I don’t know how to open one or how to cook one, but I recently received some information on the numerous health benefits of the artichoke. As it turns out, prickly vegetable is particularly good for the liver. It’s very high in Silymarin and Cynarin which are known to help detoxify and clean out the liver. Studies have shown that they may even help regenerate the organ. By helping the liver, artichokes have been shown to raise HDL (good cholesterol) while lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) at the same time. Likewise, the vegetable increases bile flow which improves gall bladder function and aids in digestion of fats.
Artichokes are also good for the colon due to their high fiber content. A medium artichoke contains more fiber than a cup of prunes. One of the biggest benefits of artichokes is that they have more antioxidants than any other vegetable and ranked seventh in a study of antioxidant levels of over 1000 different foods. This may be part of the reason why studies using artichoke leaf extract have killed cells involved with different forms of cancer including leukemia, prostate and breast cancer.
While this was all new information to me involving this one particular vegetable, I believe you will find similar health benefits of nearly every vegetable and fruit out there. Nature provides us with everything we need. In general, the more fresh, natural, and alive the foods you consume are, the more energy, vitality and health benefits you will receive from these foods. Likewise, those foods that are unnatural, processed and manmade will generally detract from your energy, vitality and health. Make a commitment for you and especially for your kids to have a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables with every meal.