The globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) is a variety of a species of thistle cultivated as a food.
The edible portion of the plant consists of the flower buds before the flowers come into bloom. The budding artichoke flower-head is a cluster of many budding small flowers, together with many bracts, on an edible base. Once the buds bloom, the structure changes to a coarse, barely edible form. Another variety of the same species is the cardoon, a perennial plant native to the Mediterranean region. Both wild forms and cultivated varieties (cultivars) exist.
8 Health Benefits of Artichokes
Loaded With Nutrients:
Artichokes are low in fat, high in fiber, and loaded with vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, phosphorus, and magnesium. They are also one of the richest sources of antioxidants.
Lower ‘Bad’ LDL Cholesterol and Increase ‘Good’ HDL Cholesterol
Artichoke extract may reduce total and “bad” LDL cholesterol while increasing “good” HDL cholesterol
Help Regulate Blood Pressure
Artichoke extract may help lower blood pressure in people with already elevated levels.
Improve Liver Health
Regular consumption of artichoke extract may help protect your liver from damage and help relieve symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. However, more research is needed.
Improve Digestive Health
Artichoke leaf extract may maintain digestive health by boosting friendly gut bacteria and alleviating symptoms of indigestion
Ease Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Artichoke leaf extract may help treat IBS symptoms by reducing muscle spasms, balancing gut bacteria, and reduce inflammation. However, more research is necessary.
Help Lower Blood Sugar
Some evidence suggests that artichokes and artichoke leaf extract may lower blood sugar levels. However, more research is needed.
Have Anticancer Effects
Test-tube and animal studies suggest that artichoke extract may fight the growth of cancer cells. However, no human studies exist, so more research is needed before conclusions can be drawn.