Artichoke benefits not hard to swallow!
By: Leanne Ely
Did you know that 68% of us don’t get enough magnesium in our diets (we need roughly 300 milligrams per day)? That isn’t good because this vital mineral is required for over 300 chemical reactions within your body. Without enough magnesium, your muscles need to work harder and you’ll find yourself getting worn out quicker than normal.
If you find that you’re not as energetic as you’d like to be, try adding some artichokes to your diet because one artichoke will give you 77 milligrams of magnesium!
Now, let me back up for a minute because I’m sure a lot of you are looking at that spiky green thing, wondering how in the world you get into it!
Artichokes are actually flowers that grow mainly in California and in the Mediterranean. They do require a little bit of preparation, but it’s totally worth it once you sink your teeth into the tender heart, found just beneath the choke (the choke is inedible and hairy and not very appetizing).
How to prep and cook an artichoke
Rinse your artichoke well to get rid of any dirt, then trim the stem a little bit and peel off the small leaves around the bottom. With a set of kitchen shears, trim the sharp thorny tips off the leaves (or petals, depending on how you look at them). Remove an inch or so from the top of the artichoke and then add the veggie to a pot of boiling water for 30-45 minutes. Alternatively, you can steam the artichoke for 15 or 20 minutes (my preferred method).
I like to take my time eating an artichoke, gnawing on the leaves to get at the meat inside, removing leaf by leaf until I get to the “heart” of the matter!
Once you dig into that artichoke, you’re consuming a tremendous amount of nutrition. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits artichokes have!
• Cancer prevention. It is believed that the flavanoids in artichokes can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. Artichokes are also linked to reduced risk of leukemia and prostate cancer.
• Antioxidants. A recent study by the USDA has found that there are more antioxidants in artichokes than in any other vegetable.
• Fiber. You can get 25% of the fiber you need for the day from an artichoke.
• Liver health. Artichokes have been used medicinally throughout history for liver ailments, but it seems as though artichokes might actually regenerate liver tissue.
Worth the effort to get into the little buggers, dontcha think?
What’s your favorite way to eat an artichoke? Let us know on our Facebook page!