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Five reasons you may want to include artichokes in your diet

Fresh artichokes
Fresh artichokes
Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images

Artichokes are vegetables and are a great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. They also contain antioxidant benefits, as well as other benefits discussed below. Artichokes belong the the Cynara family, which is basically a form of thistle. As the plant matures, the flower produces buds and forms a heart. There is a fleshy substance that forms around the heart that should be removed before eating, as it is not to be ingested. The base of the plant and the fleshy leaves are also edible and popular when served with a dip. Artichokes are a vegetable that should be included in your diet because they have many different health benefits.

Vitamins and Minerals

Artichokes are packed with vitamins and minerals. Artichokes are one of the best, if not the best vegetable you can eat for the health benefits. Artichokes contain potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C.

Aids in Digestion

The Egyptians knew that artichokes were beneficial to one's health many years ago. They used artichokes to treat digestive problems. This is most likely due to the high fiber content. Foods rich in fiber help to keep our digestive systems moving and healthy. Modern research has shown that artichoke extract does help relieve heartburn and acid reflux symptoms. It looks like the Egyptians were correct to use artichokes to comfort those with stomach problems.

Fights Cancer

The antioxidants in artichokes work to combat free radicals in our bodies that can form into cancer. The antioxidants are used as a defense against the free radicals. They can keep a cancer from forming or keep a cancer from getting worse and spreading. That's pretty important whether or not you have or not have been diagnosed yet.

Regenerates Liver Cells

Artichokes have also been found to regenerate liver cells or tissues. Artichokes are also a natural diuretic, helping the body rid itself of extra fluids instead of retaining them.

Prevents Heart Disease

You have heard of good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Artichokes are packed with good cholesterol, HDL, which helps prevent heart disease by reducing the bad cholesterol in your body. Artichokes also contain a fair amount of flavanoids. Flavanoids help to protect your body against cancer and heart disease.


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NOTE: This article was originally posted on the Yahoo Contributor Network Voices which has recently closed.

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