Spring Seasonal Eating: Artichoke Benefits, Nutrition Facts, & Tips

Seasonal Eating: Artichokes

Artichokes are native to the Mediterranean region. The edible part of an artichoke is the bud within the flower head before it fully blooms.  Artichokes are packed with several vital antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.

Nutrition Facts % Daily value (1):

 1 cup serving (100 grams)

  • 47 g calories

  • 0.2 g Fat

  • 11.1 g Carbs

  • 5 g Fiber

  • 3.3 g Protein

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.1 mg (3%)

  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.1 mg (5%)

  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) 0.2 mg (2%)

  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.1 mg (4%)

  • Vitamin C 7.4 mg (12%)

  • Vitamin K 14.8 µg (18%)

  • Folate 89 µg (22%)

  • Manganese 0.2 mg (11%)

  • Magnesium 42 mg (10%)

  • Phosphorus 73 mg (7%)

  • Potassium 286 mg (8%)

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Benefits of artichokes

  1. Anticancer properties

    Due to their high ORAC score (oxygen radical absorption capacity), artichokes have antioxidant powder that may help prevent cancer. Their high ORAC score provide them with the powerful ability to fight oxidative stress in the body (2).

    Artichokes have displayed their cancer-fighting food abilities on two cancers in particular, breast cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma. Research published in both the Journal of Cellular Physiology and Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity found that polyphenolic extracts from the edible parts of artichokes “induce apoptosis and decrease the invasive potential of the human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB231 (2).

  2. Heart health

    Consuming artichokes and artichoke extract has been correlated with reducing unhealthy cholesterol levels (LDL), calming inflammation in the body and improving blood flow.

    Artichokes are rich sources of potassium, the essential mineral that has an impact on numerous organ systems throughout the body. Potassium helps neutralize the effects of excess sodium, which can contribute to high blood pressure.

  3. Liver health

    A specific substance in artichokes called cynarin has been shown to positively stimulate the production of bile, which is produced by the liver and responsible for enabling digestion and helping with the absorption of nutrients (3).

    Cynarin and silymarin have been shown to improve the overall health of the liver by reducing the presence of toxins and facilitating their elimination from the liver and the body.2

  4. Digestive health

    Artichokes are high in fiber, which keeps the digestive system flowing and can relieve constipation and diarrhea (3).

    The soluble fiber found in artichokes can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream, thereby reducing excess LDL cholesterol risk of heart disease.

 Tips

  • When choosing an artichoke, the artichoke should be a healthy green color, and it should look fresh not dehydrated. The petals should still be closed; this means that the artichoke is fresh, and it will be tender when eating.

  • Artichokes can be steamed, boiled and baked.

  • When cooked perfectly, artichokes will be silky and creamy and should hold together well. Keep in mind that the larger the artichoke, the longer it needs to cook.

 Where to buy:

  • Any local supermarket, grocery store, health food store, or farmer’s market.