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    Nutrition Information, Health Benefits of Artichokes

    Artichokes are an excellent source of dietary magnesium, fiber, and the trace mineral chromium. They are also a very good source of vitamins A and C, folic acid, biotin, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, potassium, the trace mineral manganese, and a carbohydrate that is in the form of inulin.

    Fresh artichokes contain a carbohydrate, in the form of inulin, which is a polysaccharide or starch that is handled by the body differently than othersugars. So not only are artichokes low in calories due to this carbohydrate, but they are also extremely beneficial to diabetics. Inulin has been shown to improve blood sugar control in diabetes.

    Throughout history artichokes have been known to treat many liver diseases, and recent scientific evidence supports this longtime use. Artichokes contain active ingredients called caffeoylquinic acids, such as cynarin. A high concentration of those compounds are found within the leaves. They are also found in the bracts and heart. Due to their choleretic effect, artichokes promote the flow of bile and fat to and from the liver. If bile is not transported adequately to the gall bladder, the liver is at increased risk of being damaged. Choleretics are very useful in liver diseases such as hepatitis. Choleretics also lower cholesterol levels because they increase the excretion of cholesterol and decrease the manufacture of cholesterol in the liver.

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