For the next installment of antioxidant Tuesdays, I am going to talk about artichokes. If you haven’t read an Antioxidant Tuesday post before, it is a series highlighting the 10 foods with the highest amount of antioxidants amongst 100 common foods examined in this study. So far, we have talked about kidney beans, pinto beans, blueberries and cranberries.
Health Benefits of Artichokes
Artichokes are a great and healthy vegetable as they are low in calories and high in fiber and antioxidants. Artichokes are not prepared as often as other vegetables, so for ways to enjoy this vegetable, check out the recipes featured below.
Numerous studies have examined the health benefits of artichokes and artichoke extract. These studies have found that:
- Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which are oligosaccharides (sugars) found in artichokes, can reduce constipation in newborns (Source)
- Silymarin (a flavonoid present in artichoke) may be able to reduce arthritis by decreasing cellular inflammation (Source)
- Silymarin has shown promise in preventing different stages of mouse skin cancer (Source)
- Artichoke extract is cardioprotective in aged rats (Source)
- Artichoke extract has shown in rats to prevent some of the negative effects of hypercholesterol and was able to reduce serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels in these same rats (Source)
- Artichoke extract protects liver cells from oxidative stress (Source)
- Luteolin, an active ingredient in artichokes, seems able to inhibit the production of new cholesterol in the liver(Source)
- Clinical data supports lipid-lowering and antiemetic (prevent vomiting and diarrhea) properties of artichoke extracts with good patient tolerance and a low incidence of side effects (Source)
- In a clinical trial, patients taking artichoke leaf daily had a 4.2% reduction in total cholesterol (Source)
- Cynarin, an active ingredient in artichokes, stimulates the production of bile to help us digest fats and absorb vitamins (Source)
- Patients with IBS given artichoke leaf extract experienced a 26.4% reduction in IBS incidence (Source)
- Artichoke leaf extract can kill leukemia cells (Source)
These are just a few of the studies highlighting the disease fighting power of artichokes!
How to cook them
Here is a great step-by-step tutorial on how to cook and eat an artichoke.
Have you ever had an artichoke? Do you buy fresh or canned? What is your favorite way to eat it?