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Artichoke Nutrition Facts & Artichoke Health Benefits

Learn about Artichoke Health Benefits, Artichoke Nutrition, Artichoke Weight Loss and Side Effects of Artichoke

Artichoke Nutrition Facts, Artichoke Health Benefits Artichoke Is Not Only Tasty But Is Packed With Healthful And Cancer-Fighting Nutrients       (Photo Credit : Matthew Robinson/CC )

Artichoke has been used since ancient Roman times as a digestive aid, a diuretic, an aphrodisiac and even as a breath freshener. Artichoke is high in vitamin C , dietary fiber and is a good source of folate. Today, Italy is the world’s leading producer of the artichoke.

What Is Artichoke ?

Artichoke is a tasty vegetable. It is also known as the globe artichoke or the garden artichoke. Basically, Artichoke is an edible flower bud. It should not be confused with the Jerusalem artichoke which is a root vegetable.

The edible “heart” of an artichoke is the round, tender, firm base of the bud that is revealed after pulling off the petals. Commercially sold artichoke hearts are the tender central portions of small artichokes that have almost no choke. Their flavor is delicately nutty and slightly bitter.

Artichoke Nutrition Facts and Artichoke Benefits

One medium artichoke has around 60 Calories and contains a quarter of the recommended daily intake of fiber. Artichoke also contain Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 and Vitamin C along with minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium and phosphorous. Artichoke is rich in antioxidants. In fact, the antioxidant content of artichoke flower heads is one of the highest among vegetables.

  • Artichoke is also high in Magnesium which is required for transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.
  • One medium artichoke delivers 15% of the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of Vitamin C, based on a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleic acids from damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin C also help detoxify our bodies, promote healing of all of our cells, allow us to better deal with stress and protects against cancer and heart disease.

Artichoke Nutrition Information

(Nutritional value : 1 Artichoke/120 g)
Artichoke Nutrition Facts
  • One medium artichoke provides 10.3 g of Fiber, or 41% of the RDA. A high fiber diet also helps prevent cancer, lowers cholesterol, reduces risk of heart disease, improves skin, reduces risk of stroke, curbs overeating and prevents kidney stones.
  • Artichoke is rich in Vitamin K which helps with blood clotting, ensures healthy bones, ensures proper brain function, helps with proper nerve function and prevents calcification which may lead to atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.
  • Artichoke is full of Potassium which help prevent muscle cramps after exercise, allows our our nerves to fire, muscles to move, and our kidneys to filter blood.
  • Artichoke contain Folic acid (B-12), which helps in cell repair and maintenance and also prevents birth defects, obesity, heart disease and various cancers, including colon cancer.
  • Artichokes are also packed with many Flavonoids which help maintain urinary tract health, memory function, cardiovascular health and has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic properties.

Artichoke Health Benefits

Our bodies are battle grounds for infection and diseases. Simple body functions like breathing and lifestyle habits like smoking, produce substances called free radicals that attack healthy cells, causing oxidation (a process similar to “rusting”). When these healthy cells are weakened, they are more susceptible to heart disease and certain types of cancer. Antioxidants help protect healthy cells from damage caused by free radicals. Artichoke have more antioxidants per serving than many foods traditionally considered antioxidant-rich.

  • Lowers High Cholesterol – In juice or extract form, studies have shown artichoke to help lower cholesterol. This, in turn, reduces the risk of heart attack. An Italian study showed that a daily cup of artichoke juice not only lowered cholesterol, but also reduced deposits that narrowed the arteries.
  • Helps in Liver Problems – Artichokes help strengthen the liver and can even aid in regeneration of liver tissue. During the 19th century, U.S. physicians encouraged the use of artichokes for liver diseases (and as an aphrodisiac). For centuries, artichoke juice was consumed in France as a traditional liver tonic.
  • Increased Bile Flow – The cynarin antioxidant increases bile flow which helps in breaking down the lipids in your diet.
  • Cures Indigestion – Artichoke is a natural diuretic and improve gall bladder function. The German counterpart of the FDA approved fresh artichoke, the juice or the extract, to use for indigestion. The extract was particularly beneficial in helping people with chronic indigestion.
  • Anti-microbial Properties – Artichoke also has anti-microbial benefits. The plant inhibits the activity of some types of fungi and bacteria which helps in faster recovery from bacterial diseases.
  • Remedy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – IBS causes chronic digestive problems such as abdominal pain and constipation. Because artichoke is good for indigestion, research has shown it can help people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  • Reduce Blood Sugar – Some studies have shown that artichoke reduce blood sugar for patients with diabetes and provide anti-inflammatory benefits as well. Artichoke may also reduce damage to testicular tissue.
  • Overall Health – Antioxidants in keep the body immune and can also help in cell regeneration, maintaining good skin etc.
  • Hangovers – Artichokes are a natural remedy for hangovers.
  • Cancer Prevention – Presence of antioxidants can help prevent prostate cancer, leukemia and breast cancer.

Artichoke Calories

The number of calories in artichokes depends on the size of the artichoke. A medium-sized artichoke has approximately 60 calories per serving. At the same time, a large artichoke has about 76 calories per serving. Since both sizes are well under 100 calories, they are both healthy choices that can be used to replace other unhealthy snacks such as chips or cookies.

Consuming two or three large artichokes per day is considered healthy, especially when it is used as an alternative to other unhealthy snack options. If you plan to eat medium artichokes, then approximately five medium-sized artichokes is a healthy number for a snack.

Artichoke Weight Loss

The artichoke is one of the best food to lose weight as it has excellent weight loss properties. It is rich in fiber, which hinders the absorption of fats and sugars, and helps rapidly moving toxins and harmful fats in the intestine.

  • Artichokes are wonderful for people trying to lose weight because artichokes are not easily chewed which in turn slows eating, giving your stomach more time to feel full.
  • Artichoke extract is found in a number of weight loss supplements on the market. Artichoke extract helps to promote the secretion of bile, which is made in the liver and stored in the gall bladder until it mixes with food. By speeding up the production of bile, it helps you lose water weight. Artichokes also serve as a natural laxative, removing unwanted waste and toxins from the body. Removing toxins from the body can help to accelerate weight loss.
  • Artichokes contain a compound called cynarin that is believed to improve liver function and enhance weight loss.
  • Artichokes are high in fiber. High-levels of fiber curbs your hunger and keep you satisfied longer after eating. Fiber is able to keep you feeling fuller longer because the body cannot easily digest it. This feeling of fullness will help you avoid overeating as well.

Side Effects of Artichoke

Consumption of fresh Artichoke is preferable to any extracts or supplements. While artichoke extract has been found to have little side effects, those with serious health conditions should contact their physician before taking an artichoke supplement. Additionally, you need to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. You also need to eat enough calories while taking artichoke extract. Not eating enough will cause your body’s metabolism to slow and your body will go into starvation mode, making it harder to burn calories and lose weight.

  • In some people, artichoke can cause some side effects such as intestinal gas and allergic reactions. People at the greatest risk of allergic reactions are those who are allergic to plants and herbs.
  • Artichoke might make gallstones worse by increasing bile flow. Artichoke should be used cautiously in patients with kidney disease.
  • Artichoke is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available sufficient evidence.
  • Individuals with a known insulin allergy should avoid artichokes and artichoke extracts.
  • Artichoke extract may increase the risk of bleeding in some cases. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding.

Nevertheless, Artichoke is a superfood that is very high in antioxidants more than any other food or vegetable out there. So use judiciously and enjoy Artichoke Health Benefits.

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