Believe it or not, Artichokes are a superfood! They are considered a delicacy in the Mediterranean healthy eating diet but in Australia the humble Artichoke is often overlooked due to most people not knowing how to eat or realising how good they are for us. With grocery stores piled high at the moment with these wonderous creations of nature, I have devised a simple yet delicious recipe for you so you can enjoy the nutrient benefit of these superfoods.
Artichokes rank highly as a nutrient power house being one of the most abundantly rich antioxidant vegetables available on the planet. Not only are artichokes full of disease fighting antioxidants they are jammed packed with an impressive list of nutrients and an array of health benefits.
Nutrients in Artichokes:
B vitamins, B6, niacin, thiamine and B5
Flavinoids, beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin
Minerals, copper, calcium, iron, manganese and phosphorous
Health Benefits from Artichokes:
Artichokes have long been known for their heart health benefit. A substance called Cynarin found in artichokes has been shown to help reduce bad cholesterol and decrease the risk of coronary heart disease. Artichoke leaf extract is often prescribed for this use.
Cynarin may not only help to lower cholesterol levels, it may also help assist with digestive health. Cynarin helps stimulate bile production helping to improve our digestion of fats and absorption of nutrients. This is one of the reasons the French tend to include artichokes with high fat meals. Artichokes have also been shown to help alleviate the symptoms of IBS, heart burn, bowel problems and tummy complaints, most likely due to their positive effects on digestion.
Artichokes are also wonderful for supporting healthy liver and gall bladder function due to the bile stimulating properties from Cynarin and liver cell protecting properties from a compound called Silymarin. Including artichokes in your diet is therefore a wonderful way to encourage natural detoxification.
The health benefit of eating artichokes doesn’t just stop here. The antioxidant properties help to protect our cells from environmental damage and toxins, so these wonderful little thistles may even play a role in helping to protect us from certain cancers.
The high fiber content of these green beauties helps to control constipation and may help cut down colon cancer risks by quickening the transit time of any toxic compounds from our diet.
With all these health benefits and nutritious goodness you may like myself have been wondering why on earth you havent been tucking into artichoke sooner.
To help you on your way try out this delicious detoxifying nutritious tummy healing soup
How to prepare artichokes:
Spinach Detox Soup
For the soup:
1 tablespoon coconut or macadamia oil
1 fennel bulb, chopped roughly
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 celery sticks, chopped roughly
3 Jerusalem artichoke bulbs, peeled and chopped roughly
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups vegetable stock or bone broth
Pinch sea salt flakes
400g baby spinach leaves
Squeeze of lemon juice
Greek full fat yoghurt
Place all soup ingredients, except for the spinach leaves, in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat then simmer for 10 minutes before adding the spinach and blending.
Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dollop of Greek yoghurt.