Artichoke, a vegetable that protects the liver and regulates intestinal activity

Tip elaborated by Ametller Origen, BBHI collaborating entity in the field of nutrition.


The artichoke is a vegetable of Mediterranean origin which grows mostly in the countries of this region, since it requires a mild climate and cannot resist intense cold or extreme heat.

Nutritional properties

Artichokes are rich in cynarin, a compound with choleretic activity, that is, it increases the secretion of bile and helps eliminate bile salts from the vesicle in addition to having a hepatoprotective, liver-protective activity.

Among the many qualities of the artichoke, its contribution of fiber stands out, specifically a soluble fiber called fructooligosaccharides, which helps regulate intestinal transit.

It should also be noted that artichokes contain potassium, which helps maintain healthy muscles and is good for those who suffer from cramps. In addition, this mineral helps regulate blood pressure.

How to cook them

Artichokes can be eaten in many ways. In Catalonia, it is typical to roast them on the grill until charred. The heart will cook in its own steam and will remain tender.

They can also be fried, very crispy, or they can be grilled, baked, canned… This versatility allows us to use it as a main dish or side dish, and it combines perfectly with any food: meat, fish, rice, eggs, other vegetables…

Selection and conservation

When selecting artichokes, we must look for those with compact leaves and without any browning. A trick to really know if an artichoke is fresh is to fold a leaf. If it breaks, it’s good. If it just bends and returns to where it was, it’s an indicator that it’s not.

You should also be careful when cooking artichokes, since once they have been peeled they oxidize very quickly and begin to go brown. To avoid this, once you have the peeled the artichokes, put them in a container with water, salt and lemon juice.


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