How to cook artichokes is something we've written about before but we haven't really gotten to the root of why this spring vegetable is a healthy and flavorful addition to your plate.
Amélie, the main character in the film Amélie (2001), would say: "Even artichokes have hearts." We echo that sentiment because artichokes not only have a tender heart but are rich in history and loaded with health benefits.
For starters, artichokes are healthy because they contain a substance called cynerin, which is helps boost liver and kidney functions. Thus, consuming artichokes helps detox the body, improve digestion and have diuretic effects.
In 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture noted that artichoke leaves are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. This vegetable is also a great source of fiber, iron and minerals like magnesium, which is lacking in many people's diet.
Lets take a look at 5 other reasons artichokes are healthy.
BENEFITS AND FUN FACTS ABOUT ARTICHOKES
1. The heart is the best part of the artichoke. It is also very beneficial to the human heart because it can lower cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation and improve blood flow.
2. How many calories are in an artichoke? Very few: just 60 calories in a medium artichoke.
3. Submerging the prepped artichoke in water and lemon - or water and vinegar - avoids oxidation and retains that beautiful color.
4. The best artichokes for consuming raw? Those would be the purple varieties from Italy - sliced thinly, seasoned with salt and pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
5. A study from the University of Slovenia found that artichoke leaf extract may inhibit the growth of leukemia cells.
Are you craving artichokes now? Try this delicious recipe: Chicken tagine with olives, artichokes and onions.