By now, everyone knows that diet plays a large part in your over healthiness, but did you know that the term superfood is not regulated in most countries. While the use of the word superfood in marketing and on packaging has dramatically increased in the last few years, not all superfoods are created equally. One superfood that is scientifically proven to have a multitude of health-enhancing properties and seems to be on everyone’s list is the artichoke.
Artichokes can be difficult for the inexperienced cook as only parts of the vegetable are actually edible but learning how to cook and eat them has its benefits. Benefit number one is that one cooked artichoke is full of soluble fiber. Although you can only eat part of the leaves and the center stem, one large artichoke can deliver up to 9 grams of fiber, making it a superstar for lowering cholesterol. Soluble fiber is necessary for the war against high cholesterol for two reasons. First, it helps your body block the absorption of the bad for you type of cholesterol, and second, it can bind with existing cholesterol and help your body to get rid of it through natural processes.
Artichokes can help you live longer
Artichokes have a lot more than natural goodness than just fiber. They are also powerhouses that are very rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are one of the keystones of the anti-aging nutrients and are essential for protecting your body’s cells from free radicals. Free radicals are the cells that studies show to be linked to the cause of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and heart disease. Thus, artichokes can be considered protectors of both your heart and your brain and will also help to ward off the aging process.
Artichokes also contain other compounds that are known to fight the disease of cancer. They provide both potent polyphenols and also anti-inflammatory compounds that help your body in numerous ways including fighting infections and building a stronger immune system. The goodness that artichokes pack doesn’t stop there. They are also rich in the essential mineral of magnesium and vitamin C which both play a significant role in being truly healthy.
So for all these reasons and more, artichokes genuinely are a superfood that should be apart of everyone’s diet. When shopping for artichokes, be sure to test them for their weight. Since artichokes have a high water content, the heavier the artichoke, the more likely it is to be fresh. Also, the leaves should be solid green and still mostly closed into the stem. Leaves that are browning or opened away from the stem are showing that the vegetable is aging and may have lost some of its potent goodness.