Question

Health Value Of Foods

What are the health benefits of eating artichokes?

A Answers (4)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    artichokes lower cholesterol

    Artichoke extract is a powerful antioxidant that increases bile flow. In this video, Dr. Oz explains how how the interaction between bile and artichoke extract can lower cholesterol. 

  • ARovenia Brock, PhD, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    Did you know that eating just three artichokes a day in any form -- fresh, canned, or frozen -- may neutralize the effects of damaging free radicals by 60%? As it turns out, artichokes have antioxidants that promote healthy liver function and, in turn, detoxify the body. Artichokes also quell digestive upset, such as bloating and gassiness, by 70%, some scientists say in just six weeks. Try them in salads or grilled with lemon butter -- yum!
  • AMichael T. Murray, Naturopathic Medicine, answered

    Fresh artichokes are very low in calories because most of the carbohydrate is in the form of inulin, a polysaccharide or starch that is handled by the body differently than other sugars. In fact, inulin is not utilized by the body for energy metabolism. This makes artichokes extremely beneficial to diabetics, as inulin has actually been shown to improve blood sugar control in diabetes. However, it is important that the artichoke be as fresh as possible, because inulin is broken down into other sugars when artichokes are stored for any length of time.

    The artichoke has a long folk history in treating many liver diseases. Recent scientific evidence supports this longtime use. The active ingredients in artichoke are caffeoylquinic acids, such as cynarin. These compounds are found in highest concentrations in the leaves, but are also found in the bracts and heart. Artichoke leaf extracts have demonstrated significant liver protecting and regenerating effects. They also have a choleretic effect, which means they promote the flow of bile and fat to and from the liver. This is very important, because if the bile is not transported adequately to the gallbladder, the liver is at increased risk of damage. Choleretics are very useful in the treatment of hepatitis and other liver diseases via this "decongesting" effect. Choleretics lower cholesterol levels too, since they increase the excretion of cholesterol and decrease the manufacture of cholesterol in the liver. Consistent with its choleretic effect, artichoke leaf extract has been shown to lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels in both human and animal studies.Artichoke leaf extracts have been shown to improve the functioning of the cells that line the arteries - the endothelial cells. Dysfunction of the endothelial cells represents the first stage of atherosclerotic disease. In one clinical trial, 28 men and women with elevations of LDL cholesterol were given 20 mg of frozen artichoke juice per day. In addition to lowering cholesterol levels, the artichoke extract demonstrated a clear ability to improve endothelial function, thereby establishing another mechanism for its benefits against atherosclerosis.

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  • Artichokes ranked second overall and first among vegetables in the USDA study’s per gram category. The fiber in artichokes, along with the phytochemicals luteolin and cynarin, is thought to help lower cholesterol levels. Artichokes also contain inulin, the prebiotic fiber that can selectively nourish the “good” bacteria that line your intestinal tract and ward off E. coli and other foodborne viruses. Amazingly, California produces virtually 100% of the artichokes in the U.S.—and consumes almost half of them!
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