Do you know that artichokes are one the most nutritionally rich vegetables? Next question, have you ever even tried them? I always see them in the veggie aisle at the grocery store and, I must admit, they seemed a bit intimidating to cook. Do a quick Internet search and it always sounds so complicated: take this leaf off, peel this, squeeze that; but it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Really! You should give them a try. Artichokes are quite tasty, especially with a bit of lemon and a good quality olive oil. I will not go into the dynamics of cooking these as I am no chef but I’ll gladly rave about their benefits.
I’m going to focus on globe artichokes, not to be confused with the Jerusalem artichoke. Glad we cleared that up! Admit it, you didn’t even know that there was more than one type, did you?
Artichoke Beauty Benefits
Artichokes are a great source of copper, which is key to building collagen! They are a great source of folate, vitamin K, manganese, magnesium and vitamin C.
Artichokes are nature’s gift to digestion and a powerful stimulant for the gall bladder and liver. They contain a chemical called cynarine. Cynarine stimulates the production of bile, which makes the digestion of fats much easier. Note to self: next time you indulge, eat an artichoke first. Did you know that bile breaks down fat into tiny bits, dramatically increasing the surface area that is exposed to the stomach’s digestive juices? Talk about a winning side dish to go with that heavy meal!
Artichokes are known to help with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. They also cleanse and detoxify the body and are a great fiber source because they contain inulin, which helps the plumbing keep going.
Now what do you do with these vitamin-rich vegetables? You can actually eat them raw, who knew? Just find fresh baby globe artichokes, put on a little lemon and olive oil, and you are golden. You can also sauté them. If you’re still not too keen on the idea of artichokes, chop them up and slip them into sauces or pasta.
Party alert: If you are heading out for a night on the town, taking an artichoke tincture or capsules helps protect to your liver, just in case you imbibe in a little alcohol or eat really rich or greasy foods.
Three Cheers for the globe artichoke! Now go eat one. And if you’re sitting on a fab artichoke recipe, be sure to share.