If the artichoke is known and admired for something, it is for the cynarin, one of the most important active compounds of this vegetable. It is 1,3-O-dicaffeoylquinic acid, a very beneficial compound for the body because of its choleretic and cholagogue properties. Both functions prevent liver fat accumulation and the formation of gallstones in the gallbladder, regulate the formation of cholesterol and promote urination.
This vegetable is also essential to reduce the risk of heart diseases. In addition to not containing saturated fat, it helps reduce blood cholesterol levels thanks to the phenolic-like compounds it contains. The caffeic acid and its caffeoylquinic derivatives found in artichokes stimulate the formation and the elimination of bile, facilitating the digestion of fats coming from oily foods, fried foods and others, preventing their accumulation in the arteries and other parts of the body. Therefore, the artichoke does not only help reduce coronary problems, but also contributes to maintain a healthy weight.
The artichoke is also rich in fibre and protein, helping with the maintenance of the muscles and the normal functioning of the bowel. Moreover, fibre does not provide calories and delivers a satiety effect. For this reason, it is very advisable for weight loss.
And on top of all that, it is a source of potassium, a mineral that, together with sodium, takes part in the cell volume regulation processes, contributing to maintain normal blood pressure, and vitamin K, that contributes to normal blood clotting.
The artichoke also contains inulin, a soluble fibre that helps prevent and combat diabetes, stabilizing blood sugar levels, apart from other vitamins, such as vitamin E, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 and, in a greater proportion, vitamin C.