Artichokes : MmmMmm Good!

artichoke-338082_640Tonight I’m cooking one of my favorite meals : roasted artichokes (recipe can be found here)!  I’d never cooked one before last year.  Had NO clue how to do it, and boy was I intimidated.  But with eating healthier for my Endo, I started shopping at my local farmer’s market (living in California, they’re readily available year-round), and hit the wonders of the internet : I have since learned! And it’s EASY, delicious, and oh-so-good for you!

Which got me curious : why are they so good for you? I figure they’ll be roasting in the oven for the next hour, so : Internet, here I come!

WARNING : Artichokes are NOT a vegetable; they’re a part of the thistle family.  If you have allergies to ragweed, daisies, marigolds, or chrysanthemums, you may be sensitive toward artichokes and…have a bad experience : itching, hives, rashes, wheezing, trouble breathing, swelling & difficult swallowing.   Such reactions can lead to anaphylaxis and should be reported to a healthcare provider immediately.  Also, artichokes may increase the effect of cholesterol-lowering drugs and you may wish to discuss this with your healthcare provider.

Now that the scary stuff is done, here’s the good stuff:

Did you know that in 2004 artichokes ranked number 7 on the USDA’s Top 20 list for antioxidant-rich foods? I didn’t…Another study in 2006 (you can read it all here) ranked them near the top, too (along with some other amazeballs foods!).

Artichokes are high in iron, folic acid, Vitamin C (one medium artichoke can deliver up to 15% of your daily dose of Vitamin C), magnesium, potassium, fiber (one medium artichoke can contain up to 41% of your daily fiber), and other minerals! They are also a good source of protein, copper, iron, and Vitamins A, B, E, and K.  And they’re low in saturated fat and cholesterol!

They’re good for your heart (potassium) and can help with your blood pressure (reduces the effects of sodium). They’re also full of antioxidants and Vitamin C, boosting your immune system and reducing free radicals. A healthy dose of fiber helps keep your digestive system on track, stimulates the growth of good colon bacteria, reduces bad cholesterol levels while increasing good levels, and stabilizes blood sugar levels. Magnesium and Vitamin C also promote strong and healthy bones.  It is also thought that eating artichoke may improve gall bladder and liver efficiency.

And, in order to absorb as much as the nuuuuutriiients as possible, I’d advise cooking fresh artichoke as opposed to canned…

And with that said, my oven just dinged. Time to enjoy! I hope this may have opened your eyes to an often-overlooked bit of deliciousness!  Hit the web and find a way that suits your cooking skills!

Happy eatin’!

Resources:

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

FitDay

Food Matters

Health Sciences Institute

ifood

Livestrong

Los Angeles Times

Medical Health Guide

Nutrition and You

Organic Facts

WebMD

~ Again, I am a layman.  I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge.  Please take what I say with a grain of salt.  If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings.  Or challenge them.  And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always.  Yours ~ Lisa

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