Artichokes are considered by many to be a vegetable, while others are specifically categorised as herbs. Regardless of which group we think it belongs to, the important thing is to know how many positive effects it has. Artichokes originated in the Mediterranean and have been used for centuries for their positive health effects. Such effects include lowering blood sugar levels, improving digestion and maintaining digestive and heart health.
Artichokes are very rich in nutrients, i.e. vitamins and minerals. It contains high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and zinc. In addition to these nutrients, artichokes are rich in fibre and antioxidant compounds.
One positive effect of artichoke leaves is that they reduce high cholesterol. The herb is also very effective in the treatment of acid reflux and liver diseases. Artichoke leaf extract can be used to reduce high blood pressure, hangovers, anaemia, arthritis, water retention, liver problems and kidney problems.
Research has shown that artichoke leaf extract can also be used to treat digestive disorders and can be very effective in lowering cholesterol. Artichokes contain antioxidants, such as flavonoids, which are found in many other fruits and vegetables and which play a role in reducing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which otherwise leads to atherosclerosis.
Regular consumption of artichoke leaf extract can reduce LDL cholesterol levels by up to 30% and triglyceride levels by up to 20%. In addition, the good cholesterol, or HDL cholesterol, increases.
Artichokes also play a major role in reducing high blood pressure. This is because it activates an enzyme that plays a major role in dilating blood vessels.
Artichoke leaf extract also protects the liver from damage and promotes the development and growth of new liver tissue, and it reduces the symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Artichoke leaf extract also helps to maintain digestive health by increasing the number of good gut bacteria and effectively relieving indigestion.