Although it has become the protagonist of some diets and weight loss methods,
Sometimes questionable, the truth is that the artichoke has many other virtues for which it must be taken into account. It is true that it is a purifying and diuretic vegetable, ideal for those who take care of the line, but we suggest you discover other benefits.
- It has multiple qualities at a digestive and functional level, it is the vegetable with the highest fiber content.
- It has a beneficial effect on the digestion of fats due to its contribution of cynarin, a component that provides part of its bitter taste.
- It is suitable for anyone with digestive problems, constipation, fluid retention, etc.
Very rich in fiber and diuretic
Although it has become the protagonist of some diets and methods of weight loss , sometimes questionable, the truth is that the artichoke has many other virtues for which it must be taken into account. It is true that it is a purifying and diuretic vegetable, ideal for those who take care of the line, but we suggest you discover other benefits.
The artichoke has multiple qualities at a digestive and functional level. It stands out for being, by far, the vegetable with the highest fiber content , although it must be borne in mind that we do not consume it whole. As we know, fiber contributes, among other things, to regulating intestinal transit and slowing down the absorption of nutrients, avoiding sudden increases in blood glucose. It is also rich in vitamin B1 , necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates. It also contains bioactive substances with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and diuretic functions. And it is worth highlighting the role of the artichoke on the stimulation of diuresis, which is why it is part of diets aimed at avoiding fluid retention.
The artichoke also has a beneficial effect on the digestion of fats. This is due to its contribution of cynarin, a component that provides part of its bitter taste. The cynarin and other substances present in the artichoke have a choleretic effect, which means that they increase the secretion of bile by the liver, and precisely the function of bile is to contribute to the digestion of fats. With this effect, more fluid bile is also obtained and the decongestion of the liver is stimulated, for which the artichoke is often considered as a liver cleansing plant.
How to take it
The artichoke is prepared in multiple ways: baked, grilled, steamed, battered, fried, in stir-fries and stews… It is used in omelets, pizzas, vegetable stews, etc. In addition, it has an important market as canned vegetables, in water and salt, in vinegar, frozen …
When we consume it fresh, we must be careful when handling it, to avoid it being damaged or oxidized. So that it does not rust, we must use lemon or vinegar: we can sprinkle the artichokes, rub them with lemon or add the vinegar or lemon in the cooking water and keep them in contact with the air for a short time. In addition, we must bear in mind that artichokes stain our skin when peeling them; To avoid this, it is best to use gloves.
The so-called winter artichoke may have whitish or even brownish-brown outer leaves, due to the cold, but this does not affect the culinary value of the fruit.
The liquor used as an aperitif, called Cynar, comes from different vegetables, among which the artichoke (Cynara scolymus) predominates.
Who suits and who is not
The artichoke can be advisable for anyone although it has special interest in the following cases:
- People with digestive problems due to fat, as it has a choleretic effect, that is, it increases the secretion of bile.
- In cases of fluid retention, due to its stimulating effect on diuresis.
- For children and athletes and, in general, all those who follow diets rich in carbohydrates, since it is abundant in vitamin B1, necessary to metabolize this type of nutrients.
- If you suffer from constipation, due to its high fiber content.
- In cases of diabetes, they provide few simple carbohydrates, including fructose, which can be assimilated without insulin. In addition, the high fiber content slows the absorption of nutrients, and other substances such as cynarin have a slight hypoglycemic effect.
- For people with high cholesterol, since the fiber and plant sterols content of the artichoke contribute to a lower absorption of cholesterol from the diet.
It is not convenient in certain cases:
- In case of flatulence, aerophagia or dyspepsia, since the important amount of fiber in the artichoke can favor them. In these cases, it may be useful to take, after meals, infusions that help improve digestion such as chamomile, green anise, fennel or spearmint.
Buying and conservation advice
When buying artichokes we must check that they are fresh and crisp, something that we will notice if, when pressing their leaves, we hear or notice the crunch of their leaves. If, otherwise, the leaves are soft, brownish in color and separate easily, it means that it has lost its freshness. We will also reject artichokes with a dry and hardened base.
In addition, we will try to choose the heaviest in relation to their size, with firm, thick and well-formed leaves.
For their conservation, the ideal is to keep them in a cool place and not cut the stem until they are prepared and consumed. We can put them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator or even leave them in water as a flower, also cold.
Vegetables are essential to help meet the nutritional needs of fiber, and certain vitamins and minerals, in addition to this, they contain multiple bioactive substances that represent benefits for our body. We must remember that the recommended consumption of fruits and vegetables is about five servings a day, which would mean eating vegetables both at lunch and dinner.
Microwave roasted artichokes
- 4 artichokes
- Coarse salt
- Olive oil
- 1 lemon
Cut the stem and remove the outer leaves of the artichokes. Give a blow to the tip, allowing them to open and place them on the source where we will serve them. Add salt and pepper to taste and optionally add a splash of lemon juice. Then, cook them in the microwave at maximum power, for about four minutes per unit. If we have more time we can bake them, as they will be more golden and crisp.
Note: the lemon juice will also prevent the artichokes from rusting.