Back in 1948, Marilyn Monroe's first claim to fame was being crowned
California's first Artichoke Queen.
Artichokes are yin and blood tonics. A yin tonic helps to build fluids and a blood tonic helps to build blood. One of the main functions of the Liver in Chinese medicine is to "free course" the Qi. When the Qi does not move freely, you get stagnation. Qi stagnation can present itself in many ways in the body - muscular pain, constipation, abdominal bloating and pain, headaches, irregular periods, breast tenderness - just to name a few. Artichokes help to promote Qi circulation. They contain a phytochemical known as cynarin, which increases bile production and aids in digestive disorders marked by poor fat assimilation. In addition, cynarin lowers blood cholesterol levels and improves blood clotting time.
Good for Diabetes
Artichokes are an excellent source of inulin. Inulin is a natural soluble fiber that’s also a sugar. Unlike other sugars, inulin doesn’t raise your blood sugar. That’s because it’s not broken down in the stomach or small intestine. Instead, it moves right through to your colon. Research found that people with and without diabetes who ate inulin had less rise in their blood sugar. The change was likely due to the way inulin slows the absorption of carbohydrates.
Good for Anemia
Artichokes are also excellent for anemia, building overall energy and as immune support.
Did you Know...
Artichokes are among the highest in antioxidant activity.
How to Prepare Artichokes
Martha Stewart Recipe
- 4 medium artichokes (about 12 ounces each)
- 1 lemon, halved crosswise
- Coarse salt
- Dipping sauce - melted butter (not the healthiest), olive oil with garlic, lemon, salt and pepper (my preference), or a yogurt lemon and dill sauce (plain yogurt, fresh lemon juice, fresh dill, salt and pepper)
- Prepare artichokes for steaming: Snap off tough outer leaves. Using a serrated knife cut off top 1/3 of artichoke. Snip remaining sharp or spiky tips using kitchen shears. Trim stem so artichoke stands upright. Rub cut surfaces with lemon to prevent discoloration. Repeat with remaining artichokes and lemon.
- Set a steamer basket in a large pot; add enough water so it reaches just below the basket. Squeeze lemon juice into water and add 1 tablespoon salt; bring to a boil. Place artichokes in steamer basket, stem-side up. Cover pot, and steam until heart is tender when pierced with a tip of a paring knife, and inner leaves pull out easily, 25 to 35 minutes; add more water to pot, if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature.