cholesterol in your body and protect your heart health, regularly consume fresh artichokes.
Helps Liver Function
Artichokes have been considered a natural liver tonic for ages. Studies show artichoke’s positive impact on the liver. Two antioxidants, including silymarin and cynarine, improve the liver’s health and keep it functioning well by eliminating toxins and waste products from the liver and the body. These antioxidants are beneficial in promoting cell regrowth and repairing damaged liver cells.
Prevent Birth Defects
Because of essential nutrients, artichokes can help lower the risk of congenital disabilities. Folic acid in this plant can help keep tube defects in newborns at bay. Folic acid is a B vitamin and should be included before and during pregnancy to help prevent congenital disabilities in a baby’s brain or spine.
Maintain Bone Health
Artichoke is one of the healthiest superfoods globally as it is loaded with vital vitamins and essential minerals. The essential minerals such as phosphorous, manganese, and magnesium can help increase bone density, promote overall bone health, and lower bone conditions like osteoporosis.
Facilitate the Body’s Metabolic Processes
Manganese and magnesium are essential nutrients for the metabolic processes of the body. Magnesium increases the metabolic rates of amino acids, cholesterol, and carbohydrates.
Keep Your Brain Healthy
Artichoke is beneficial for brain health. Eating artichokes can help to boost cognitive function by providing more oxygen to the brain. Phosphorous found abundant in artichokes can help prevent brain cell damage. Phosphorous deficiency may lead to a decline in cognitive function. If you want to help keep your brain healthy, consider eating artichokes.
Artichoke is one of the great foods for maintaining a healthy weight. It is low in calories and fat. Therefore, you can eat this healthy food in ample proportions without worrying about weight gain. Moreover, artichoke is an excellent source of dietary fiber that can leave you feeling satisfied and help prevent overeating. Besides eating artichokes, you should have a healthy diet and lifestyle if you want to lose weight safely and effectively.
Helps Control Diabetes
Artichoke is an excellent source of calcium, potassium, sulfur, and iron beneficial for health. Artichokes are loaded with insulin; therefore, it’s a recommended food for diabetes. A fully ripe medium artichoke contains about 2% of insulin. Furthermore, the high fiber content in artichokes helps keep blood sugar levels stable.
You can add fresh artichokes to salads. Alternatively, you can cook artichokes with other vegetables.
May Improve Liver Health
It has been shown that artichoke leaf extract (2, 3, 4) can benefit the liver and assist with the regeneration of damaged tissue. Moreover, it stimulates the production of bile (2), which aids in the removal of harmful toxins from your body.
May Ease Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS is an ailment that affects your digestive system and can make you experience stomach discomfort, cramping, diarrhea, bloating, constipation, and flatulence.
Artichoke leaf extract might help with IBS symptoms (2) when taken daily. Artichoke leaves have antispasmodic properties, which means they can aid in treating IBS muscle spasms.
Even though artichoke extract appears beneficial for IBS discomfort, more extensive clinical trials are still required.
Protect Digestive Health
Artichokes can protect your digestive health. This versatile food is an excellent source of cynarine, an antioxidant that boosts the creation of bile and the absorption of fats and vitamins. Artichoke is an excellent food for patients with dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome.
Artichokes are a valuable and healthy food that you can include in your diet every day to stay healthy. I hope this information about the health benefits of artichokes inspires you to make them part of your diet. Remember, a healthy, balanced diet is essential to keep numerous diseases at bay. Now is the time for you to make smart choices like artichoke!
Discover more ways how you can include artichokes in your daily diet. Get a FREE copy of my Superfood Cookbook.
- Artichoke, raw nutrition facts and analysis. (nutritionvalue.org)
- Top 8 Health Benefits of Artichokes and Artichoke Extract (healthline.com)
- Artichokes: Health Benefits, Nutrients, Preparation, and More (webmd.com)
- Pharmacological Studies of Artichoke Leaf Extract and Their Health Benefits – PubMed (nih.gov)