They look weird.
Maybe even a little… dangerous.
But if artichokes aren’t a regular part of your menu… maybe they should be.
These tasty, funny-looking plants deliver a whole bunch of health benefits.
For starters, they help digestion.
Compounds in artichokes help your body produce what it needs to digest food better and absorb certain types of nutrients better.
That means you’ll feel better after eating and your body gets more of what it needs too.
Artichokes also offer two big benefits for your ticker.
First, they boost your body’s nitric oxide levels which means lower blood pressure and wider, more relaxed arteries. Good for blood flow and circulation.
And second, they lower your cholesterol levels. (I’m not as worried about this as your doctor probably is, but if it keeps you from getting scolded, we all can appreciate that.)
Artichokes are an excellent source of antioxidants, beating out all but a handful of foods for their high levels.
Naturally occurring antioxidants help your body fight off free radical damage, which left unchecked can lead to cancer. So that’s a good thing.
And as if good digestion, a healthy heart, and cancer prevention weren’t enough, artichokes are good for your brain too.
They’re rich in phosphorous, which is food for your brain cells.
Now, I’ll admit, artichokes do have a downside. They can be a little intimidating to cook. A whole artichoke looks like a grenade that someone already pulled the pin on…
But once you get the hang of it, they’re tasty as well as healthy.
You can simply boil a whole artichoke in salted water. Then enjoy the base of the leaves dipped in a vinaigrette.
But the most widely used part of the artichoke is the heart.
During the spring, you can buy baby artichokes and then prepare fresh, roasted artichoke hearts. Just remove the tough outer leaves and the choke from each one, leaving the heart.
Toss the hearts with olive oil, salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs and roast them at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
You can also buy artichoke hearts by the jar and use them in all sorts of ways.
The next time you make a creamy spinach dip add a small jar of artichoke hearts for a fresh twist on an old favorite.
Artichoke hearts are also a natural addition to almost any dish you can think of.
Artichokes may not be something you often think to put on your grocery list, but next time you’re at the store, pick up a jar of hearts and add them to one of your meals.
I bet you’ll like them… and you’ll be getting some great health benefits in the bargain!
Editor, Patriot Health Alliance