At first glance, Artichoke can look a little confusing. They look like flowers, and you would be wondering how to eat them!
They are a species of Thistle and the edible portion of Artichoke indeed is the flower which is yet to bloom. Artichokes are cultivated as a food ingredient, and it is the base of the flower that is edible.
Ones the flowers bloom this base becomes coarse and tasteless, which render them almost inedible. The largest producer of the Artichoke is Egypt closely followed by Italy.
Artichoke can be steamed or boiled before eating. As we all know, Italians have a thing for Pizza, so they make Pizza with Artichoke topping as well.
In this write-up we will discuss various health benefits that Artichokes encompass within themselves and in this course, there will also be a discussion around the nutritional abundance of this beautiful vegetable.
Health Benefits of Artichoke
1. Vitamin C as an Antioxidant and Much more
Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin which means that it is not stored in the tissue of our body. Very clearly you need to replenish it preferably every day because it gets flushed out regularly.
Artichoke contains a healthy amount of Vitamin C, in fact at 100 grams it houses 12% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which scavenges for free radicals produced naturally as a result of oxidization. The free radicals are responsible for lowering Immunity, promoting premature aging and even tumors and cancers. In this way, you can consider Artichokes to be anti-cancer. By working on your immunity, they increase your resistance against common infections, cold, cough and flu.
Vitamin C in Artichokes also acts as a deterrent against Cardiovascular Diseases.
It is good for your eye health and reduce the chances of developing degenerative diseases like macular degeneration of the eye.
Artichoke keeps your oral health in a top shape with tight gums and allaying the condition of bleeding gums.
It also helps in keeping scurvy at bay which is marked by Vitamin C deficiency.
2. Vitamin K related benefits
If you thought Vitamin K was only instrumental in regulating blood clotting function, then dig into this section, and you will realize how much you have underestimated this particular vitamin.
Major studies show that most of the people suffer from Vitamin K deficiency without ever finding it out. Most of us consume enough Vitamin K to combat bleeding, but not enough to unleash all its health benefits.
100 grams of Artichoke can provide about 18% of your daily requirement of Vitamin K.
This vitamin plays a pivotal role in strengthening your bones by increasing their density and reducing the risk of developing Osteoporosis.
Vitamin K is also a strong anti-oxidant and research has shown its potency, especially in the case of Prostate Cancer and Lung Cancer by slowing down the growth of cancerous cells.
Vitamin K in Artichoke has also shown promise in preventing type II Diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity.
3. The Fiber House
Dietary fiber or roughage is an essential part of your diet as it regulates digestion and bowel movements.
The artichoke is especially high in insoluble fiber.
Insoluble fiber is not metabolized or digested by the body. All it does is add bulk to stools and facilitate their movement through the gastrointestinal tract ending with excreting it out.
This factor and property of fiber in Artichokes also reduce the risk of developing hemorrhoids and supports treatment of Colon cancer.
High Fiber Diet is also considered effective in lowering the cholesterol levels by fighting and reducing the amount of bad cholesterol in the circulatory system.
High fiber diet is also recommended for those who want to lose weight.
Artichokes do not have cholesterol and contain a very limited amount of fat.
Additionally, high fiber content in them keeps you full for longer and kills your unhealthy appetite naturally. All these factors make it a good friend of your heart.
4. Full Of Folate
Folate is folic acid, also known as Vitamin B12.
Folate is an essential nutrient in the early trimesters of pregnancy. One of the first growths of a fetus in the first trimester is the spine which requires folate.
A deficiency of folate during this time can lead to irregular spine development and brain damage as well.
Folate also supports red blood cells and White blood cell production. The lack of the folate leads to anemia and latter compromises the body’s defense systems against external pathogens and infections.
Folate is also considered a potent weapon against dementia as it rejuvenates the cells and tissues of your brain thereby keeping it young. This factor also makes it effective in combating depression, mood swings and pre-menstrual syndrome in women.
5. Essential Minerals and Trace Metals
Artichokes boast of a healthy combination of minerals and trace metals, particularly Magnesium (10%), Phosphorus (7%), Potassium (8%) and manganese (11%).
All the percentages indicate portions of daily requirement satisfied by 100 grams of Artichokes. Well, it is more than evident how nutritious this vegetable is considering its mineral composition.
These minerals play an important role in a mineral deposition on bones, thereby increasing the density and thwarting the onset of conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis.
Electrolyte level in the body is also maintained and regulated by minerals and metals. This function facilitates muscle function and control which in turn reduces cramps.
Magnesium is applied directly to the skin to alleviate infections, acne, and ulcers. Minerals are also used in treating psychiatric disorders like ADHD, depression, anxiety and chronic fatigue.
Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in our body and is found in our DNA and RNA. It contributes towards cellular reproduction and creation. Apart from all these, minerals play a pivotal role in managing blood pressure, Blood Glucose levels and optimum functioning of your heart.
So starting eating vegetables that can provide many benefits which are key to life.
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