Often seen on menus in dips or on the top of salads, artichokes are a superfood in every sense of the word. They are a naturally rich source of vitamins A, K, C, B-6, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc.
Research has shown that artichokes can help strengthen the immune system, lower cholesterol, detoxify the liver and may also protect against cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. Artichokes are high in fiber and can help ease digestive issues, reduce blood pressure and even eliminate hangovers.[i]
Artichokes contain the highest levels of antioxidants of any vegetable (polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins among others) and are loaded with an army of beneficial nutrients that can protect the body from cancer.
One artichoke supplies 25% of the recommended daily requirement of vitamin C. Studies have shown that people with high intakes of vitamin C from fruits and vegetables might have a lower risk of getting many types of cancer, including lung, breast and colon cancer.[ii]
Artichokes are also a great source of silymarin, a flavonoid antioxidant that may help prevent skin cancer.[iii]
Adding Artichokes to Your Diet
It’s easy to start eating more artichokes — you can grill them, bake them, add them to your favorite salads or pasta or team them up with spinach to make a delicious cancer-fighting dip.
Super Spinach & Artichoke Dip
Adapted from a recipe by the Mayo Clinic Staff
- 2 cups artichoke hearts
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 4 cups chopped spinach
- 1 teaspoon minced thyme
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
- 1 cup white beans, prepared
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Put in glass or ceramic dish and bake at 350˚ F for 30 minutes.
- Serve with whole-grain bread, crackers or vegetables for dipping.