Published: 09/10/2014 - Updated: 03/08/2020
Author: Dra. Loredana Lunadei, PhD
Artichokes are considered to be a plant with medicinal properties, supplying a lot of favorable benefits and properties for health and beauty. This plant is cultivated in warm climates in lots of areas around the world. It belongs to the genus cynara, and it is very common to find it in the Mediterranean, where it germinates during the majority of the months throughout the year.
Properties and applications for artichokes
- DIGESTION: promotes quick digestion and elimination of gasses.
- CLEANSING: helps eliminate toxins and things that stick to the intestines and the blood, because it is rich in phytosterols, a substance that helps restrict the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines, and thereby preventing its accumulation in the body.
- LIVER: take part in liver function, used to cure illnesses related to this important organ, like cirrhosis, intoxication, hepatitis, jaundice, etc.
- WEIGHT LOSS: artichokes are a perfect vegetable for loosing weight and burning extra fat, because they contain a large amount of properties that participate in digestive functions. This promotes the loss of more pounds. They are low in calories, and high in water, properties that make in a perfect vegetable in weight-loss diets or to control cholesterol, and its related diseases.
- KIDNEYS: possesses diuretic properties because it is rich in cynarine, a substance that stimulates the secretion of bilis by the gallbladder. In this way, it improves the metabolism of fats, and increases organic lipolysis (breakdown of fatty acids). This substance also exerts a diuretic effect, stimulating the kidneys, and thereby, helping eliminate excess liquids.
- ARTERIOSCLEROSIS: helps prevent arteriosclerosis and possible coronary diseases.
- DIABETICS: contains Inulin, a hormone similar to insulin, which helps keep blood glucose levels stable. This property converts it into a very recommended food for diabetics, because it decreases sugar levels in the blood. That’s why you can drink a glass of artichoke infusion per day, or take capsules.
- ARTHRITIS AND GOUT: helps eliminate liquid, and with it, toxins, and chiefly, uric acid, making it recommendable for people who suffer from circulatory diseases, gout, and arthritis.
- CHOLESTEROL: helps supply the necessary acids for reducing cholesterol levels in the blood, decreasing blood pressure, and preventing, as said before, arteriosclerosis.
- EYE DRYNESS: external use strengthens the eyes and diminish dryness.
How to eat artichokes?
Preferably raw, in salads, in order take full advantage of its qualities. For weight loss or diets to get thin, it is most commonly taken in pills or artichoke capsules.
Cooking with artichokes
Bellow, a recipe to benefit from all of its properties:
This recipe makes 4 portions, and will take roughly 20 minutes to make. It will provide you with roughly 360 calories per portion, and is very simple to make.
Artichokes with almonds and cream
- 3 artichokes
- 1 head of lettuce
- 75 grams of almonds
- 200 grams of liquid cream for the base
- 5 cL of aromatic herb oil
- 50 grams whole wheat flour
- 2 lemons
1. Wash and cut: remove the first few leaves from the artichoke and wash. Then, slice them very thin with a sharp knife. Sprinkle them with the lemon juice to prevent them from oxidizing.
2. Cook the vegetables: in a pot of boiling water, add the flour, dissolved in a bit of water, and the artichoke slices. Let boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and let coo. Do not cook too much, so as to retain their properties.
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3. Prepare a pan: on a flat plan, place the lettuce leaves so as to cover the entire bottom. Then, place the artichoke on the lettuce, and sprinkle the almonds, broken into pieces, on top. Season with salt and pepper, and dress with oil.
4. Set the cream: beat the liquid cream with an electric blender until it is completely set, and place on top of the artichokes. Decorate with any aromatic herb.
NOTE: baked or grilled artichokes, bathed in olive oil, and extremely delicious and medicinal, for both the artichoke and the olive oil properties. You can add tofu or dry buttermilk to this dish, which will increase its nutrient content.
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