Although most home cooks find artichokes pretty to look at but have no idea how to actually break one down or how to eat one, the artichoke presents us with a myriad of culinary (and even pharmaceutical) uses.
Did you know that artichoke tea may help lower bad cholesterol? And also regulate your blood pressure and lower your blood sugar? All from a spiny, flower-like vegetable.
In fact; here are the top 5 benefits of eating artichokes:
1. LOWERS BAD CHOLESTEROL (LDL) AND RAISE GOOD CHOLESTEROL (HDL)
A large review in over 700 people found that supplementing with artichoke leaf extract daily for 5–13 weeks led to a reduction in total and “bad” LDL cholesterol*
How? you may ask...These wonderful veggies contain luteolin, which is an antioxidant which prevents cholesterol formation and artichoke leaf extract encourages your body to process cholesterol more efficiently, leading to lower overall levels. Plus it's delicious! Incredible right?
2. ONE OF THE HIGHEST ANTI-OXIDANT VEG
Artichokes are indeed one of the highest antioxidant rich vegetable in nature. Antioxidants are substances that protect your cells against free radicals, which may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. What are free radicals? In easy terms they are "unbalanced atoms" in your body which scavenge around to seek out perfect atoms they can "pair up" with to balance themselves. Unfortunately this causes damage to cells, proteins and DNA.
3. PROTEIN VEGETABLE
This delicious veg comes with around 4 grams of protein in its medium size which is above average for a plant-based food. So you can load up and build your muscles with the help of these delicious vegetables by adding them to your diet!
4. GOOD FOR YOUR DIGESTIVE HEALTH
As with many other vegetables, artichokes are rich in fiber reducing your risk of certain bowel cancers, and alleviating constipation and diarrhea. Making them even more special than your usual veg is the fact that they contain inulin which is a type of fiber that acts as a probiotic. Amazing right?! Who knew...
5. HELP YOUR LIVER
Too many drinks during your party years? Liver acting up? Artichokes are a great go to! Artichoke leaf extract may protect your liver from damage and promote the growth of new tissue, but eating them is just as great when entered regularly in your diet.
HOW TO EAT THEM:
Artichokes can be steamed, boiled, grilled, roasted, or sautéed. You can also prepare them stuffed or breaded or even fry them (of course all good in moderation).
Once cleaned both the leaves and the heart can be eaten.
Here is a helpful video in learning how to clean and prepare them: