Artichokes and Health
These versatile green vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. The whitish, pale green, fleshy bulb is the edible part of the plant, known as the heart. Artichoke hearts have a mild, earthy, slightly nutty taste. They can be grilled, steamed, fried, canned, or preserved in olive oil. While a healthy addition to salads, sandwiches, and stews, they are also great on their own.
What are the benefits of incorporating this vegetable into your diet? What does the artichoke heart have to offer in terms of nutrition? From fiber to vitamins and minerals, what is the nutritional value of this food?
Calorie Break Down — Fat, Protein, and Carbs
How many calories are in a serving of artichokes? How are those calories broken down into fat, protein, and carbohydrates? One whole artichoke is about 128 grams. The edible portion of that vegetable, or the heart, is about 56 grams. Within that dense piece of food there are only 25 calories, no fat, and no cholesterol! Now for more good news, there are two grams of protein in one artichoke heart and six grams of carbohydrates, three of which are dietary fiber. One heart provides 12 percent of your daily requirement for dietary fiber.
Vitamins and Minerals
Artichoke heart nutrition is so valuable because, like many vegetables, this food provides a high concentration of vitamins and minerals for only a tiny number of calories. What minerals are artichokes a good source of? They have about 180 mg of potassium, or about five percent of the daily recommended amount. Potassium is important for a healthy nervous system, blood pressure, and balancing sodium levels in the body. Artichoke hearts also provide iron, for the oxygenation of red blood cells, energy production, and growth. They also supply magnesium, which has hundreds of functions in the body being a vital catalyst for enzyme activity, phosphorus, which supports cell growth and normal kidney function, manganese for healthy nerves and blood sugar regulation, and chromium for glucose metabolism.
Artichoke hearts are also great sources of vitamin C, which acts as a water soluble antioxidant in the body, supports healthy tissue repair, the immune system, and the adrenal glands. One heart provides ten percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C, as well as of folate.
Folate is important for heart health, brain health, energy production, and the production of red blood cells.
The artichoke heart is a nutrient-dense, low-calorie, high-fiber food. It is an ideal vegetable to add to a heart healthy diet as it provides nutrients that support a healthy heart, as well as fiber, without any saturated fat. Artichokes are also recommended in a cleansing diet, especially to support the liver. This may be due to the presence of silymarin, an antioxidant that may help the liver regenerate healthy tissue.
Packed with beneficial compounds and incredibly delicious, artichokes are a purely positive food. Understanding artichoke heart nutrition, there is no reason not to start adding a little nutty, earthy flavor to your favorite dishes.
Balch, Phyllis A. “Prescription for Nutritional Healing.” Fourth Edition (Penguin Books, 2006).
Pezzini Farms https://www.pezzinifarms.com/index.cfm/Artichokes.htm
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