Smart Fuel for the weekend:
Berries may be class pet in the antioxidant department, but the humble artichoke is one of the most nutritious foods around.
True, you can’t spread it on toast, but this relative of the thistle contains almost as many antioxidants as berries – and loads of other benefits:
- cleanses the liver, urinary tract, and kidneys
- promotes healthy bile production
- can help reduce bad cholesterol
- has therapeutic medicinal properties, especially for IBS and other digestive illnesses
- among the highest levels of flavonoids of any vegetable or fruit
- high in vitamin C, folic acid, essential fatty acids, many beneficial plant chemicals, magnesium, and fiber
The best part about the artichoke is that you can eat the entire thing and it will only set you back about 25 calories.
It takes a good amount of cooking to soften the leaves enough to snack on. Everyone loves the best part – the heart – but I don’t recommend relying on jars of soybean-oil-soaked hearts as your only source of artichoke. They can be expensive to buy fresh, but one of the Bees points out that you can now find baby fresh artichoke hearts in many stores.
Not only can you buy a dozen baby artichokes for the price of one large artichoke, they have the same nutritional value and are more tender – you can pop the entire thing in your mouth, leaves and all. Try it out this weekend – steam or broil (the latter is great with some olive oil, lemon juice and a little parmesan) and dig in!