What is artichoke?
What Does artichoke Mean
The term artichoke is equivalent, depending on the region , to artichoke , artichoke or alcarcil . It is a plant whose flower heads (flowers found in a receptacle) are used as food .
In general, the idea of artichoke refers to the plant species whose scientific name is Cynara scolymus . Native to the Mediterranean area , this perennial plant can reach a height of two meters.
The leaves of the Cynara scolymus are pinnate lobed with a length exceeding 60 cm; its lobes do not have spines and its underside is tomentose (that is, its surface is covered with a layer of hairs). Regarding their chapters (racemose or open inflorescences in which the peduncle widens and forms a disk of a certain thickness called the common receptacle ), we can say that they are large and have bluish flowers, which makes them very showy.
The artichoke contains high amounts of carbohydrates and water . It also contains several vitamins (such as vitamin B3 , vitamin B1 , vitamin B6 , riboflavin, thiamine, and niacin) and minerals ( calcium , phosphorus , iron , potassium , sodium , magnesium, and others).
Its components that are beneficial for the body include sterols (which minimize the cholesterol absorbed by the intestine), cynarin (a bitter principle acts as a diuretic and increases bile secretion), inulin (a class of carbohydrate complex), mucilages (a type of soluble fiber also found in carob, flax, and mustard seeds), acids (caffeic, caffeoylquinic, ferulic, and dicafeylquinic), and flavonoids (cinaropicrin and cininoside, a glycoside derived from luteolin).
There are several benefits of artichoke for the proper functioning of the liver, since its active principle, cynarin, protects it and makes this plant an adequate complement for treatments against liver diseases such as insufficiency, hepatitis, jaundice or fatty liver.
The cynarin present in the artichoke also enhances biliary function so that fats can be digested correctly and is used to treat problems such as indigestion, gas and dyspepsia caused by gallstones.
The cholesterol can also be regulated with artichoke, because it is a liver tonic with ideal properties to reduce it ; We must not forget that the liver is the organ that most influences the metabolization of fats. To achieve the reduction of the level of cholesterol in the blood, the main actors are cynarin and the acids of this plant, which can also help in the prevention of arteriosclerosis and the treatment of hypertension.
Another application of the artichoke is in weight loss diets . For this, it is advisable to supplement it with other foods low in fat and rich in fiber; It is precisely the fiber in the artichoke that is responsible for the body not reabsorbing the fats from the bile, but eliminating them through the feces.
There are various gastronomic preparations that are made with artichokes. The usual thing is that, as a first step, the artichokes are washed with plenty of drinking water . Then the outer leaves that, due to their hardness, are not suitable for consumption are extracted, and the stem is also scraped to remove the hardest fibers. Finally they are introduced into boiling water with salt and lemon juice until it is easy to extract the leaves.
Once the artichokes are cooked, they can be consumed in different ways, both the leaves, the stem and the heart. Many people choose to eat artichokes after boiling them by adding a sauce or a dressing. It is also possible to make artichoke cakes or prepare stuffed artichokes , among many other preparations.