Artichoke protects the liver, heart and kidneys

The artichoke flower protects the liver, heart and kidneys thanks to its purifying power. On the table it captivates with an exquisite flavor between sweet and bitter.

The artichoke is a food with alkalizing power thanks to its richness in minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, fiber and vitamins. A serving of about 200 grams provides 33% of the phosphorus that the body needs per day, 18% of the potassium, 15% of the magnesium and 13% of the calcium. It also provides B vitamins – such as B1, B6 and folic acid – and some vitamin C.

However, the artichoke stands out above all for a series of substances that are found in very small quantities but have notable physiological effects, such as cynarin, which helps protect the liver, or inulin, a fiber that reduces the concentration of sugar in the blood after meals and that favors the balance of the intestinal flora.

Purifying and digestive

The artichoke, eaten regularly, can activate the enzymatic functions of phosphatases, carboxylases and oxidases (the oxidation of fats and the transition from cysteine ​​to cystine occurs more quickly), accelerates the dissociation of many peroxides (free radicals that damage cells ), helps in the absorption of group B vitamins, promotes liver and kidney functions, is anti-arthritic and helps detoxify the body. It is also especially indicated in slimming regimens.

The artichoke is also a very digestible and well-tolerated vegetable, except for those people with a tendency to intestinal fermentations.

All of the above makes it highly indicated in liver and biliary disorders, but also in the following cases:

Kidney disorders.

The artichoke increases diuresis and the excretion of urea (a toxic substance that is produced in the body as a result of protein metabolism and that must be eliminated with urine). When kidney function is impaired, the level of urea increases in the blood and can cause painful gout attacks. It is also useful against fluid retention with oliguria (poor urine production).

Cholesterol

It reduces the tendency of cholesterol to deposit on the walls of the arteries, thus exerting a preventive effect on arteriosclerosis.

Diabetes

The artichoke is hypoglycemic and rich in inulin, a carbohydrate that is easy for diabetics to assimilate.

Skin conditions

Many dermatitis disappear or improve after stimulating liver detoxification processes. Consuming artichokes can improve chronic skin conditions.

In short, the artichoke is a vegetable with multiple therapeutic and culinary uses. You will only have to take into account a few things to avoid deterioration: it is advisable to avoid prolonged boiling, as overcooking affects its flavor and texture. And, once cooked, it should not be stored either because it is colonized by a grayish fungus called bremia, which could be harmful to health.

The artichoke, a star on the table

The artichoke is a vegetable that requires some work in the kitchen; You have to cut off part of the base and the hard tips, tear off the more fibrous outer leaves and, sometimes, remove the fluff from the inside.

Its delicate flavor, between bitter and sweet, and its unique culinary properties, make it an ideal ingredient to create festive and succulent dishes. Artichoke hearts or bottoms are an example, and they can be prepared with an endless number of different fillings. To cook them in the oven, just cut the trunk, remove some external leaves and season them with garlic, salt or a few drops of lemon or tamari, which are introduced inside, opening them slightly. To prevent them from drying out, add a little water or broth and a splash of olive oil.

The cooking time is difficult to specify. To check if they are ready, tear off an outer leaf: if it comes off easily, they can be removed from the oven.

Rosa Guerrero (health) and Santi Ávalos (cooking)