Whether fresh or canned, hot or cold, artichokes are delicious in salads, antipasto, dips or any dish that might be enhanced by their salty, briny flavor.
Artichokes offer a number of amazing health benefits. They have the power to improve digestion, promote heart health, and provide liver support.
Artichoke extract also offers powerful medicinal properties that have been extensively researched. This extract has been shown to lower cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and blood pressure – to name just a few advantages.
What’s more, this wondrous veggie can help purify the body and even promote weight loss. Keep reading to find out how artichokes can promote good health and help you slim down.
Are Artichokes Keto Friendly?
Artichokes are fairly low in carbs and high in fiber. Fiber-rich veggies like artichokes are a good option for the Keto diet because the presence of fiber lowers the digestible net carbs. They’re also a great way to avoid constipation, which is often a symptom of the Keto diet.
How Many Carbs are in Artichokes?
One medium-sized artichoke contains 13 grams of total carbs. Artichokes are high in fiber which lowers the net carb count to only 8 grams per medium artichoke.
How Many Calories are in Artichokes?
One medium artichoke contains 60 calories. Adding butter to artichokes or cooking them with oil will increase the calorie content significantly. Each tablespoon of butter or oil used will add 100 calories.
|Amount: 1 medium artichoke (128 grams)|
|Total Fat 0.2 grams||0%|
|Saturated fat 0 grams||0%|
|Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 grams|
|Monounsaturated fat 0 grams|
|Cholesterol 0 milligrams||0%|
|Sodium 120.3 milligrams||5%|
|Potassium 473.6 milligrams||13%|
|Total Carbohydrate 13 grams||4%|
|Dietary fiber 7 grams||28%|
|Sugar 1.3 grams|
|Protein 4.2 grams||8%|
|Vitamin A||0%||Vitamin C||25%|
|Vitamin D||0%||Vitamin B-6||5%|
A Powerhouse of Nutrients
Artichokes are loaded with vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, phosphorus, and magnesium. They are also one of the richest sources of antioxidants.
You’ll get more of these vitamins and minerals if you consume raw artichokes because some of the nutrients will be cooked off during the boiling process. While cooked artichokes do contain a decent amount of these nutrients, raw artichokes have more.
Consuming this vegetable raw provides the percent daily recommended intake (RDI) of the following nutrients:
- Vitamin C 25% of the RDI
- Vitamin K 24% of the RDI
- Thiamine 6% of the RDI
- Riboflavin 5% of the RDI
- Niacin 7% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6 11% of the RDI
- Folate 22% of the RDI
- Iron 9% of the RDI
- Magnesium 19% of the RDI
- Phosphorus 12% of the RDI
- Potassium 14% of the RDI
- Calcium 6% of the RDI
- Zinc 6% of the RDI
Promotes Healthy Cholesterol Levels
Studies show that artichoke extract may reduce unhealthy LDL cholesterol while increasing healthy HDL cholesterol.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Research suggests that artichokes and artichoke extract may help lower blood pressure in individuals with elevated levels. Various studies indicate that artichoke extract contains a special enzyme that helps widen blood vessels, which is thought to improve blood pressure.
Protects the Liver
Consuming artichokes and taking artichoke extract may help protect your liver from damage and help improve fatty liver disease. However, more research is required to verify these effects.
One study published by Helwan University in Cairo, Egypt reported that artichoke extract administered to rats resulted in reduced liver damage, higher antioxidant levels, and significantly improved liver function after an induced drug overdose, compared to rats not given artichoke extract. Studies on humans also show beneficial effects on liver function.
Aids in Digestion
Artichokes contain inulin, a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic in the gut. Both the vegetable and its leaf extract help maintain digestive health by boosting healthy gut bacteria and relieving indigestion. The fiber can help keep your digestive system healthy and lower the risk of bowel cancer while helping to prevent both constipation and diarrhea.
Helps Lower Blood Sugar
Some evidence suggests that artichokes and artichoke leaf extract may lower blood sugar levels.
One study published by the University of Pavia in Italy looked at the blood sugar of 39 overweight adults who consumed artichoke extract daily for two months lowered fasting blood sugar levels compared to not those who didn’t consume the artichoke extract.
Various test-tube and animal studies suggest that artichokes and artichoke extract may fight the growth of cancer cells. The antioxidants in artichokes are thought to be responsible for this effect, such as rutin, quercetin, silymarin, and gallic acid. In fact, silymarin has been found to help prevent and treat skin cancer in animal and test-tube studies.
Artichokes are safe when consumed in normal food amounts. Artichoke is also safe for most people when taken by mouth medicinally.
In some individuals, artichokes can cause side effects such as gas, upset stomach, and diarrhea. Artichoke might also cause allergic reactions in some people.
Individuals with bile duct obstruction or gallstones should avoid artichokes and artichoke extract due to their ability to promote bile movement.
Side effects of artichoke extract are rare; however, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid taking the extract.
Are Artichokes Good for Weight Loss?
Artichokes are low in calories so they make a great food choice for those who are trying to slim down.
The vegetable also contains cinnarine, a substance that has a diuretic effect on the body to improve the digestion of fats and help eliminate them.
Additionally, artichokes are high in fiber to assist in lowering blood glucose and control cholesterol levels, two effects that are advantageous for obese individuals.
Do Artichokes Cause Gas?
Artichokes contain a type of fiber that is not completely digested in the small intestine. Therefore, the good bacteria in the large intestine work to digest the fiber. As a result, gas is caused by consuming this vegetable. Eating copious amounts of artichokes will increase the gas, along with other veggies like asparagus, cabbage, and onions.
Are Artichokes Safe to Eat During Pregnancy?
Artichoke hearts are not only safe, but they also provide lots of healthy nutrients for expectant mothers and their babies.
However, pregnant or nursing women should avoid artichoke extract due to a lack of safety information.
What Part of the Artichoke is Inedible?
The artichoke consists of several parts: The pointy leaves, the furry choke and the heart. You may be wondering, which parts are edible and which parts you should toss.
Simply peel off a petal, then scrape off the tender portion at the tip with your teeth, discarding the pointy part of the outer leaves. The heart is completely edible.
The sharp end of the leaves, the hairy area at the bottom, and the stem should not be eaten as these parts could cause bowel obstruction or pose a choking hazard.
Once all the leaves are removed, the artichoke heart remains. It resembles a furry ball. Scrape off the furry part with a fork until you are left with just the artichoke heart. You can dip it in butter, oil, or balsamic vinegar or add it to salads.
What is the Best Way to Cook Artichokes?
You can steam boil, grill, braise, bake, roast, or sauté artichokes. Artichokes can also be stuffed or breaded.
Boiling artichokes tend to water-log them and cook off some of their nutrients, but steaming them helps them retain most of their vitamins and minerals.
Artichokes are also delicious roasted in olive oil and garlic, whether eaten on their own, in dishes, atop pizza or salad.