Artichoke is a vegetable considered to be refined. It is widely used in cooking to compose salads, broths, soups, teas and even as decoration of dishes.
It is believed that this plant originates from the Mediterranean Sea and was brought to Brazil by the Italians who cultivated the artichoke in their home gardens.
Do you want to know more about this vegetable? Then check out the text:
What is artichoke?
Artichoke (whose scientific name is Cynara scolymus ) is a vegetable from the same family as chicory, lettuce and sunflower. The most popular in the Brazilian market is the one with purple buttons, but there are also artichokes with green buttons.
The 2 variations of the plant can be used both for culinary, cosmetological and medicinal purposes.
When the use is purely for the flavor of the vegetable, it is usually eaten fresh or roasted with other roots and meats.
If it is used for medicinal purposes, it is common to make teas with the plant or else to ingest the capsules with artichoke extract.
In cosmetology, it is used in hair products that promise to strengthen the hair and prevent hair loss.
What is the artichoke for?
For its color and exotic foliage, looking like a flower, the artichoke is widely used as decoration for dishes and banquets. In addition, this vegetable (in tea or capsules) can be used for medicinal purposes and provide more quality of life and health for people who consume it.
Find out more about how the artichoke is presented and what each one is for:
With the leaves of the artichoke it is possible to make teas and juices.
But be careful: for all these effects to be better used, it is important not to sweeten the drink.
The capsules of this vegetable are used as a complement of vitamins and minerals.
In such cases, the capsules can help fight some infections, reduce fat and cholesterol, fight anemia or simply strengthen the body in general.
It is important to talk to a doctor before starting treatment with this type of product.
What are the health benefits?
Artichoke has several minerals (such as phosphorus, calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium), vitamins (A, B2 and C), proteins and carbohydrates . 100g of this vegetable contains up to 86.5% water and 47 calories.
That is, they are low in calories and many substances important to health.
Find out what the health benefits of using artichoke are:
Artichoke helps fight bacteria, fungi and viruses that cause respiratory, gastrointestinal and genital infections.
That’s because this vegetable stimulates the immune system to work better and create antibodies more quickly.
Artichoke aids in the process of digesting food. Therefore, it can also help in reducing swelling and eliminating gas , swelling and other abdominal discomforts.
This is because it contains a substance called Cinaropicrina, which produces more gastric juice and consequently makes digestion easier.
Cardiac and hepatoprotective action
Artichoke extract is used to decrease the amount of fat that is secreted by the liver, thus protecting it from the excess that can compromise the body’s liver functions.
It also directly impacts the reduction of bad cholesterol (LDL) and blood sugar levels, helping to control heart disease.
What are the side effects of the artichoke?
Although it has many benefits, it is also important to note that the artichoke can have an undesirable laxative effect , especially for people who have a loose intestine, especially in relation to the concentrated extract.
Another side effect that can be caused by the artichoke is the increase in the production of bile and liver functions. Therefore, people who already have these complications in excess should not use it.
There is still the possibility that the artichoke causes allergic respiratory reactions (such as rhinitis , asthma , bronchitis ) and dermatological reactions (urticaria, for example). Therefore, if the person already has these problems, the consumption of this vegetable should be moderate.
People with hypertension and heart problems are groups that should only consume the artichoke under medical guidance.
Price and where to buy
The raw artichoke can be sold at large fruit and vegetable fairs such as the Central Supply Centers (CEASA) in large cities.
Municipal markets are also good options where you can find vegetables.
The price of vegetables varies according to the region and the season, but in general it costs between R $ 3.50 and R $ 10 per kilo.
The capsule version, on the other hand, has values between R $ 18 and R $ 50 per pot, which can vary between 15 and 45 capsules.
This type of product is commonly found in health food stores, department stores and even on the internet.
One example of this is the Consulta Remédios website, which offers options such as:
- Artichoke Natulab ;
- Artichoke Bionatus ;
- Herbarium artichoke ;
- Multilab artichoke .
How to consume artichoke tea?
Making artichoke tea is very simple: just prepare an infusion with 1 cup of hot water and 1 15ml spoon (of soup) with vegetable leaves. To have a more potent effect, let the water boil before adding the leaves and then use a sieve to strain.
It is advisable to take the warm drink, 3 times a day, before the main meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
How to take the artichoke pills?
How to consume artichoke capsules may vary depending on the manufacturer. Therefore, the ideal is to follow medical guidelines.
In general, the recommended consumption is 3 capsules a day, which should be taken before large meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
Contraindication: who should not use artichokes?
Pregnant and lactating women should also not consume this ingredient, as there are no studies that prove safety for babies.
Patients who have bile duct obstruction or who have allergies to chicory, lettuce and sunflower should also not eat such vegetables or make use of the supplement, except under medical advice.
Do you lose weight?
Much is said about the artichoke and its properties that aid in body weight loss.
First of all, it is good to clarify that there is no scientific study that proves that this vegetable actually loses weight.
What is known so far, scientifically, is that the artichoke helps to reduce abdominal swelling, stimulates the elimination of feces and promotes a feeling of satiety.
That is, it can directly assist in reducing measures, or indirectly in weight loss, due to the change in diet.
However, to enhance these effects, it is necessary to take care of the diet (eating fruits and vegetables) and to practice physical exercises regularly.
How to plant?
Before planting your artichoke, it is necessary to obtain a seedling. To do this, look for major producers of the plant that are, mainly, in the southeastern region of Brazil.
The ideal climate for the cultivation of this delicacy is the subtropical, with mild summers and winters with light frosts.
The artichoke is a plant that does not like moisture very much. Therefore, it is good that the planting soil is drained.
It is also possible to wrap the sprout of the artichoke with newsprint or plastic bags to avoid excess water.
But pay attention: it is not because it does not like humidity that it is not necessary to water it. The plant should be given water at least once a week.
It is not very spacious and can therefore be planted in the backyard. Its pit must be 15 cm deep and the minimum spacing between seedlings is 2 meters.
The plant can be harvested from the 6th month, after planting.
Artichoke is a vegetable that can have many health benefits. In case of doubts about the consumption of this delicacy, seek the advice of a nutritionist. The Healthy Minute brings other information about food . Access our posts and have more quality of life.