Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) is a perennial vegetable plant native to the Mediterranean Basin.
Originally wild thistle, the artichoke has grown into the plant we know today through crossbreeding and crop improvement.
High source offibers and manyvitamins, the artichoke has a strong powerantioxidant and provides many benefits for health.
Photo: © fabiomax
- Vegetable garden: how to cultivate the artichoke well
- Cooking: artichoke-based recipe
Artichoke and its health benefits
- The artichoke is a high source of dietary fiber that can help prevent disease cardiovascular and the control of certain types ofdiabetes and regulate appetite by bringing a feeling of satiety.
- Thanks to its high density in potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron, the artichoke is a good remineralizing.
- Formerly used in the countryside to treat jaundice and generalized edema, the artichoke has now become a liver specific drug. It is choleretic (stimulates the production of bile), cholagogue (facilitates its evacuation from the gallbladder to the intestine) and diuretic (increases the volume of urine).
- The artichoke promotes all the functions of ’urinary elimination (infectious diseases, poisoning) and intestinal (digestive disorders, intestinal pain).
- In general, the artichoke is valuable for treating hepatic disorders : jaundice, gallstones, intestinal poisoning.
- The artichoke also has virtues depurative, aperitifs and stimulating.
- Contrary to popular belief, eating artichoke has no beneficial effect on the liver ! Indeed, it is in the leaves and not in the vegetable that the active ingredients are found. To stimulate functions of your liver, use a decoction of artichoke (30 g of leaves per liter of boiling water) to drink before each meal (be careful, it is very bitter).
Growing the artichoke for its benefits
- The artichoke appreciates a mild climate, a hot and sunny position. Loose soil, rich in humus and well drained, suits it.
- Warning, the artichoke fears jellies : protect your plant when the temperatures drop.
- Plant your artichokes between the rows of radishes, salads and carrots, and remember to bring manure at plantation.
- Pot, you will get good results for three years by growing the artichoke in at least one container40 cm deep.
- Warning to aphids, caterpillars and other moths which particularly appreciate the artichoke and attack its leaves and stems.
- Vegetable garden: cultivating the artichoke well
The artichoke in the kitchen for its benefits
- Artichokes are eaten hot or cold, cooked in water or steamed, in a sauce or vinaigrette.
- Some small purple artichokes, very young, marketed under the name pepper or from bouquets, have no hay and can be eaten raw, cut into strips, with a spicy sauce.
- Warning, the cooked artichoke oxidizes quickly, and can give rise to toxic compounds if you keep it too long (even in the refrigerator). Consume it within 24 hours.
Nutritional benefits of artichoke
40 kcal / 100 g. The artichoke is rich in vitamins A, B, C, PP and mineral salts (iron, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, manganese, phosphorus).
It is a "grandma's remedy" to relieve the liver, promote biliary function, prevent cholesterol-related disorders and cleanse the body of toxins that build up in it.