It is a well-known plant, it produces its fruit two to three times a year and there are only three varieties. It is perennial, it is on a long thick stalk and sometimes measuring 2 meters in height. Also, it has large leaves that are streaked with grooves and often thorny. The fruit or flower head is the only really edible part that we know well, but we also eat the base of the leaves. All of the flowers of the artichoke are blue-violet and have a tuft of hairs at the top that will allow the birth of this vegetable.
It is a mainly Mediterranean plant, which originated in North Africa, Egypt and Ethiopia. Being able to produce several times a year with rather tendency to exhaust the wealth of the soil for this, it needs a very rich and drained soil. Italy is the country that produces the most in the world, then Spain, Egypt, and then Peru and Argentina, but also China and Morocco, the United States and then France.
It also contains an important panel of antioxidants, both phenolic compounds and anthocyanins. It presents chlorogenic acids, cyanidin, as well as cyranine and silymarin and many more as an antioxidant. It also has inulin. Inulin is a sugar which cannot be digested or absorbed, but will be fermented by the bacterial flora of the colon, it is called a prebiotic, which makes it essential for intestinal health and digestion.
It contains a large amount of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals, copper, vitamin B9, vitamin K, iron, magnesium, but also manganese, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3 , vitamin B5 and vitamin C. But it is not finished it also contains calcium, phosphorus, potassium and Zinc.
These medicinal virtues
It is a specific plant and renowned for the recovery and the good mechanism of the liver and the gallbladder. Ideal for soothing our body after heavy meals. The artichoke is choleretic because it stimulates the production of bile. It is cholagogue because it facilitates its evacuation to the intestine. Also a diuretic because it increases the volume of urine. Therefore the artichoke by its three properties is essential in everything related to liver and urinary disorders. The inulin in artichoke is intended to better monitor blood sugar levels for diabetes.
By its high proportion of antioxidant, it will provide better protection against cardiovascular diseases, but also against certain cancers and certain diseases or degeneration due to aging.
The artichoke has, thanks to its fiber content, stability for the appetite and brings rapid satiety. It also allows a better approach to the constipation disorder by anticipating it. Artichoke provides proven benefit for type 2 diabetes.
Artichoke other uses
The leaves of the artichoke are also used in the composition of certain alcoholic drinks such as Cynar, which is an artichoke wine. Parts of the artichoke (the hay after drying) are used to curdle the milk. It will soon be possible to cultivate the artichoke in the northern parts of the globe thanks to scientific progress, and thus bypass the problems associated with extreme cold as in Canada.