Why We Love: Artichokes by Roki Prunali
When we talk about artichokes, probably the first thing that comes to mind is the hassle of eating them, but underneath that tough exterior is a vegetable with many benefits. I know that is has been a while since we have talked about health benefits of our favorite fruits and vegetables and since Spring has started, I thought we should talk about some of our veggies that are perfect for this season. Artichokes are good source of folate, dietary fiber, Vitamins C and K and rank number 7 on the USDA’s top antioxidant rich foods list. Have I got your attention yet?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrient Database reports that one medium artichoke delivers 15% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C and has a score on the ORAC system 9 times higher than other sources of Vitamin C including orange juice and red peppers.
Artichokes have been long recommended as a remedy for indigestion and upset stomach. It can also help with bloating and contains inulin, which is a prebiotic that increases the probiotics or “good bacteria” in your gut. This super veggie also contains manganese, which is used in the metabolism of cholesterol, amino acids, and fatty acids so we correctly utilize the nutrients from the foods we eat.
Certain ingredients found in the leaves of artichokes have been found to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the levels of good cholesterol (HDL). They are also a rich source of potassium and can help neutralize the effects of excess sodium which is notorious for increasing blood pressure. So basically what I am telling you Pretty Birds is that artichokes can help in preventing high blood pressure and diabetes.
So don’t just eat the artichoke hearts, the leaves have their magical powers as well. Steam them, roast them, or even fry them, there are too many ways to count. My one tip to you Pretty Birds is while cleaning your artichokes, soak them in water with lemon to keep them from turning brown.