The Food Coach

Healthy Food Database - Artichoke

Artichokes are a rather exotic and complicated looking vegetables. Even foodies avoid them, unsure of how to tackle them. A member of the thistle family, globe artichokes have large, green heads and require assertive trimming. The outer leaves are first peeled off and discarded, then with a heavy sharp knife, cut off the stalks, and top of the leaves. There's a furry centre that lies above the stalk which must also be prized out. Once done you are ready to cook.

Health benefits
Globe artichokes contain a number of phytonutrients, such as apigenin, cynarin, silymarin and luteolin, which appear to have diuretic properties, detoxifying the liver, boosting gall bladder function, and improving bile flow. Widely used in traditional medicine as a remedy for water retention and liver ailments, globe artichokes are thought to aid digestion and help people who experience stomach acidity. Globe artichokes also contain a lot of soluble fibre, so they won't destabilise blood sugar levels. Some research suggests that artichoke leaf extract may also help ease irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.

To select
High-quality artichokes are usually compact and heavy for their size. Squeezed, a fresh artichoke will make a squeak. Thin stalks without leaves are a sign that the artichoke is old and dehydrated.

To store
The flavour of artichokes diminishes as soon as they are cut from the stalk. For maximum taste and tenderness, cook as soon as possible. Do not stock up on artichokes. Refrigerate unwashed, in a plastic bag, for up to 1 week.
Category: Vegetable
In Season:
To Buy: High-quality artichokes are usually compact and heavy for their size. Squeezed, a fresh artichoke will make a squeak. Thin stalks without leaves are a sign that the artichoke is old and dehydrated.
To Store: The flavour of artichokes diminishes as soon as they are cut from the stalk. For maximum taste and tenderness, cook as soon as possible. Do not stock up on artichokes. Refrigerate unwashed, in a plastic bag, for up to 1 week.
Tips & Tricks: When handling artichokes wear rubber gloves as they can stain the hands.

Nutrition (1 Unit):

Energy (kJ): 115
Protein (g): 3.7
Saturated Fat, g : 0.0
Vitamin C: Antioxidant, anti inflammatory and immune-boosting, this vitamin has a range of uses. Is essential for collagen formation, therefore plays a role in wound healing. Fights infection and protects against free radical damage. Vitamin C helps maintain normal cholesterol levels, promotes the absorption of iron and counters the effects of stress as it is concentrated in the adrenal glands.

Contraindications:
Large doses can cause diaorrhea or gas.
Potassium: Needed for normal growth and muscle and nerve contraction. Together with sodium regulates water and fluid balance in the body.
Salicylates: Naturally occurring plant chemicals found in several fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices, jams, honey, yeast extracts, tea and coffee, juices, beer and wines. Also present in flavourings, perfumes, scented toiletries and some medications.

For those with sensitivities, low foods are almost never a problem, moderate and high foods may cause reactions, depending on how sensitive you are and how much is eaten. Very high foods will most often cause unwanted symptoms in sensitive individuals. High
Carbohydrates, g: 1.7
Fat (g): 0.2
Niacin (B3):
Folic Acid: Important during pregnancy as this vitamin is involved in the duplication of chromosomes, preventing birth defects. Lowers the risk of heart disease and is necessary for proper brain and gut function.
Amines: Amines come the breakdown or fermentation of proteins. High amounts are found in cheese, chocolate, wine, beer and yeast extracts. Smaller amounts are present in some fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, avocados, bananas.

For those with sensitivities, low foods are almost never a problem, moderate and high foods may cause reactions, depending on how sensitive you are and how much is eaten. Very high foods will most often cause unwanted symptoms in sensitive individuals. Low
Glutamates: Glutamate is found naturally in many foods, as part of protein. It enhances the flavour of food, which is why foods rich in natural glutamates such as tomatoes, mushrooms and cheeses are commonly used in meals. Pure monosodium glutamate (MSG) is used as an additive to artificially flavour many processed foods, and should be avoided, especially in sensitive individuals as it can cause serious adverse reactions. n/a

Cooking:

Cooking Tips: Stand artichokes in a large pan with boiling water. Cover and keep the artichoke submerged and boil gently 20 minutes or until the petal near the center pulls out easily.

Benefits the Following Health Conditions:*

Cold and Flus
Diabetes
Liver Sluggish
Constipation
Digestive Disorders
Detoxifying

* This information is sourced by a qualified naturopath. It is non prescriptive and not intended as a cure for the condition. Recommended intake is not provided. It is no substitute for the advice and treatment of a professional practitioner.

PrintPrint version
EmailEmail a friend
Find recipesFind recipes
BackPrevious page