Spring is the season of rejuvenation, which makes it an ideal time to detox the body.  This doesn’t necessarily mean going to a workshop or investing in special treatment.  Just go out and get a bag full of artichokes, and start eating!

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It looks like a scepter, and it leads the list of healthy vegetables.  

Natural medicine recommends detoxifying when spring comes, and an easy way to do just that is by eating artichokes and drinking the water you cook it in.  It’s a combination of simple and easy vegetarian nutrition.

Spring is also artichoke season, so you’ll be able to find it fresh in markets and at very reasonable prices.  If you want to do a deep detox, you can use dried artichokes leaves.  Please note that people on medication should consult a professional or a doctor before using large amounts of artichokes or a high concentration of its leaves or extracts to clean the liver.

Simple preparation

The preparation of the artichoke is very simple.  It usually requires cooking the heads for about half an hour and eating the based of the leaves, bottoms, and a little of the stem (if it’s not fibrous).  Add lemon, olive oil, and garlic to increase its benefits.
In herbal medicine it is customary to use the leaves, which contain more active substances than the buds.  In springtime, however, when artichoke season arrives, add it several times a week to your menu for all its health benefits. Further, drink the water used to cook it, which contains many health-promoting compounds.  The recommended dose is 1 cup, three times a day before every major meal.

Saves eyesight

Because of its low caloric value and plenty of nutritional fiber, the artichoke can be a very efficient part of a diet menu.  The artichoke itself contains minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium, and very little sodium, which makes it highly recommended for those suffering from hypertension and edema.  In addition, it contains a variety of vitamins and antioxidants such as vitamin C and lutein.  Lutein is a substance important to eye health and prevents deterioration of the retina, and has been shown to benefit cataract sufferers.

Improves the digestive system

The artichoke’s “bitter” properties cause the creation of bile salts and their secretion into the duodenum.  In addition, they cause the secretion of gastric acid and various enzymes that help digest the food we eat. Adding lemon to the artichoke improves its  acidity.

People who suffer from gastric hyperacidity and heartburn should be careful, but should also bear in mind that the artichoke’s leaves are stronger, and eating the buds will probably won’t cause any side effects.  The high fiber content, especially the soluble fibers, assist the digestive system’s activity and its emptying.  The soluble fibers are the food, or pre-biotic, of friendly bacteria, or pro-biotic.  The  greater quantity of those friendly bacteria increases the absorption of food from the digestive system into the blood stream and strengthens the immune system.

Assists in reducing cholesterol

In herbal medicine,  artichoke leaves are used to treat high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, and atherosclerosis.  A high concentration of antioxidants decreases the level of inflammation, and in doing so, prevents the accumulation of cholesterol on the walls of blood vessels.  Eating artichokes causes an increased secretion of bile salts, which carry cholesterol into the colon for excretion – and as a result the blood’s cholesterol decreases.  The soluble fibers also help decrease the levels of sugar and cholesterol by delaying their absorption into the bloodstream.

Helps ease pain

Rheumatic diseases are expressed through chronic infections, such as: arthritis, gout etc.  Herbal medicine uses artichoke leaves to treat these diseases, since they contain an antioxidant called sianrin, which helps the liver dispose of substances that cause chronic infections.

Many studies that have examined the sianrin component found it has a protective quality on the liver, and in western herbal medicine it is used in treating cirrhosis of the liver and other liver deficiencies. In addition, the artichoke is a diuretic and promotes excretion of uric acid, which causes arthritis and increases pain levels for those suffering from gout, from the body.

To learn more about delicious foods that nourish your body, click here.

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  1. May 10th – Adding artichoke to my diet this week. I think I should start my journey by detoxing. I have copied this page to refer back to and will also go on line to read more about the benefits of artichokes.

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