Health Benefits of Artichoke
Artichokes are vegetables which are found and consumed mostly in the western countries. It has an edible bud which is present beneath its flower head. Artichokes can be boiled, salted or marinated. Its leaves are boiled in hot water to make a hot cup of tea. Various alcohols are also produced using this vegetable. So, let us have a look at the nutritional and health benefits of artichokes.
Nutritional Benefits of Artichokes
Artichoke is a low calorie vegetable. It provides only 50 calories for 100 gram of its consumption but it is loaded with plenty of nutrients. It is high in carbohydrates and dietary fibre. It contains protein and traces of fats are also found in it. This vegetable is packed with vitamins and minerals. Vitamin-A, C, D, E and K are present in it. Minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous and potassium are also found in artichokes.
Artichokes prevent Cancer
Cancer cells can be inhibited by its consumption. It contains antioxidants which restrict the growth and metabolism of carcinogenic cells. Quercetin, anthocyanins, gallic acid are the antioxidants found in this vegetable. Artichokes have apoptosis properties, i.e.they have the ability to destroy the cancer cells and retain the healthy cells in the body. Prostate cancer, breast cancer and leukaemia can be prevented by it.
Health Benefits of Artichoke – Lowers Cholesterol
Cholesterol can be significantly reduced by consuming artichokes. They themselves contain zero cholesterol. Researchers have found that the leaf extract helps in lowering bad LDL cholesterol and increases HDL cholesterol. It has been found that artichokes help in restricting the actions of HMG-CoA which is an enzyme, a prime factor in plunging the cholesterol level. Artichoke is used for reducing hyperlipidemias and can be used in lipid lowering drugs.
Artichoke makes Digestion Efficient
Digestion can be improved by consuming artichokes. Cynarin is present in the leaves of artichoke. They are known to promote the bile production in the liver. Biles help in maintaining proper digestive process in the body. It helps in breaking and metabolizing the fatty foods and helps in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins. Bile also acts as a carrier of various toxins in the body. It helps in transporting the unwanted materials into the intestine from where it is flushed out from the body.
The bitter taste of artichoke helps in the secretion of digestive enzymes which helps in breaking down the food particles thereby maintaining and cleaning the intestinal tracts. Dietary fibre present in artichoke also help in preventing constipation and maintain a healthy digestive system.
Other Health Benefits Of Artichoke
- Artichokes are recommended for pregnant women. It contains a high level of folic acid which acts as a co-factor for the enzyme associated with the production of DNA. It is known to prevent neural tube defects in the baby.
- Vitamin-K is present in it. It helps in strengthening the bones thus preventing osteoporosis. It is even beneficial for Alzheimer’s patient as it helps in restricting neural damage in the brain.
- Various minerals are present in it which helps in developing the immunity. Potassium is known to lower blood pressure. Calcium helps in maintain stronger bones and bone density. Iron and copper help in the formation of red blood cells.
- Artichokes are high in Vitamin-C which acts as natural antioxidants and scavenges diseases like cold and flu. It also acts as a protective layer and protects from UV- rays and free radical damage.