Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) is a plant of the family Asteraceae. Mostly grow in Southern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands. It has been always greatly appreciated, and today we can find forty species of this plant. According to the drawings of Egyptian tombs, artichoke is in use for at least 2500 years, which makes one of the oldest foods.
In the thirties of the last century the New York mobsters had an absolute monopoly on the artichokes market, which was the reason to be banned from New York Mayer, but it was so delicious that the ban lifted soon.
Artichoke is a good source of folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamins of the group B, and minerals copper, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. Fresh artichoke is excellent food for the time of conception and planning of pregnancy because of the abundance of folic acid, which prevents neural tube defects in the fetus.
It contains antioxidants cynarin, silymarin, caffeic, ferulic acid, and smaller amounts of beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
Natural cure for gallstones
Many studies have confirmed that artichoke leaf extract promotes the formation of bilious fluid, crucial for dissolving fat and cholesterol, which normally lead to gallstones.Cynarin from artichokes is so effective that in some European countries is used as part for treatment gallstones.
Extract of artichoke leaves, has an extremely beneficial effect on the health of the liver and helps in the following ways:
- Reducing the level of fat
- Protects against damage and toxins
- Helps with liver cirrhosis
- Preventing liver cancer
- Prevents liver disease caused by excessive alcohol intake
This plant is suitable for today’s modern lifestyle characterized by irregular and unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, stress and worry.
The consequences include digestive problems such as bloating, cramping, pain and heaviness in the stomach, artichoke removes these problems, has a mild laxative property, helps in digestion of heavy meals, expels toxins, and detoxifies the body.
Protects heart and blood vessels
Artichoke effectively lowers bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol LDL. Unlike drugs in the statin class, artichoke does not reduce cholesterol synthesis, but enhances its degradation. Cynarin and sesquiterpene-lactone from artichokes are responsible for its beneficial effects on the health of the heart and blood vessels. They prevent hardening of the arteries, angina, heart attack and stroke.
Great nutrient for weight loss
Artichoke is a great diet food. It is rich in inulin, which is partially digested and does not affect to blood glucose, which is suitable for diabetics. It also increases insulin sensitivity, thus leading to better glucose control.
Artichoke is low in calories and high in fiber. Therefore, it is especially recommended for people prone to gaining weight.
Generally artichoke can help in treating of:
Liver and kidney diseases
Diseases of the heart and blood vessels