Artichoke, also known as vegetable thistle, because its buds resemble the bulbs of lily, so also known as the French lily, Lily of the Netherlands, for the compositae thistle, perennial herb.Native to the Mediterranean coast of northern Europe, grown in sunny, warm and not too wet coastal areas.At present European and American countries planting area is larger, especially Italy, France, The Netherlands.It is also cultivated in parts of Asia.Although it was introduced from France to Shanghai, Beijing and other places in China in the 19th century, it did not form commercial production due to the restrictions of climate, soil and technology.
Artichoke is rich in nutrition and has high nutritional value of vitamins and minerals. For every 100g edible part, it contains 2.8g protein, 150mg vitamin A, 8mg vitamin C, 51mg calcium and 69mg phosphorus.
The traditional uses
Artichokes are most commonly found in western food as side dishes. They can be eaten fresh, made into sauces, used in soups or processed into cans.The world\’s annual demand for canned artichokes is more than 100,000 tons. The sepals of artichokes can also be preserved. The buds (fleshy receptacle and involucre), stems and leaves of artichoke have been used as medicine and food since ancient times. The buds and receptacles have the aroma similar to chestnut, and contain a large amount of natural flavonoids. As a health vegetable with high nutritional value, artichoke is known as \”the Emperor of vegetables\” and is very precious.
So,what are the three little-known functions of the artichoke?
1. Treatment of indigestion
In Europe, artichoke has long been used as an herb to treat indigestion. Artichoke extract is used to treat digestive diseases including abdominal pain, bloating and nausea
2. Lowering blood lipid and anti-atherosclerosis
Many experiments have shown that artichoke extract can reduce blood lipid, mainly by affecting cholesterol and lipid synthesis and decomposition pathway in the liver to regulate lipid level, so as to prevent atherosclerosis.
3. Liver protection and antioxidant function
Studies on the antioxidant function of artichoke mainly focus on leaf extract. The antioxidant capacity of polyphenols extracted from artichoke is mainly determined by the number of hydroxyl groups on aromatic ring. The more hydroxyl groups are contained, the stronger the antioxidant capacity is.
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