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You`d Wish you Knew Artichokes Earlier

Digestive and liver problems, really, can now be history. Yes. There’s this member of the sunflower family from the Mediterranean and Canary Islands, one of the oldest foods known to humans that can do you some good.  It does great good to all those who consume it.  You won’t be an exception.  Artichokes are top-ranked over many other plant foods in matters of antioxidants, potassium, fiber, magnesium, manganese, and in many other ways. Introduced to the United States in the 19th century by French and Spanish immigrants,  it is now so common in California among other states in the United States. So much so that California is regarded as the Artichoke Center of the World.  Funnily,  until the 16th century,  this amazing food wasn’t consumed by women. It was a for them to consume it. This was so
because it was considered at the time to have aphrodisiac properties.

Artichoke!  Artichoke!  What about it? 

question

A Brief Description

Artichokes are a variety of species of thistle which is cultivated as a food.  The edible portion has flower buds before the flowers are fully grown. The flower head is a mix of different small budding flowers. Then the structure changes. It changes to a barely edible form once the buds bloom.  This plant is about 1.4 to 2 meters tall and has deep, silver-green leaves with 50 to 82 centimeters in length.  The flowers,  8 to 15 centimeters in diameter,  are formed in the shape of a large head in an edible bud with triangular scales. It`s getting more real, I suppose.

Moving on…

Scientifically known as Cynara cardunculus, they are native to the Mediterranean region. They’re found throughout Europe, the Middle Eastern countries,  and America.

Any Nutritional Value? 

Oh yes,  a number of them.  Let’s see.
  • Artichokes are low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
  • They’re a rich source of fiber,  minerals,  and vitamins.
  • They’re particularly rich in thiamin, niacin,  riboflavin,  dilate,  vitamins A,  B-6, B-12, C,  D and K.  What!  This is so cool.
  • Minerals such as calcium,  zinc,  iron,  sodium,  potassium, and phosphorus are present in artichokes.

Now to the Health Benefits

A Healthy Heart

Certain ingredients in the leaves of artichokes have been proven to reduce the levels of not-so-good cholesterol and increase the levels of good ones such as omega-3 fatty acids. Really, reducing not-so-good cholesterol is one of the best things you can do for your health because these cholesterols build up in the arteries of the cardiovascular system, and disturbs blood flow; sadly,  they also increase blood pressure in the process, and eventually lead to heart attacks and strokes.  Why not welcome artichokes for a better heart health?

Your Liver Too Needs Artichokes

Cynarin and silymarin, two antioxidants found in artichokes, are responsible for the health of the liver. They reduce the presence of toxins by ensuring their elimination from the liver and the entire body system too. These antioxidants even repair damaged liver cells. Interesting!  So first, the heart,  now the liver.  I’m sure you can’t wait to read more. Come along.

They Prevent Birth Defects

pregnantOur mothers,  wives, and sisters can now rejoice.  So can the males,  as artichokes can help prevent abnormal forming of children.  Folic acid,  an essential part of a pregnancy diet is present in artichokes and it prevents neural tube defects from occurring in newborns.  

Regulated Blood Pressure 

Artichokes are rich in potassium, and did you know that potassium is a friend to your body`s organs?  Potassium neutralizes the effect of excess sodium,  a culprit in increasing blood pressure.  So our dear artichokes play the vasodilation role by reducing blood pressure and also preventing the effect of potassium deficiency in hypertensive people.
Diabetics aren’t left out in this. They’re advised to eat artichokes to prevent the complications associated with blood pressure and diabetes. Reduced blood pressure, you know,  ensures better functioning of the heart.  What then are you waiting for? Artichokes all the way!

Smooth Bowel Movements

Dietary fiber is one of the most nutritional staples for improving the health and functionality of your digestive system.  It adds bulk to the food you eat,  keeping your bowel moving regularly, thereby decreasing the troubling symptoms of constipation. Bloating, cramps, stomach, and intestinal cancers, as excess flatulence aren’t left out in the curative power of artichokes.  Artichokes take care of general stomach discomfort.

So…

Now that your liver,  heart, and stomach are taken care of;  you can also have children without worries,  and your blood pressure is in control,  what else do you want from any food item?  *winks*
Well,  rejoice!  It’s  okay to want more because artichokes aren’t  done with you yet.  There’s more to discover!
Just before we move to the next point,  you should know that fiber acts as a clean up for arteries,  further reducing your chances of heart disease.  And back to digestion,  inflamed gall bladders can now relax,  artichokes has got the soothing solution for them.

Ever Had a Hangover? 

It isn’t cool,  you would agree. Maybe it wouldn`t have been so bad if you had some artichokes. Yes, because artichokes make an excellent cure for hangovers.  Just chew on a few leaves after some heavy drinking, and you’ll feel better. It’s better not to drink heavily anyway.

Bone Mineral Density

Did we mention that magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese are present in artichokes?  Those minerals are fantastic at increasing bone health.  You can entrust your bones in their care and go to sleep.  They’ll keep you safe from osteoporosis, a medical condition in which bones lose tissue, hence become brittle and fragile.  Embrace artichokes for healthier bones.

The Brain Too is a Beneficiary

brainSo relax, your brain won’t get jealous of your heart and liver as artichokes have it covered.  This feels like a health insurance already.  So cool. Because artichokes are a good vasodilator,  more oxygen reaches the brain for elevated cognitive ability.  Healthier brain?  Think artichokes.

Improved Skin Health 

skin
We’ve said much about internal organs, we should talk about this too,  the skin.  Antioxidant, collagen, and a healthy immune system have a lot to do with having a beautiful skin.  So you see, it’s not just about cosmetics. Healthy food matters too. Antioxidants, for instance, protect your skin from aging, losing its texture and appearance, or becoming dry.  Collagen makes up about 70 percent of your skin cells, and vitamin C present in artichokes is a great contributor to collagen development. When you have a good functioning immune system, skin infections and unhealthy  bacteria buildup would be far from you.

Anemia is Prevented 

Just a cup serving of artichokes provides about 10 percent of your daily requirement for iron. Artichokes are a good source ignoring, hence prevention of anemia is guaranteed.  Anemia occurs when the body cannot produce sufficient hemoglobin. This disturbs the distribution of oxygen by red blood cells.

Next Step? 

So all these delightsome benefits in artichokes alone?  Wow!  The only next step you may have right now is consuming artichoke. You really need to eat some to enjoy all of these many benefits listed here. It feels like a panacea already, and I really want to have more of it. I can`t get enough of it just yet. Not only should you have some of it, tell others about it. Now may I ask, do you wish you knew artichokes earlier?