Vegetables and Vegetables

Health Benefits of Artichoke

Scientific name Cynara cardunculus (formerly Cynara scolymus) , the artichoke is actually an immature flower, which is part of the daisy and sunflower (compound) family. Typical herbaceous plant of temperate climate and wetlands, its likely origin is in the Mediterranean.

In ancient times, artichokes were used in the preparation of medicines against fever, rheumatism and liver diseases. It is said that in the Roman Empire, its medicinal properties were so valued that it became a food reserved only for the king and nobles.

Brought to the Americas around the 19th century by European immigrants, today it is cultivated in various parts of the world and its benefits are available to everyone, both in cooking and in health treatments.

ARTICHOKE IN BRAZIL

The artichoke arrived in Brazilian lands by the hands of immigrants, at the time of colonization, and today its cultivation is concentrated in the states of São Paulo, Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul. be used decoratively. Artichoke planting occurs mainly in autumn and harvest in spring.

ARTICHOKE: WHAT IS IT FOR?

Considered a medicinal plant, the artichoke is widely used to treat or prevent health problems. Every 100g of the vegetable provides good doses of B vitamins, calcium, potassium, iodine, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. See below what artichoke is for.

Among the main uses of artichoke are:

– Liver and biliary protector;

– Treatment of Anemia;

– Control of diabetes;

– Prevention against atherosclerosis and heart disease;

– Cholesterol reduction;

– Control of blood sugar levels;

– Natural eye drops in case of dry eyes (external use with the liquid resulting from cooking).

BENEFITS AND HARMS OF ARTICHOKE

The artichoke has in its composition a large amount of B vitamins, vitamin A and minerals such as iron, calcium and phosphorus. This combination brings great benefits for the proper functioning of our body. Also, every 100g of artichoke = just 50 calories and 0% cholesterol, which makes it a good fitness food.

ARTICHOKE: INDICATION

– Because it contains a substance called cyarin, artichoke is an excellent regulator of liver (liver) and biliary (bladder) functions.

– Stimulates the functioning of the digestive system.

– Rich in fiber, its consumption increases peristaltic movements (of the esophagus and intestines), helping to absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins.

– Because it contains potassium, it has a detoxifying effect, stimulating diuresis and fighting constipation.

– Artichoke leaves help reduce blood sugar, helping to control diabetes and hypertension.

– It also prevents anemia.

ARTICHOKE: CONTRAINDICATIONS

Although it is a very healthy food as a whole, there are some people for whom artichoke is contraindicated:

– Individuals prone to allergies

– People with bile duct obstruction

– Pregnant and lactating women (this vegetable can reduce breast milk production)

– Patients with gallbladder, liver, hepatitis or liver cancer problems.

HOW TO CONSUME ARTICHOKE

As it is an immature flower, that is, a closed bud, consumption must be done before it opens. The edible part of the artichoke is the “heart” of the flower, which is its fleshy part, the “bottom” of the plant, always taking care to remove the thorns.

Raw or cooked, its flavor is very pleasant, slightly bitter and with a touch of sweetness at the end. It can be used both in stews, stir-fries, salads and teas, as well as in the form of capsules and tablets for slimming purposes and combating digestive and liver problems.

HOW TO MAKE ARTICHOKE

With large, succulent leaves, the artichoke can be served cooked or raw as a starter. Leaves are tastier with sauces. The center of the artichoke, one of the most appreciated parts, can be served braised, roasted in the oven or stuffed. But there are precautions you must follow before and during preparation to preserve its texture and flavor.

– Before cutting the artichokes, rub lemon into the knife and into the vegetable, as it oxidizes easily.

– Prefer enamelled or stainless steel pans, as the aluminum ones lead to the browning of the artichoke.

– To cook the artichokes, place them in a pan with water and a few lemon slices.

Cooking time:

Ordinary pans: 20 to 30 min.

Pressure cooker: 10 to 15 min.

– To make sure the artichoke is cooked, pull out a leaf: if it’s just right, it will come off easily. When the flesh is tender, the artichoke is ready to be eaten with a sauce of your choice or to be used in a recipe.

ARTICHOKE: RECIPES

There are countless recipes that can be made with artichokes. We selected two that are easy to make and very tasty.

ROMAN ARTICHOKES

Ingredients:

  • 04 large artichokes
  • 04 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • 01 tablespoon of chopped mint leaves
  • 04 cups (of tea) of grated old-fashioned bread roll
  • 02 chopped garlic cloves
  • 01 lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

How to prepare:

  • Wash artichokes thoroughly, remove stalks, outer leaves and thorns (use a spoon).
  • Put the artichokes to soak in a container with water + a pinch of salt + lemon juice and set aside.
  • Prepare the filling: mix the breadcrumbs with the chopped parsley, mint and beaten garlic. Season with salt, pepper and a little olive oil and stir until consistent.
  • Remove the artichokes from the water and let it drain.
  • Flatten them a little in the center, forming a cavity between the petals and distribute the filling in it.
  • Place the artichokes in a high pot and cover halfway with oil and water (02 parts oil and one part water).
  • Cover the pan and simmer over a low heat. When the petals start to loosen, they will be ready to serve.

GRATIN ARTICHOKE RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 2 artichokes (bottoms)
  • One tin of milk cream
  • 50 g of parmesan cheese (grated)
  • Ground white salt and pepper (to taste)

How to prepare:

  1. In a baking dish (or ovenproof dish), place the sliced ​​artichoke bottoms and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Add 200g of cream on top
  3. Cover with grated cheese
  4. Bake at a temperature of 220°C
  5. Wait for it to brown and serve.

ARTICHOKE TEA

Artichoke tea has a diuretic effect and is a great vesicular, hepatic and venal stimulant. Its preparation is very simple. For this, you only need to separate chopped artichoke leaves, a liter of water and honey.

  1. Boil water
  2. Add a tablespoon of the artichoke leaves (sliced)
  3. Let it boil for another 5 min
  4. Turn off the heat and cover the container to purify the infusion (about 10 min)
  5. Strain the infusion and drink a cup two to three times a day before main meals.
  6. This tea should be consumed on the day it is made to maintain all the plant’s properties.

DOES ARTICHOKE LOSE WEIGHT?

According to specialists, the artichoke is a good help in the weight loss process, as long as it is accompanied by a balanced and healthy diet.

This is because, in addition to its low caloric content, this vegetable has in its composition cinnarin, chlorogenic acid and cinnaropicrin, substances that help regulate the functioning of the digestive system, liver and intestine.

Among other effects, the artichoke:

– Stimulates bile production, aiding digestion;

– Helps to eliminate fats present in food;

– Reduces fluid retention;

– By having the coenzyme NADO-NADPH2, it helps to reduce cholesterol;

– Speeds up the weight loss process.

ARTICHOKE CAPSULES

If the artichoke in natura already helps to lose weight, the capsules, because they are concentrated, are even more effective. Hence the reason for being so welcome in the eating routine of those who want to lose a few pounds.

Artichoke capsules help you lose weight because:

– Improve digestive function

– Promotes diuretic effect

– Act as a mild laxative that helps to eliminate fat

– Stimulate bile secretion

– Decrease swelling.

The ideal for consumption is 01 capsule 03 x per day, before or after main meals

COMPOUND ARTICHOKE

Compound artichoke capsules are even more powerful, as they combine in their composition, in addition to artichoke, jurubeba and pocket – which are also plants with digestive properties. Working together, the three plants accelerate the reduction of localized fats and help fight obesity.

ARTICHOKE: SIDE EFFECTS

Artichoke does not have significant side effects, but consumption is not advisable for pregnant and lactating women, as it can reduce milk production.

It can also cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to plants of the Asteraceae/Compositae family .

It can lead to increased bile flow, which can cause gallstones to form.

In some people, eating artichoke can increase intestinal gas.

ARTICHOKE: PRICE

Artichokes can be found in their natural form at fairs and markets or in the form of capsules and extracts in pharmacies or health food stores. Before choosing your option, talk to your doctor to find out what is the best indication for your case.

A box of 100 artichoke 200 mg tablets costs 20 to 25.00. Boxes of 100 pills of 312.5 mg cost, on average, from R$50 to R$68.

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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