Artichoke is a plant of Mediterranean origin, with a sturdy trunk and branching, and its height can reach one meter and twenty centimeters. It is a vegetable and eaten well known since ancient times. Was used as a food since the people of Egypt and later by the Greeks and Romans.
Tgis vegetable is harvested from October to June, and many species flower several times during the year. In Italy it is very common, especially in Mediterranean crops largest found in Liguria, Tuscany, Sardinia, Lazio and Puglia and our country, is currently the largest producer worldwide ofthis vegetable.
On the market there are different qualities of artichoke, rounded or elongated, with or without spines, in various shades of green and purple hues. The varieties grown worldwide are about 90.
Healing Properties and Benefits of Artichoke
The organ that gets the most benefit from the properties of the artichoke is the liver. The cynarine, whose benefits are deactivated by cooking (which is why it is best eaten raw plant), promotes urination and bile secretion.
Recent scientific research has shown that eating artichokes contributes to the welfare of our body and especially to prevent various diseases. The plant has diuretic and digestive properties and, thanks to inulin, lowers cholesterol levels. Also in the heart of the vegetable there is a chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant that can prevent atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases.
Substances with antioxidant properties contained in this vegetable have potential anticancer activity that everything is now the subject of research so that it can confirm the truth.
The great demand of artichokes in the market leads the major manufacturers use of substances not really beneficial, if not toxic, it is therefore necessary, even at the expense of a higher cost, the purchase of certain organic. Finally, a recommendation to mothers who are breastfeeding or who are about to do it: better to refrain from eating artichokes for that period as reduced milk production.
Want to know how you can recognize the freshness of an artichoke? Simple. Grab with thumb and forefinger and press, if the artichoke is harder is cool if it tends to flatten rather not. A fresh artichoke should have sealed the points even if the stem and leaves still attached, it should not be wilted, but otherwise very fresh.
If you want to keep the artichokes in the refrigerator for 6-7 days without their appearance and their properties are altered follow this simple procedure: take the artichokes, remove the hard outer leaves, cut off the stem leaving only 5 cm, wash and dry, this is done, take a towel, wrap the previously prepared artichokes and put everything in a plastic bag left open. Store in refrigerator and consume within 6-7 days.
100 grams of edible part include:
– 22 Kcal –
– 2,7 gr. – 2.7 grams. Protein
– 0,2 gr. – 0.2 grams. fat
– 2,5 gr. – 2.5 grams. carbohydrate
– 1,1 gr. – 1.1 grams. fiber
– 84 gr. – 84 gr. water
– Vitamins in small amounts
The secret of its virtue lies in cynarine, the aromatic substance that gives it its characteristic bitter taste and many of its beneficial properties and therapeutic. The plant is rich in potassium and iron salts, while a low level content of vitamins. Are then allowed some sugar for diabetics, as mannitol and inulin and other minerals like copper, zinc, sodium, phosphorus and manganese.
Not everyone is aware that the stem of the artichokes cutest, once deprived of his “skin” external, can be eaten raw in salads or dips. Most of compoundss of the plant are contained in its leaves that are not normally consumed. Well, prepare a tea with its leaves, you get a very bitter drink that will be able to drastically reduce the percentage of blood cholesterol.
If you cook the plants do not discard the cooking water, as it is very rich in minerals and can be added to soups with resultant benefits. To confirm this it is important to note that the leaves are used for medicinal purposes.
Artichoke: properties and benefits
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