They’re not the easiest to prepare, and it may seem like you're working hard for a small amount of actual food.
But just because they’re difficult doesn’t mean you should avoid them. In fact, everyone should consider incorporating artichokes into their diet.
The Numerous Health Benefits of Artichokes
Artichokes are an odd-looking plant believed to originate in the Mediterranean. Their fleshy leaves and heart are edible and high in nutrients. If you add them to your diet (even just weekly), you can enjoy benefits like:
- Cardiovascular Health: Artichokes are high in potassium, which helps maintain a healthy heart beat. Studies have shown that diets rich in potassium also have a reduced risk for stroke. If you have excess sodium, the extra potassium will help balance it all out too. The phytonutrients in artichokes can also help lower the bad cholesterol in your blood, which reduces your risk for heart disease.
- Immunity Benefits: Antioxidants and phytonutrients are aplenty in artichokes. These help your body build more immunity and promotes all around good health. In some cases, it might even help with prostate cancer. Also, the high doses of vitamin C might help you fight off the cold virus or possibly even prevent you from getting one in the first place.
- Digestion: If you have an unhealthy gut, the dietary fiber in artichokes could help you out. It promotes a healthier digestive system and can even ward off constipation.
- Bone Health: The vitamin C in artichokes assists your body in creating collagen. This protein makes for stronger bones, blood vessels and muscles. Also, the magnesium in artichokes helps build up healthier bones and the potassium makes for a healthy nervous system.
They really aren’t as difficult to prepare as you might think. There are a few ways to eat artichokes — from steaming them to roasting them in the oven to boiling them. If you are looking for a good snack, you can even pickle them or puree them into your favorite dips — spinach and artichoke dip anyone?
If you don’t want to waste the nutrients, avoid boiling...
The best way is to cut off the top, tougher leaves, drizzle them with oil and lemon, wrap tightly with aluminum foil and roast in the oven at 450 degrees F until very tender (about 1 to 2 hours).
Check out this prep guide from Simply Recipes.
If the artichoke still scares you, you can always buy pre-made artichoke hearts. But, if you do, rinse the brine from them so that you don’t add to your sodium intake.
If you have a favorite artichoke recipe, let us know in the comments below! If you would like to learn more about how changing your diet can help you look and feel better, contact us today and we'd love to help!