ORIGIN & VARIETIES Artichokes are one of the oldest vegetables harvested! Members of the thistle group in the sunflower family, they originate from the Mediterranean basin, and their exact origin is still disputed panning from North Africa to Sicily to Greece…
The edible part of the artichoke is the plant’s flower bud. When in full bloom, the bud blossoms into a beautiful punk violet-blue flower. Artichokes bloom in a number of varieties, shapes and colors amongst which: the famous green Globe artichoke, the Spinoso, fleshy Big heart, purple Baby Anzio, the Siena, the fruity Siena, sweet Mercury, the Chianty and the large King.
Artichokes mainly grow in southern Europe, North Africa, certain countries of South America, and in the United States. The main producing countries are Italy, France and Spain and California produces close to most of the production in the US.
IN SEASON Artichokes are harvested in the spring, between the months of March and May, and bloom again in the fall, in October.
SMOOTH MOVE Rich in dietary fiber, artichokes will ensure regular bowel movements and reduce constipation. The fiber helps get rid digestive discomforts such as bloating, cramps, excess flatulence but also helps flush the growth of a variety of stomach and intestinal cancers.
STRONG BONES Artichokes contain magnesium, phosphorus and manganese that promote bone health and good bone density, keeping osteoporosis at bay.
HEART HEALTH It has been found that artichoke leaves may reduce the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the levels of good cholesterol (HDL or omega-3 fatty acids). Also, high dietary fiber contained in artichokes help purifying your arteries and therefore reducing your chances of heart diseases.Yay!
Artichokes also contain high levels of potassium that help eliminate the effects of excess sodium intake, and therefore regulate blood pressure!
LIVER HEALTH Cynarin and silymarin are two antioxidants found in artichokes that improve liver health by cleansing and eliminating toxins from the liver and body.
HANGOVER CURE Liver friendly artichokes will help cure a hangover and flushing excess toxins from heavy drinking...Get Chewing on those artichoke leaves!
ANEMIA BOOST Apricots contain enough iron and copper to promote the formation of hemoglobin, a good support to boost your metabolism and anemia.
CANCER PREVENTION Artichokes have the highest amount of antioxidant in all vegetables. True story. They have the power to fight free radicals. They contain good levels of polyphenols, micronutrients that contain chemopreventive qualities, meaning they can slow down, stop, or completely reverse the effects of cancer in any patient. Artichokes also contain high levels of quercetin and rutin, two antioxidants that have been proven to reduce the chances of developing cancer.
PROTECT YOUR BABY Folic acid intake -also found in artichokes- is essential during pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects from occurring in newborns.