Artichokes taste unique and fresh. It’s a healthy vegetable with life-enhancing benefits including lowering blood pressure, eliminating hangovers, preventing liver damage, and boosting the digestive system.
It’s not surprising why most people love to eat artichokes on a daily basis. A single artichoke contains only 60 calories, is abundant in dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium, iron, antioxidants, and many more naturally enhancing nutrients. That said, artichoke leaves are also extract for medicinal and herbal purposes for disease prevention, treatment, and skin care.
To know why you should incorporate a healthy artichoke diet as a lifestyle choice, let’s look at the 13 health benefits of artichokes, backed by science.
1. Artichoke Helps Revive Damaged Liver Tissue Cells
Artichoke is one of the most effective plants whose leaf extract is considered as herbal remedy for the treatment of liver diseases.
Liver diseases emanate due to lower bile-producing and higher risk of lipid per oxidation that takes place in the liver tissue cells. Liver is responsible for producing proteins that help break down damaged cells in all metabolic processes. It also boosts energy by breaking down fats.
So now you know why the liver organ is so important. And to ensure a proper liver system, you need artichoke to protect your liver tissue cells from damaging.
Artichokes offer bile-boosting and lipid-lowering properties. They also in the regeneration of liver cells for long-lasting effects. The artichoke offers positive insulinemic and antioxidant compounds that fight cholesterol as a means to controlling excess inflammation in the body. (1)
Key Takeaway: In recent studies, artichokes are a healthy for resisting liver damage and high cholesterol levels. The antioxidants like phytonutrient cynarin and flavonoid silymarin help alleviating liver cell damage to destroy more harmful toxins in the body. It also helps break down digestive fats to produce energy.
2. Artichoke Reduces Cholesterol
Cholesterol has far-reaching ramifications on the human body than you could possibly imagine. A high cholesterol level can cause severe chest pain, heart attack, or a stroke. It leads to plaque buildup in the arteries, restricting the proper flow of blood to your heart and all other organs in your body. (2)
A study claims that artichoke plant has properties that reduce cholesterol levels in healthy individuals. This helps in resisting certain types of cardiovascular diseases. To treat high cholesterol levels, you need to balance plasma cholesterol levels by consuming artichoke leaves regularly.
The antioxidant nutrients such as phytochemicals, vitamin C, and vitamin E present in artichokes dramatically improve digestive health. If you experience raised levels of cholesterol without any need of medical attention, a healthy change in diet is mandatory. (2)
Key Takeaway: It is proven that artichokes have positive effects on blood cholesterol levels that prevent multiple cardiovascular diseases. It benefits digestive health by reducing high plasma cholesterol levels and reviving blocked arteries that cause aggressive plaque buildup in the body.
3. The Flavonoids Present in Artichokes Destroy Harmful Pancreatic Cancer Cells
The fact that cancer cells once present in the human body can rapidly grow to large amounts, if not controlled by medical and lifestyle choices. Cancer cells can grow in any organ or part of your body and spread to other organs.
With natural antioxidants and phytonutrients including gallic acid, rutin, and quercetin, cancer cells can be prevented from proliferating in the human body.
According to one study, the flavonoids present in artichoke, namely apigenin and luteolin, powerfully kill pancreatic cells. (3)
Another important study on cancerous cells claims that artichokes reduce the risk of developing breast cancer cells in the human body. The anti-tumor properties of artichokes inhibits the growth of cancer cells in important organs of the body. This has a normal and positive effect on the physiological function.
It triggers the immune-boosting properties by inhibiting old or damaged cell from destroying healthy cells in tissues. (4)
Key Takeaway: Your body needs healthy foods to prevent cancer cells from proliferating. The antioxidant and phytonutrients present in artichoke lower the risk of cancer-related tumors.
4. Artichoke Reduces Inflammatory Symptoms Caused by Gouty Arthritis
Gout or Gouty Arthritis is an inflammatory-type condition of arthritis that originates in one joint and then rapidly grows out of control. It causes severe joint redness, swelling, pain, and inflexibility.
If left untreated, it can lead to severe joint problems, kidney failure, and a serious skin condition called tophi. Gout occurs when there’s excessive monosodium urate crystals in the human body. In other words, it is a condition where there’s release of uric acid crystals in a joint. (5)
To treat gouty arthritis, artichokes play a very important role. The prevention and treatment of gout requires fiber-rich diets on a daily basis. Artichokes contain high amounts of fiber, which is responsible for anti-inflammatory properties in the human body. It prevents joint damage and joint dysfunction. (6)
The high fiber content in artichokes contribute to 41% of a healthy individual’s daily intake. This soluble fiber intake helps in alleviating arthritic stress from the body. (7)
Key Takeaway: Gouty arthritis is a painful arthritic condition of the joints. It leads to serious joint problems, kidney diseases, and skin conditions that are often paired with swelling and pain. The fiber present in artichokes seems to be most appropriate and healthy for people with gout. It dramatically alleviates joint inflammation.
5. The Combination of Calcium and Fiber in Artichokes is Beneficial for Diabetic Patients
Diabetes leads to a group of symptoms characterized by high blood sugar or glucose in the body. It can also means lower insulin-producing capabilities affecting our body’s immune and metabolic systems drastically.
Diabetic patients are advised to increase their fiber and calcium intake to treat high blood glucose levels naturally. If you have your blood cholesterol levels and glucose levels under control, with the help of dietary fiber, you can increase your body’s calcium absorption levels with the help of both fiber and calcium nutrients.
Interestingly, artichokes contain both nutrients to help you prevent aggressive glucose and cholesterol levels. (8)
A recommended intake of 24g of fiber daily is sufficient for treating diabetes. A study conducted on diabetics claimed that fiber-focused diet with a number of other nutrient proportions is beneficial for alleviating extreme diabetic symptoms.
Key Takeaway: The fact that artichokes are low in calories and improve digestive and cardiovascular help is extremely beneficial for diabetes. It is high in fiber is which essential to maintaining optimal blood sugar levels.
6. Artichokes May Be Good for Treating Allergies
Artichokes contain a good amount of folic acid for optimal folate health.
You need to consume foods offering sufficient folic acid for normal red blood cells production and to suppress certain allergic reactions such as asthma.
In a recent study focused on linking allergies to the positive effects of folic acid in the human body, folate promotes anti-inflammatory conditions in healthy individuals. It influences respiratory systems in individuals which is imperative when treating allergies.
You need adequate folate levels in your body to regulate proper growth and immune defense against allergies and other respiratory diseases.
Key Takeaway: Artichoke contain folic acid which might aid in treating various types of allergies including asthma. They’re also good for red blood cell production.
7. Eating Artichokes are Linked to a Lower Risk of Cognitive Disabilities
Vitamin K consumption is responsible for lowering cognitive incapacity in both children and adults. Adding artichokes to your diet is yet another way to increase vitamin intake on a daily basis.
Vitamin K plays a vital role in limiting cognitive disabilities such as Alzheimer’s disease and neuronal damage. It revives brain cells and breaks down old and damaged cells effectively.
According to the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology source, leafy vegetables including artichokes, when consumed in greater amounts, showed younger cognitive abilities than people who don’t consume artichokes. It helps keep your brain healthy by eliminating invasive brain damage.
Moreover, other nutrients such as folic acid, beta-carotene, and lutein also promote healthy brain functioning to fight against mental illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. (11)
Key Takeaway: In addition to consuming other green leafy vegetables, artichokes provide a good amount of vitamin K for optimal brain health. Eating artichokes are linked to treating cognitive disabilities such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
8. Artichokes have Plenty Vitamin C for Treating Vision Loss Caused by Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is an age-related disease which leads to the deterioration of the primary center of the eye that promotes vision acuity (i.e. the macula). It’s responsible for all visual determination skills including reading, recognition, observation, and vision-related activities you carry out everyday.
If you’re diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration, vision loss is one of the possible outcomes, especially after years of diagnosis. For people above the age of 50, macular degeneration is a common phenomenon. (12)
A combination of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and bioflavonoids as antioxidants reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, as noted by many scientific studies. Such kind of irreversible blindness caused in the central part of the retina is most often a symptom of untreated macular degeneration. (13)
Artichokes are a good source of vitamin C which is healthy for your eyes and for other eye conditions including cataract. They promote healthy connective tissue and prevent the risk of vision loss. (14)
Key Takeaway: After the evaluation of antioxidant compounds and vitamins in a healthy individual, it can be said that a recommended daily intake of vitamin C is linked with a lower risk of developing age-related vision disorders such as macular degeneration.
9. The Antioxidants in Artichokes Play a Major Role in Skin Treatment
What you eat on a daily basis has a direct effect on how healthy your skin looks and feels. Nutrients such as vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals play an important role in protecting your skin from environmental and physiological factors.
If you didn’t already know, collagen makes up most of your skin cells and the amount of antioxidants you consume, on a daily basis, determines how healthy and active they are for skin regeneration. (15)
With the help of the antioxidants present in artichokes, protection from sun rays is credible. The sun’s ultraviolet radiation is one of the major causes of skin cancer, as it damages skin cells rapidly.
It also causes free radicals that weaken or damage DNA cells dramatically, restricting the body’s immune system to fight skin diseases. (16)
The antioxidants and vitamin C in artichokes regulate proper skin cell regeneration for long-lasting protection. The nutrients penetrate deep into your skin to destroy damaged skin cells for proliferation and giving life to cancer cells in the human body.
Key Takeaway: Artichokes are a good source of antioxidants and vitamins required for optimal skin protection. It’s high in nutrients most people are deficient in when it comes to protecting the skin from harmful sun rays, pollutants, and chemicals.
10. Potassium May Help Stimulate Muscle and Bone Health
Moving forward, artichokes are also rich in potassium, which is an important natural compound for regulating proper blood flow to muscles and for increasing bone mineral density.
For proper muscular function, the increased intake of potassium is very important. It can also be consumed on a daily basis to cure malnutrition, sweating, and malabsorption. These are also the common symptoms of potassium deficiency in the human body.
Based on scientific research, there’s a direct link between potassium consumption and bone health, especially in elderly adults. It helps prevent severe bone diseases including osteoporosis and joint problems.
That said, artichokes also help in treating muscular cramps, weakness, and muscle tension. The vitamins, fibers, and minerals alleviate stiffness, while the potassium, iron, and calcium stimulate proper mobility and energy.
11. Eating Artichokes Daily Helps Prevent Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory Bowel Disease causes not only severe pain and discomfort, but it is marked by periods of abdominal pain, fatigue, fever, diarrhoea, depression, and mouth ulcers.
There are two major types of IBD, they are Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Both occur primarily in the colon, but Crohn’s disease extends all the way from the color to the small intestine. (18)
The best way to treat inflammatory bowel disease is by seeking immediate medical attention, but what most patients forget to give equal importance to is a healthy diet. Lots of fiber-rich foods are ideal for keeping the bowel systems healthy. They offer anti-inflammatory properties too.
Eating sufficient artichokes, spread throughout the day, is nutritious for proper treatment and prevention. (19)
Artichokes play a vital role in treating gastrointestinal diseases as they alleviate vomiting, inflammation, high blood pressure, and diarrhea.
Key Takeaway: Eating artichokes regularly help in preventing and treating inflammatory bowel disease. It contains certain nutrients that are lacking in other green leafy vegetables, which are good for a modern diet.
12. Artichoke Prevents and Treats Hepatitis C Virus Infection
Hepatitis C virus infection is considered to be a severe liver disease with no long-standing symptoms. Although it does increase a person’s chances of developing liver cancer.
The treatment of hepatitis C virus infection requires anti-hepatitis, anti-hyperlipidemic, anti-malarial, and anti-inflammatory properties. All of which are found in artichokes.
If left untreated, the hepatitis C virus infection can lead to liver transplantation due to hepatocellular carcinoma. People infected with this virus require immediate nutritional and medical care for well-being.
A study conducted on artichokes claim that there is a direct positive link between the nutrients present in artichokes and hepatitis infections. The cynaropicrin present in artichokes inhibits the spread of the virus between cells, plus it is responsible for the generation of new healthy cells to combat the damages of the virus infection. (20)
Key Takeaway: Artichokes should be able to help you treat hepatitis C virus infection. The cynaropicrin compound alleviates cell to cell transfer of virus and destroys damaged cells effectively for long-lasting defense against other liver infections and inflammation.
13. Artichokes have Numerous Alcohol-Induced Hangover-Fighting Properties
Nobody likes a hangover, am I right? The symptoms of a hangover often present itself in unique ways including a headache, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, sensitivity to sound and light, and muscular pain.
Apart from consulting a doctor for frequent alcohol-induced hangovers, opting for a quick diet change may help.
A study to test the effectiveness of artichoke on hangover claimed that there a mild to moderate level of improvement in physiological and neurological conditions. The study was conducted on 15 individuals. Based on the duration of sleep one received, there was a slight shift of improvement in dealing with alcohol-induced hangover. (21)
Key Takeaway: Consuming artichokes may do you some good when it comes to treating hangover symptoms. They have demonstrated a minor, but effective, improvement in eliminating dizziness, muscle pain, and vomiting.
Some Delicious Artichoke Recipes To Enjoy
It’s not difficult to cook artichokes, especially when you can cook them in sandwiches, pasta, pizzas, and such versatile dishes. Artichokes are available to you all year round. When you get past the basic artichoke recipes, you’ll find that they make excellent additions to a variety of unique and mouthwatering dishes.
You can roast, dry, bake, or blend them into different variations for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Nothing pleasures your way of life like a new artichoke recipe. You can call it comfort food, finger food, or the main course; there’s no limit to the kind of artichoke recipes you can cook for you and your family. So, let’s begin!
1. Roasted Artichokes
This recipe is best enjoyed hot and fresh. You can make it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
1 - shaved lemon
18 - baby artichokes
1/4 cup - oil (olive oil, if prefered)
2 - sliced garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups - white wine
1 tbsp - capers, drained
1/4 cup - mint leaves
2 tbsp - parsley leaves
Salt to taste
Trim baby artichokes and dip into cold lemon water. Set aside for a few minutes.
Transfer drained artichokes on a baking sheet to dry for around 2 minutes.
Fry in olive oil in a pit on medium-high heat. Add salt and garlic. Cook until golden.
Next, combine the wine and simmer for 30 minutes.
Combine drained capers, parsley, and mint leaves. Cook until golden brown. Serve immediately.
2. Artichoke Risotto
Adding the scrumptious artichoke in risotto, so you can keep eating healthy without compromising on taste.
2 - fresh lemons
10 pieces - baby artichokes
6 cups - chicken stock, homemade
1 - fresh bay leaf
2 tbsp - butter, unsalted
2 tbsp - olive oil
1 - chopped onion
1 - minced garlic glove
2 cups - rice, Italian
1 cup - white wine
2 tsp - thyme, chopped
1/4 cup - fresh mascarpone
Salt and pepper to taste
With 3 teaspoon of fresh lemon zest and 1 tbsp of lemon juice, squeeze the remaining lemon juice in cold water and set aside.
Trim baby artichoke leaves and drip into the cold lemon water.
Add chicken stock and the fresh bay leaf to cook on a saucepan.
Heat butter and oil in another saucepan. Combine with garlic, onion, and salt. Cook for around 6 minutes. Add drained artichokes and cook for 12 minutes more.
Combine the Italian rice and white wine. Stir for up to 5 minutes.
Slowly combine the 1 cup chicken stock to the rice while stirring continuously. Add till rice is soft and rounded. Cook for 25 minutes.
Mix well with thyme, grounded salt and pepper, 2 tsp lemon zest, and freshly squeezed lime juice. Serve fresh with lemon zest and thyme dressing.
3. Lasagna with Artichoke and Sweet Peas
Are you in love with cheese? This lasagna recipe works well with artichokes for a pleasant family dinner experience.
16 ounce - chopped artichokes
1 1/2 cups - whipped cream
1/4 cup - basil leaves, chopped
20 ounce - ricotta cheese, whole-milk
1 pound - bagged frozen peas
3/4 cup - Parmesan cheese
2 - eggs, large
1 tsp - salt
1 package - lasagna noodles, no-boil
4 cups - mozzarella cheese, grated
In a bowl, combine artichokes, 1/2 cup whipping cream, and fresh basil.
In another bowl, combine remaining whipping cream, ricotta cheese, peas, Parmesan cheese, and eggs.
Transfer 1 cup ricotta cheese mixture as the first layer on the baking sheet.
On top of the first layer, lay down 4 lasagna noodles.
Next, add the artichoke layer with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Lay down 4 lasagna noodles. Repeat entire process with the final layer of 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes in a 400 degrees Fahrenheit preheated oven. Bake for 25 minutes after without the tinfoil on. Set aside for 15 minutes before serving fresh.
4. Fresh Fried Artichokes
A classic take on artichokes that you can enjoy with a savory dip or even between breads!
12 - fresh baby artichokes
1/2 cup - olive oil
4 - crushed garlic cloves
1/2 - lemon
Salt to taste
Trim artichokes until green leaves are properly exposed.
Add oil and 1/2 cup of water in a pot. Combine with artichokes and salt. Cook for 8 minutes on medium-high heat.
Combine garlic and cook until artichoke leaves are golden brown. Drain all the oil by transferring fried artichokes on paper towels. Garnish with salt and lemon juice.
5. Baked Egg in Artichoke
This is the recipe you’ll fall back on the next time that a breakfast baked egg craving hits.
3 - large artichokes
6 - eggs
1/2 cup - bread crumbs
1/4 cup - parmesan
2 - lemons
6 - thyme sprigs
6 tbsp - olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Cut artichokes in half, trim and peel.
Add cut artichokes in cold lemon water. Trim the remaining parts of the artichoke and place cleaned artichokes in cold lemon water.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine parmesan, bread crumbs, and lemon juice.
Place drained artichokes in a baking dish. Add the crumbs mixtures into each artichoke. Sprinkle 6 tbsp of olive oil and thyme sprigs.
In a 375 degrees preheated oven, bake artichokes for 50 minutes.
Crack one egg into each artichoke. Baking for 15 minutes.
Garnish with parmesan cheese, sea salt, and pepper to taste.
6. Stuffed Bread with Artichoke Dip
If you want to combine bread with artichoke for breakfast, this delicious recipe is just the thing you need to start a new day.
8 ounce - drained and chopped artichokes
8 ounce - cream cheese
1/2 cup - sour cream
1/2 cup - light mayonnaise
1 cup - parmesan cheese, grated
1 - minced garlic clove
2 - crusty bread, baguettes
Dill weed to taste
Combine sour cream, mayo, cream cheese, garlic, 2/3 cup of parmesan cheese, and dill weed. Mix well until smooth. Add the artichokes.
To create stuffed bread dip, remove the top edge part of the bread and remove 1 and a half inch portion to spoon in the artichoke dip. Repeat the same process with the second crusty bread.
In a 350 degrees Fahrenheit preheated oven, baking the crusty bread artichoke dip for 30 minutes. Serve fresh.
7. Cheese Quesadillas with Artichoke and Spinach
The easiest, most delicious quesadilla for dinner plans! It’s a modern take on the classic quesadilla dish.
8 ounce - drained and chopped artichoke hearts
6 ounce - spinach leaves
4 ounce - fresh cream cheese
1 cup - mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup - parmesan cheese, shredded
8 - tortillas
Cook 8 tortillas in a large skillet for 1 minute on each side.
In a pot, heat oil and artichokes. Add spinach and cook for another minute on low-heat. Combine the cream cheese, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Add salt and pepper. Set aside.
Combine the cheese mixture with tortillas and heat on both sides for a minute.
8. Healthy Artichoke and Spinach Pizza
This mouthwatering and healthy pizza recipe will turn any is the reason why you should eat more artichokes!
1/2 pound - homemade whole-wheat pizza dough
1/4 cup - olive oil
4 - minced garlic cloves
1 tbsp - lemon zest
1 - lemon juice
1 tsp - basil, dried
2 cups - baby spinach
1 ounce - drained artichoke hearts
8 ounce - mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup - parmesan cheese
1/2 cup - sliced Meyer lemon
2 tbsp - pine nuts, raw
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste
Roll whole-wheat dough into a thin crust base on a baking sheet. Sprinkle olive oil on the baking sheet so that the base doesn’t stick.
Spread lemon zest, garlic, basil leaves, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add the artichoke hearts, cheeses, and spinach. Thinly cut 5 lemon slices and place on top of the artichoke hearts.
In a preheated oven, bake the pizza for 15 minutes until the cheese bubbles.
Serve fresh with basil leaves.
9. Chicken in Artichoke and Spinach Sauce
The best part about this recipe is that it’s cooked in less than 30 minutes!
4 - chicken breasts, boneless
2 tbsp - butter
5 ounce - chopped spinach
14 ounce - chopped artichokes, drained
1 1/2 tbsp - extra virgin olive oil
3 - minced garlic cloves
1 tbsp - all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups - whole milk
4 ounce - diced cheese
1/3 cup - parmesan cheese
1/4 cup - cream, sour
Red pepper flakes to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Marinade boneless chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Cook chicken on medium-high heat until golden brown. Set aside.
In the same dish, cook butter, flour, garlic, spinach, and artichokes. Cook until spinach is wilted. Add milk, cheeses, and salt and pepper. Cook until the mixture looks creamy. Add the cooked chicken breasts and garish with red pepper flakes. Serve immediately.
Wrapping It Up
The benefits of artichokes may seem overwhelming, but it’s always important to research what you’re eating before diving into it completely. Artichokes are a part of the ragweed, marigold, and such family, which means that they can be harmful for people with extreme allergies or sensitivities, once consumed. It’s better to know what you’re allergic to so as to not have a bad experience after eating them.
Consulting your doctor about your artichoke diet is always very necessary, just in case you’re struggling with liver disease, diabetes, or gallbladder problems. There are dangers to eating anything in large amounts, hence consuming artichokes in moderation as a part of your healthy diet is essential.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.