Discover the incredible weight loss benefits of artichokes, how to best prepare them and how much you should eat to get maximum benefit from artichokes – one of nature’s amazing fat burning foods.
The artichoke, which is a widely enjoyed vegetable, is really a flower bud, and is closely related to the thistle plant. If you let them flower, the artichoke’s blossom is almost seven inches across and a beautiful deep violet-blue.
There are two types of artichoke, the Green Globe, which can be found all year long, and the Desert Globe, which can only be found in grocery stores from December through March and again from July through September.
Artichoke leaves, which have a somewhat spiny texture, start at a base springing from the stem. The edible sections of the plant are the heart and leaves.
Fat Burning Benefits of Artichokes
Artichokes provide a number of Fat Fighting properties that make this a really great vegetable to include in your weekly dining.
Because it has a diuretic effect, toxins are quickly removed from the body.
The artichoke, rich in nutrients, provides 16 essential nutrients, yet contains only approximately 25 calories per mid-sized artichoke.
This vegetable is a good way to get the fiber you need so that you feel full and satisfied; it is also a great source of Vitamin C, which boosts your metabolism to help the body burn fats, and it provides folate, which aids in digestion.
The key minerals, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and iron, are abundant in each artichoke and offer healthy, fat-burning properties.
The powerful antioxidant characteristics of the compound silymarin assist your liver in regenerating healthy tissue.
Many of the phytochemicals found in artichokes are now being looked at for their properties that help maintain health as well as ward off disease.
Steaming and boiling them are the best ways to enjoy artichokes. Artichokes have to be cleaned and trimmed, before doing anything else.
Depending on the amount of artichokes you plan to cook, you will need a heavy pot and lid. Put between 1-1/2 to 2 cups of water in the bottom of the pan. Place the lid on top until the water comes to a boil. Once the water is boiling, cook on low heat for approximately 30 to 40 minutes; they are done when you easily can take out a leaf from the center tier of leaves. Take the artichokes out of the pan and let the water drain out completely. Artichokes may be served hot or cold, but cold artichokes are more flavorful.
Artichokes are a great ingredient to make soup; you can also stuff them or marinate the hearts in oil and lemon. This is what you want to look for when you go to purchase artichokes. Hearty artichokes should be dark green, heavy, and have tight leaves. If they are dry or turning brown, do not purchase them.
To clean artichokes, turn them upside down in the sink; rinse by passing running water over them, making sure to get rid of all the dirt and other residue.
You can remove the whole stem, or, if you wish, let about 1-1/2 inches or so remain, and remove the outer skin. You also want to remove the lower tiny leaves that grow along the bottom of what is called “the choke”. Some cooks remove the spiny tips of the leaves; some remove the tops of the artichoke before stuffing them. If you cut off the stalks, put them aside. They are great in soup!
Once you’ve prepared the artichokes, put them in a pan with water and add the juice of 1 or 2 lemons prior to cooking them; this helps keep them fresh.
There are a few easy steps involved in eating artichokes. Remove each leaf off the choke by pulling it. Hold the pointed end in your fingers, then scrape the leafy end through your teeth. Believe it or not, the edible portion of the leaf is found inside the bottom third of each leaf. After you’ve eaten them, you can toss the leaves into a second bowl.
How Much is a Daily Serving?
One medium-sized artichoke represents a day’s serving.