Getting to the Heart of Artichokes

by Nutrition

Getting to the Heart of Artichokes

Cynara scolymus, more commonly known as artichoke, is a plant native to the Mediterranean region. Artichokes, being popular with the ancient Greeks and Romans, has been used for centuries as food and medicine. In modern times, it is cultivated around the world. The artichoke plant can be broken down into several parts including the globe. The globe of the plant is edible before it blooms. It’s known to support the digestive system by increasing bile flow. Artichoke also helps promote detoxification by protecting the liver from damage. It can also be useful for dietary deficiencies such as low levels of Vitamin C and iron.

Artichoke Research

Research supports its wide variety of traditional uses. Studies show it may be supportive of maintaining healthy blood sugar. Artichokes are also helpful for the cardiovascular system which can be helpful for many conditions. It’s been shown to have a positive effect on cholesterol levels as it inhibits cholesterol formation. Additionally, artichoke contains compounds such as cynarin which may help prevent the formation of plaque in the arteries. It is also a potent anti-inflammatory and the extract may help prevent headaches though much more research needs to be done.

Some Artichoke Notes…

Overall, if you suffer from gut or heart problems, this food may be for you. Though it’s important to note, artichoke is known to cause flatulence, which can be an unpleasant effect. Artichoke also has a slightly bitter taste, and it can be found canned or fresh at your local grocery store. Eating artichoke occasionally as a food is generally well-tolerated though allergic reactions are possible. If you prefer a supplement form, it can be found in an extract to help concentrate the herbal benefits. Artichoke supplements should not be used by pregnant or nursing mothers as safety data is limited. Also, those with severe liver or kidney disease should consult their doctor before adding artichoke to their daily regimen.


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