Artichoke is the flower bud of a large, thistle like plant. It can be served in many ways, but one of the most popular is to dip the edible portion of the leaves in a sauce like Hollandaise and melted butter or a more healthful choice is lemon juice with a dash of olive oil.
Edible parts of Artichoke: The heart and the tender, fleshy portion at the base of the tough outer leaves. The choke (heart) of small artichokes is eaten whole because there are no hairs to remove as in the case of the larger varieties.
Artichoke Health Benefits:
- A large artichoke provides 15% of the daily requirements of folate and vitamin C.
- The juice contains a substance that helps boost the liver’s ability to regenerate its cells and therefore improve liver function.
- Blood cleanser and may help some migraine conditions (especially those caused by toxins in the blood).
- A diuretic; it helps the body rid itself of excess water.
- Can help lower blood cholesterol.
- Can help to slightly lower the blood sugar.
- The juice can help improve endothelial function. The endothelium is the inner lining of blood vessel walls. A healthy endothelial lining is critical for the prevention of atherosclerosis and artery rupture.
- The juice can help induce apoptosis (cell death) and reduce cell proliferation in many different forms of cancer, including prostate cancer, leukemia, and breast cancer.
- The juice can help relieve hangover.
- Rich in fiber – a medium artichoke has more fiber than a cup of prunes.
Artichoke Nutrition: medium (120g) cooked Artichoke
- Vitamin A: 214 IU
- Vitamin B6: 0.133 mg
- Vitamin C: 12.0 mg
- Vitamin E: 0.23 mg
- Vitamin K: 17.8 mcg
- Thiamin: 0.078 mg
- Riboflavin: 0.079 mg
- Niacin: 1.201 mg
- Folate: 61 mcg
- Calcium: 54 mg
- Magnesium: 72 mg
- Iron: 1.55 mg
- Phosphorus: 103 mg
- Potassium: 425 mg
- Sodium: 114 mg
- Zinc: 0.59 mg
- Selenium: 0.2 mcg
- Protein: 4.18 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.023 g
- Monounsaturated Fat: 0.018 g
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.135 g
- Fiber: 6.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 13.42 g
- Total fat: 0.19 g
- Calories: 60
Artichoke buying tip: High quality artichokes are usually compact and heavy for their size. The thickness of each stalk should correspond to the size of the artichoke. Thin stalks signal dehydration, so look for stalks that are plump and firm.
How to Prepare Artichoke: Artichokes should be washed under cold running water. Pull off the
lower petals and cut the stems to one inch or less. Cut the top quarter of each
artichoke and snip off the sharp tips. Artichokes turn brown very quickly once they
are cut. To preserve the green color, squeeze half lemon into the bowl with water.
How to Cook Artichoke: Artichokes can be boiled, steamed, microwaved or sauteed. They can be eaten whole or added to other dishes. Microwave: cook 6-8 minutes or until a petal near the center pulls out easily.
Caution: May cause allergic reactions in people sensitive to ragweed.