15 Health Benefits of Artichoke, Nutrition & Side Effects
Did you know Artichokes are a type of thistle? Yes, though it is often considered a vegetable and is known for its potential medicinal properties originating in the Mediterranean. There are many Artichoke benefits from improved digestion to heart and liver health. Artichoke is also increasing in popularity as a supplement because of its high concentrations of compounds
Artichokes are an underrated superfood that is undoubtedly delicious, easy to prepare and fun to eat. Let us go through this article to know Artichoke’s benefits in detail.
Nutritional Value of Artichoke:
Artichokes are rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants while low in fat. It also has potassium, Iron, phosphorous, and magnesium in trace amounts while having folate, vitamins A and K in abundance.
You can get 7 grams of fibre in one medium, Artichoke, with an RDI of 23 to 28%. An Artichoke has four grams of protein and only 60 calories per medium Artichoke for plant-based food. In addition, Artichoke is ranked among the most antioxidant-rich vegetables (1)(2).
Nutrients per Serving:
Here are the nutrients you can find in one medium-sized cooked Artichoke without salt:
- 64 calories.
- 0.4 grams of fat.
- 72 grams of sodium.
- 14 grams of carbohydrates.
- 7 grams of fibre.
- 1.2 grams of sugar.
- 3.5 grams of protein.
- 8.9 mg of vitamin C.
- 343 mg of potassium.
- 50.4 mg of magnesium.
Health Benefits of Artichoke:
Artichokes can be a great appetizer, side dish, or snack which packs nutritional benefits, whether you choose to steam or boil them. Now let us go through all the Artichoke benefits:
1. High Fiber and Low Fat:
Artichoke helps keep you feeling full because it is a rich source of fibre. A half-cup of Artichoke contains about seven grams of fibre, nearly a fifth of the amount recommended for men and more than a quarter recommended for women. In addition, Artichoke is a rich source of folate, Vitamins C and K, and minerals like iron, potassium, phosphorous and magnesium. One medium, Artichoke, has around 4 grams of protein and has only 60 calories.
2. Keeps Digestive System Healthy:
Keeping your digestive system healthy is one of the Artichoke leaf extracts benefits. It helps speed the food through the digestive tract by increasing bile flow, and it also eases the symptoms of bloating and fullness. In addition, artichoke leaf extracts can help relieve the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, as per a UK study (3). Artichoke feeds the healthy probiotic bacteria in the gut improving gut health since it is a fibrous vegetable.
3. Beneficial for Your Immune System:
Artichoke helps take care of your immune system because it is a rich source of C vitamins. In addition, it enhances gut flora and improves immunity since Artichoke is an excellent prebiotic. It also helps contribute to a robust immune system because Artichoke is a good source of iron. This vegetable also boosts the body’s defence against diseases since it is a rich source of numerous other phytonutrients like many vegetables. Artichokes also help with the regeneration of cells by enhancing immunity with the help of a high amount of protein.
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4. Reduces Cholesterol
Artichoke leaf extract’s benefits include the reduction of cholesterol by increasing the good cholesterol in the body. According to a study, there is a positive effect on the cholesterol levels in our body with Artichoke leaf extracts consumption (4). As per a review of 700 people, there was a reduction in total and bad LDL cholesterol when supplemented with artichoke leaf extract daily for 5 to 13 weeks (5). Additionally, with the regular consumption of artichoke extracts, there is a reduction of 30% bad LDL cholesterol and 22% triglycerides, as per an animal study (6).
Artichoke helps prevent the formation of cholesterol with the help of an antioxidant called luteolin (7). It also helps lower the overall cholesterol levels by encouraging your body to process cholesterol formation more efficiently.
5. Reduce Blood Glucose Levels:
Artichokes can keep blood sugar levels stable which is essential for diabetic patients since they are fibre-rich vegetables. The fibre helps prevent a sudden spike in blood sugar levels by allowing glucose to absorb more slowly into the blood. In addition, Jerusalem Artichoke might improve insulin secretion in diabetic patients as per a study (8). Artichoke also inhibits the activity of an enzyme called α-glucosidase, which might spike blood sugar levels by breaking down starch into glucose (9).
6. Controls Blood Pressure:
If you already have elevated blood pressure, the benefits of eating artichokes include lowering your blood pressure naturally. For example, the consumption of artichoke extracts daily for 12 weeks reduced diastolic and systolic blood pressure by an average of 2.76 and 2.85, according to a study conducted on 98 men with high blood pressure (10). In addition, as per animal and test-tube studies, Artichoke extracts play a role in widening blood vessels by promoting an enzyme called eNOS (11). However, there is a need for more human studies.
Artichokes might help regulate blood pressure since it is a rich source of potassium. However, since these studies used highly concentrated Artichoke extracts, it is unclear whether consuming whole artichokes provide the same benefits.
7. Help To Prevent Heart Disease:
Artichoke heart health benefits are attributed to the high amounts of fibre. In addition, it helps improve heart health to a great extent by exhibiting lipidic and glycemic-reducing action, as per an Italian study (12). Furthermore, to protect your heart from damage and disease, lowering blood pressure can be a way that is attributed to the potassium content of Artichoke. Furthermore, the antihypertensive effects of Artichoke leaf juice can be beneficial in people with mild hypertension (13).
8. Improves Kidney Functioning:
The cholesterol-reducing capacity of Artichoke (Cardunculus leaf extract) helps repair impaired kidney damage and functions by reducing blood glucose levels. The consumption of Artichokes can treat the complications caused by Hypercholesterolemia, such as elevated blood glucose levels and renal impairment (14).
9. Smooth Bowel movement:
Artichoke leaf extracts help relieve constipation and diarrhoea and reduce the risk of certain bowel cancers by keeping your digestive system healthy. This is made possible with the help of a prebiotic fibre called inulin (15)(16).
Consumption of Artichoke extract containing insulin each day for three weeks has experienced an improvement in gut bacteria as per a study conducted on 12 adults (17). In addition, you can also get relief from heartburn, nausea, bloating and symptoms of indigestion with the consumption of Artichoke extracts (18).
The consumption of artichoke leaf extract daily for six weeks has reduced the symptoms like flatulence, and uncomfortable feelings of fullness in a study conducted on 247 people with indigestion (19).
Artichokes have a naturally occurring compound called cynarin, which improves the digestion of certain fats and accelerates gut movement by stimulating bile production (20).
10. Protects Liver:
Regular consumption of Artichoke extracts might help relieve the symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and protects your liver from damage (21)(22). In addition, artichokes have two compounds called Cynarin and silymarin that help reduce the toxins in your body, improving liver health. Globe artichoke benefits are similar to milk thistle with their liver-regenerating properties.
Artichoke leaf extracts help reduce oxidative stress on the liver, as per a Turkish study (23). It also helps remove harmful toxins from your liver by increasing bile production. In another study, taking artichoke extract for two months reduced liver inflammation and less fat deposition in obese adults with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (24).
11. Protects Against Cancer:
According to several studies, Artichoke extracts are found to have negative effects on breast cancer cells. Artichokes might also slow down the activity in the cancer cells of the liver with the help of a flavonoid called silymarin which acts as a cancer agent as per research.
Artichokes are also found to reduce the growth of cancer cells with the help of antioxidants, namely rutin, quercetin and gallic acid. In addition, artichokes induced cancer cell death because of their polyphenols (25). For example, a compound called apigenin which is the antioxidant in polyphenols can kill pancreatic cancer cells, as per other reports.
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There is an increase in chronic inflammatory diseases in many people because of long-term repeated inflammation. Chronic diseases are considered the greatest threat to human health by the World Health Organization (26). The anti-inflammatory properties of Artichokes are said to promote regularity in bowel movements by reducing bloating and aiding in the digestive process.
13. Get Rid of Large Pores:
Artichoke’s benefits for the skin include reducing the appearance of large pores. In addition, this vegetable has high amounts of Vitamin C that help give you fresh and young-looking skin by reducing pores’ appearance. It also contributes to healthy collagen development. Artichoke also improves skin appearance by getting rid of toxins in your body (27).
14. Slow Down Ageing:
The comprehensive skin benefits of artichoke leaf extract come with diligent and regular usage. The Artichoke leaf extracts help fight off free radicals with the help of antioxidants that include ferulic acids, caffeic acids and silymarin. In addition, you will be able to minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and blemishes with the help of these antioxidants.
15. Improves Hair Health:
Artichokes can be good for your hair’s health by giving them a shiny and bouncy appearance since it is a rich source of Vitamins A, B, and C, Calcium, and Phosphorous. You can coil the artichoke leaves for about 30 minutes. Then, strain the liquid once it cools down and apply it to your hair. Leave it on your hair overnight and use warm water to wash your hair in the morning. It helps treat hair issues like dandruff, and dry scalp, thereby improving your hair’s appearance.
Artichoke Side Effects:
Artichokes are beneficial for our health but can cause some side effects for some people. The side effects of Artichoke are:
- People with liver problems must be cautious when consuming artichokes since it might stimulate bile flow.
- There is also a chance of gallbladder contraction with Artichoke leaf extracts. So if you are suffering from bile obstruction or gallstones, avoid consuming artichokes or consult your doctor before eating them.
- Some people might find the need to urinate frequently with Artichoke consumption.
- Trouble breathing or swallowing, hives, and itching are the allergic reactions some people might experience with the consumption of Artichokes.
How To Pick The Best Artichoke:
Artichokes should be bought at the right time of the year and this is when they are freshly harvested. At this time, the veggie would have buds that are small and very immature, it looks as though they have been plucked from the womb of nature. However, experts opine that artichokes are best harvested during spring.
When you go to retail stores or local markets to buy Artichokes, you should check for their heaviness and size. The Artichokes should be available sans bruises and cuts, and the leaves should be tied tight to one another. The Artichokes should be dark green and when you squeeze them, a squeaky sound would come through. Don’t choose the large Artichokes, they are not worth it.
Check online for recipes on Artichokes and bring to your body a host of goodness today!!
Although there is a choke in Artichokes, you might not want to dismiss them. Artichokes are incredibly nutritious and can be a great addition to your diet. But consult your doctor immediately if you experience any allergic reactions to be safe. Also, don’t forget to let us know if you found this article helpful!
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Disclaimer: The content provided in this article is based on research and for educational purposes only and is not a replacement for a medical professional. The website is not responsible for the authenticity and accuracy of this information.
1. What are the Benefits of Drinking Artichoke Tea?
Ans: The benefits of artichoke tea are similar to Artichoke because this tea involves steeping the buds in hot water. This tea can be beneficial in preventing cancer and reducing cholesterol and blood pressure.
2. Are Artichokes Expensive?
Ans: Artichokes need to be harvested and ready to eat because they take up a lot of space during production. This is the reason why the cost of Artichokes become expensive.
3. When is the Right Time to Pick Artichokes?
Ans: July or early August is the harvest starting season of Artichokes, and its harvest goes well until the frost.