The Mediterranean region is one of the areas in the world which reports lowest chronic diseases and highest life expectancies. Artichokes are found mostly in this region. Mediterranean cuisine specializes in artichokes, vegetables, fruits and very little saturated fat. This is perhaps the reason for lowest chronic disease incidents in this region.
A low fat diet and minimum of 5 portions of fruits and vegetables each day is considered as a healthy diet combination. Such a diet in combination with regular exercise minimizes the risk of cancers, heart diseases, obesity and diabetes.
To have a healthy lifestyle, California artichokes are appropriate, possessing about 25 calories only, about 170 mg of potassium, Vitamin C, folic acid, magnesium and dietary fiber. It does not contain fat at all. Recent studies have suggested that artichokes have the highest amount of antioxidants in the form of phytonutrients. The spiny green colored flowers of artichokes are consumed like a vegetable. These flowers contain cynarin, which is known to reduce triglycerides. It also assists the body in getting rid from artery-clogging cholesterol and hence minimizes the instances of heart diseases.
Pisgah Bio-Medical Research Center in Asheville, North Carolina carried out a study using artichoke concentrated flower juice. This studies found out that total cholesterol levels were reduced by almost 35 percent and triglyceride levels by 50 percent in just twelve weeks.
The most effective phytonutrients in artichokes are the cynarin and the silymarin which enhances the secretion of bile in the liver. Bile helps in the breakdown of fat and cholesterol and flushes it out from the body.
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