Another popular vegetable widely used in ancient times as a traditional medicine is the artichoke. Today, we mix artichoke with seafood, vegetables or meat to enjoy its delicious taste. Unlike other vegetables, artichoke is very distinct because of its features. It comes with a bud consisting of triangular scales that surround the center of the bud called as choke. Artichokes, scientifically known as Cyanara scolymus, are packed with several nutritional benefits that are ideal for health.
This vegetable is particularly high in minerals like copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus. All these minerals contribute over ten percent of their daily-recommended value according to the United States Department of Agriculture. These minerals have their own functions to ensure the performance of the organs of the body.
Copper and iron, for example, are primarily involved in the formation of red blood cells. Iron is responsible for carrying oxygen in the body. Aside from working with iron, copper is likewise important for the health of blood vessels and nerves.
The presence of magnesium is needed by every cell in the body especially that it is involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body such as in controlling blood glucose and blood pressure. As in magnesium, manganese has also various functions that include metabolism of macronutrients and in blood clotting. Phosphorus, meanwhile, is essential for the growth and repair of cells and tissues.
Artichoke is also a good source of electrolytes like sodium and potassium with 6% and 8% of their DRV, respectively. Electrolytes conduct electricity to the body for maximum performance especially potassium, which offsets excess amount of sodium in the body.
Artichokes are also excellent source of vitamin C, which is used to build body resistance. Apart from that, vitamin C is vital in the production of protein called collagen to form tendons, ligaments and skin among others. The amount of vitamin C for every 100 gram serving of artichokes makes up 20% of its DRV.
Next to vitamin C are folates with 17% of its DRV for every 100g serving. Our body needs folates for the synthesis and repair of DNA. Aside from folates, artichoke is also rich in vitamin B complex necessary for metabolism of fat and carbohydrates.
Artichokes can help you manage your weight, because it contains only 47 calories for every 100g serving with 5.4g or 14% DRV of fiber.
The Important Health Benefits of Artichokes
Fights Off Cholesterol
Regulating cholesterol levels is very significant to keep health in its best condition. Excessive cholesterol levels in the body trigger atherosclerosis and various heart diseases. Years of study proved that the extract of artichoke effectively reduces cholesterol levels specifically the LDL type. It is important to achieve the proper ratio of LDL and HDL cholesterol to optimize the stability of the heart. Excessive LDL cholesterol can lead to oxidation that causes fat build-up in the arteries which impairs the proper circulation of blood potentially causing blood clots. Blood clots are primary causes of heart attack and stroke. If you want to keep your heart healthy and well-functioning, make sure to associate artichoke in your diet.
Regulates Blood Pressure
Artichokes are remarkable sources of potassium. When it comes to regulating blood pressure, sufficient levels of potassium in the body is essential. High blood pressure is triggered by too much sodium in the body. Good thing with artichoke’s richness in potassium is that this compound is capable of eliminating harsh effects of sodium intake. This vegetable acts as the vasodilator in the body that enriches the it with potassium to keep blood pressure at bay. Low blood pressure positively affects the condition of the heart.
Promotes a Healthy Liver
Even in the early ages, artichokes are proven to keep the liver healthy and well functioning because of its powerful antioxidants. Artichokes contain very unique antioxidants, particularly silymarin and cynarin, which eliminate toxins and bacteria from the liver. These antioxidants also assure that the liver cells are healthy and able to self-repair to avoid various liver disorders and ailments. Regular consumption of artichoke will guarantee that liver cells growth and repair are regulated.
Aids Proper Digestion
Artichokes are very rich in fiber that is very beneficial to the digestive system. First and foremost sufficient amounts of fiber assures proper food intake breakdown. This ensures that nutrients are absorbed properly by the body. Secondly, fiber clears the digestive tract for smooth movement of food intake. This is very advantageous to the digestive system as well as help thwart off digestive issues like constipation, gastrointestinal issues, and the likes. Last but not the least eating fibrous foods bulks up stool so that bowel movement is regulated. For your digestive health make sure to eat a lot of artichokes.
Because of the fact that artichoke elevates liver health and is able to eliminate toxins from the body, it is also capable of curing hangover. Artichoke effectively cleanses the liver from harmful substances to reduce blockage causing hangover. If you are looking for an instant and effective hangover cure try juicing or steaming artichokes and you will surely feel better immediately after consumption.
Boosts Brain Functions
Artichokes have many positive effects to brain health and functioning. First of all, its consumption regulates proper transportation of oxygen to the brain. It is important that the brain is oxygenated for increased cognitive and motor functioning. The more oxygen the brain receives, the better it will work. Artichokes are also good sources of phosphorus that stimulates healthy development and repair of brain cells. Insufficient phosphorus primarily causes declination of intellect and cognitive ability. If you want to keep mental health stable, adding artichoke to your diet is of great significance.
Good for Pregnant Women
Folate is a vital nutrient that every pregnant woman needs to give birth to a healthy child. It is important to eat foods that contain folate on a daily basis during pregnancy. Lack of folate intake can cause serious damages especially on the child. Insufficient folate levels during pregnancy can lead to development of neural-tube defects in fetuses. If you are pregnant and wants to give birth to a healthy baby, ascertain you always eat artichoke because they infuse the body with high amounts of folic acid.
Keeps Bones Healthy and Strong
Artichokes possess essential vitamins and minerals that promote bone health. This vegetable has manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium that are very important in keeping the bones healthy and strong. These vitamins also increase the efficiency of calcium absorption of the bones. If you want to be able to move around even as you reach the age of 70, regular consumption of artichoke can help you. Consuming artichokes also prevent bone disorders such as osteoporosis and the likes.
Reduces Risks of Cancer
Artichokes are well known for its abundance in powerful and unique antioxidants. This vegetable is concentrated with rutin, gallic acid, and quertecin that keep the cells healthy and repaired. Increased intake of artichoke helps in inducing damage and death of cells as well discourage development of cancer cells. Research has shown that regularly consuming artichoke will reduce risks of leukemia, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.
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