Surprised to be considering raw artichokes in your juice or smoothie recipes? Well, you're about to be even more surprised by the powerful disease-fighting compounds in artichokes.
But first, let's briefly look at the fascinating history and latest research involving artichokes!
A Little History
It's easy to be intimidated by this member of the thistle family, but nearly all the artichoke is edible!
In recorded history, artichokes date to the Mediterranean nearly 3000 years ago, from where they spread north to Italy, Spain and France, and south and east to North Africa and Arabia.
The artichoke was used by ancient Romans and Greeks as both a food and for medicinal purposes, particularly as an aphrodisiac. The ancient Greeks believed the artichoke was created when Zeus was angered by a beautiful woman who thwarted his attentions and turned her into a thistle!
In the 1800’s this wonder food made its way to the US via French and Spanish immigrants.
Latest Exciting Research!
Research has proven that artichokes relieve a number of issues, acting as an analgesic for pain related to indigestion and acid reflux, but also artichokes diminish constipation and stomach ailments.
Another study reported by the Langone Medical Center of New York University showed that artichoke consumption alleviated dyspepsia, bloating, stomach issues and diarrhea.
Studies have also shown that powerful compounds in artichokes lower bad (LDL) cholesterol while raising good (HDL) cholesterol.
Still other studies demonstrate that artichokes contain cancer-preventing compounds.
Low in calories and fat, artichokes are rich in fiber, antioxidants, folic acid, flavonoids, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals.
The nutritional benefits of artichokes rank them among the world's ‘super foods.’ Vitamins include A, C, E, K, D and a wide array of B-complex compounds.
The wealth of minerals in artichokes range from calcium and iron to phosphorus, potassium, manganese, zinc, sodium and copper.
Surprisingly, artichokes rank among the highest for antioxidants. In fact, science has ranked artichokes #7 among the top 20 foods that deliver the highest amount of antioxidants!
- 1 Apple
- 2 Carrots
- 1/4 cup cubed raw Artichoke
- 3-4 leaves of your favorite green such as Kale,Spinach or my favorite,Wheatgrass
- 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite seeds or nuts such as Walnut,Pumpkin, Sesame orAlmond
- For a delicious smoothie add 1-2 cups of your favorite milk such as Rice,Almond,Oat,Coconut or dairy
- I often add a few greens to my recipes for their amazing nutrient boost. However, only a few leaves because they are bitter, and also because too many can upset your stomach.
- As you see above wheatgrass as my favorite green because it is the most nutritious of all the greens. The suggested amount instead of 3-4 leaves is a 1" thumb thickness od wheatgrass for each recipe.
- I strongly encourage NO added sweeteners even for smoothies! I share a growing concern about our over-consumption of sugar. Whether it's processed or an all-natural alternative such as coconut sugar or agave nectar, it's still sugar! Here's why I'm concerned about about how much sugar I eat!