Artichoke or Cynara or globe artichoke (Hathichak in Hindi) is an European plant (Cynara scolymus) of the daisy family cultivated for its large thistle like flower heads. There are numerous health benefits of Artichoke and is one of the most clinically tested herbs for its amazing benefits. Artichokes leaves contain most of the plant's powerful health benefits. Here is a list of 10 most important benefits that we can get from this miraculous plant.
1) High in Antioxidants: like other green plants artichoke is also known for its antioxidants properties. A study done by the USDA found that artichokes have more antioxidants than any other vegetable and they ranked seventh in a study of the antioxidant levels of 1,000 different foods. Some of the powerful antioxidants in artichokes are quercertin, rutin, anthocyanins, cynarin, luteolin, and silymarin.
2) Cancer Prevention and Treatment: Artichoke helps to prevent some kinds of cancers like prostate cancer, leukemia, and breast cancer. Specific kind of antioxidants in the artichoke includes quercetin and a flavonoids called rutin, both of which are helpful in fighting off illness. Study shows that artichoke leaf extract induce apoptosis (cell death) and reduce cell proliferation in many different forms of cancer. An Italian study found that a diet rich in the flavonoids present in artichokes reduces the risk of breast cancer.
3) Increased Bile Flow: Artichoke preparations a polyphenol antioxidant called cynarin which may relieve digestive complaints through increases in the formation and flow of bile. The increased flow of bile is called choleresis. Bile is excreted from the liver, stored in the gallbladder, and released into the intestine. Bile acids form a complex with dietary fats in the intestine and thereby assist in their digestion and absorption.
4) Good for the Liver: The artichoke plant has been known as a liver tonic for centuries. Artichokes have long been used in folk and alternative medicine as a treatment for liver ailments and the scientific studies are now proving them to be correct. Its natural properties like the antioxidant cynarin and another antioxidant, silymarin, artichokes are very beneficial to the liver. Studies have found they may even regenerate liver tissue help the body get rid of toxins and assist the liver in its vital operations.
5) Better Digestion: As Artichoke stimulates the gall bladder and is natural diuretic, thus aid in digestion and provide relief. Many studies have proved its effectiveness in curing irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS.
6) Reduce after effects of Alcohol: Thanks to Its positive effects on the liver, many people has benefited by artichokes forreducing side effects of alcohol like hangover, unsettled stomach, headaches etc.
7) Heart tonic and Cholesterol Reducer: The cyanic properties in the artichoke help the body to excrete bad cholesterol by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase. They raise good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol (LDL).
8) High in Fiber: One large artichoke contains approx 1/4 of the daily recommended intake of fiber.
9) Good for Diabetes: Scientific evidence shows that the artichoke can help balance blood glucose levels and help deal with diabetes.
10) High in potassium: Artichokes have a good deal of potassium, a mineral that’s generally good for you. Potassium helps deal with excess sodium, and for those who are taking some kinds of anti-hypertensive drugs, foods like artichokes can be a way to hedge against a potential potassium deficiency.
Side Effects: there are no known side effects of Artichoke, but its always advisable to consult a naturopath before using it.
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