Artichoke for Antioxidant Benefits
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
Artichoke is considered a superfood for its high nutritional value and various medicinal properties. People often consume artichoke for the antioxidant benefits that can increase the body’s internal antioxidant capacity which can potentially provide a range of health benefits and protect the body from various diseases. Wanna know how the antioxidant properties of artichokes can help promote health? Continue exploring with us till the end.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most prevalent potential effects of using artichoke for antioxidant benefits according to scientific studies. But before we get into the antioxidant benefits of artichoke, it’s worth knowing exactly what artichoke is and what nutritional value and medicinal properties it possesses. So, let’s get started.
Table of contents
- What is an artichoke?
- Artichoke nutrition and properties
- Potential effects of taking artichoke for antioxidant benefits
- Precautions and side effects
- Final words
What is an artichoke?
Artichoke is a plant species botanically known as Cynara scolymus that is endemic to the Mediterranean regions, especially in North Africa. It has a long history of use in food and medicine since the time of the Ancient Greeks. The buds of thistle artichoke flowers are widely used as vegetables and artichoke extract derived from the roots, stems, and leaves are used to prepare medicines and dietary supplements. Today, this perennial medicinal plant is widely cultivated throughout the world for food and medicinal purposes.
Artichoke nutrition and properties
Artichoke is densely packed with vital micronutrients and also is an exceptional source of antioxidants. It’s significantly low in calories, while relatively high in protein and fiber. Besides, it contains a range of important vitamins, minerals, and plant chemicals, all of which have the potential to benefit human health in many different ways.
Let’s take a look at the most common nutrients in artichoke:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Omega 3s
In addition, artichoke is considered one of the most powerful antioxidant foods in the world, making it claimed as a superfood. It’s an excellent source of several phytochemicals that serve as natural antioxidants, such as:
- Chlorogenic acid
- Caffeoylquinic acid
- Gallic acid
The health potentials of artichoke seem to come from the antioxidant benefits it offers. Artichoke and the antioxidant content it contains have been shown to produce several pharmacological effects on the body such as anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, immunomodulating, anti-carcinogenic, and neuroprotective, just to name a few.
Potential effects of taking artichoke for antioxidant benefits
Artichoke has a unique antioxidant profile that can benefit all bodily systems, especially cardiovascular health, the liver, stomach and gut health, blood pressure, the brain and cognitive health, and digestion. Let’s take a look at some of the most common antioxidant benefits of artichoke:
May improve the body’s total antioxidant capacity
Artichoke contains numerous natural antioxidant agents, major ones include silymarin, cynarin, chlorogenic acid, luteolin, vitamin C, vitamin E, rutin, gallic acid, quercetin, magnesium, zinc, and copper, all of which either directly serve as antioxidants or indirectly serve as a cofactor in many different antioxidant activities in the body.
May strengthen liver health
The antioxidant properties of artichoke, especially the active compound cynarin, can play a huge role in protecting the liver and helping in the regeneration of liver cells. It can also increase the production and release of bile. Caffeoylquinic acid, another major antioxidant in artichoke, has the capacity to bind toxic molecules and thus, can reduce their toxicity, making it highly potential to aid detoxification of the liver.
May improve heart health
The antioxidant activities of artichokes have been shown to produce a positive effect in lowering bad cholesterol levels and inhibiting plaque formation in the arterial walls. Artichoke extract stimulates bile acid secretion and turns excess cholesterol into bile. Luteolin has been found to be effective in inhibiting cholesterol formation in the body. These effects synergistically improve heart health and lower the risk of degenerative heart diseases.
May improve digestion and gut health
Cynarin, a key antioxidant in artichokes, can stimulate the secretion and release of bile, which in turn help the gut absorb vitamins and minerals from food and digest fats. Another compound in artichokes, cynaropicrin, may help reduce muscle spasms in the digestive tract and therefore, may help in alleviating diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Provides anti-aging benefits
The extremely high antioxidant properties of artichokes have noticeable anti-aging effects on the body. Regular consumption can hugely help with preventing and reducing cell and tissue damage caused by oxidative stress or its associated inflammation, which in turn can protect or slow many age-related illnesses.
May protect the brain and nerve health
Artichokes and the antioxidants they contain have tremendous anti-inflammatory effects that can protect the brain and nerve cells from chronic neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s.
May prevent some types of cancer
The antioxidant compounds found in artichokes, such as luteolin, vitamin C, gallic acid, rutin, quercetin, and silymarin, seem to be effective in preventing certain types of cancer including breast, colon, lung, and skin cancer.
Precautions and side effects
Consuming artichokes appear to be generally safe in recommended doses. However, some people may experience allergic reactions. As artichoke stimulates the secretion of bile, people with gallstones or bile duct obstruction should refrain from taking artichokes. However, it’s always best to ask a qualified natural medicine doctor before starting artichokes to determine whether it’s safe for your specific health status, especially if you’re on medications, pregnant, or breastfeeding.
Artichokes are exceptionally rich in natural antioxidants. The potential of artichoke for antioxidant benefits is huge. It can benefit various bodily functions ranging from liver health to heart health to brain health. Consider asking a qualified natural medicine doctor prior to using artichoke to know whether it’s safe for you.
Here you can see Vorst’s pure and natural Artichoke Extract Vegan Capsules
Here you can see Vorst’s specially formulated Liver Care Vegan Capsules that contain considerable amounts of artichokes