Artichoke Facts and Health Benefits

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Artichoke Quick Facts
Name: Artichoke
Scientific Name: Cynara cardunculus
Origin The Mediterranean region but now it is cultivated in Italy, France, and Spain.
Shapes Thick, obovate, Diameter: 7.5-8 cm
Taste Similar to asparagus
Calories 64 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Vitamin B9 (26.75%)
Dietary Fiber (17.89%)
Copper (16.89%)
Vitamin K 17.8 µg (14.83%)
Phosphorus (12.57%)
Health benefits Prevent cancer, Heart health, Cures hangover, Healthy bones, Brain Health
Artichoke having the scientific name as Cynara cardunculus belongs to the genus Cynara L. within the family Asteraceae. Another name used to refer this vegetable is Globe Artichoke, Scotch Thistle, Prickly Cardoon, Wild Cardoon, Vegetable Rennet and Wood Artichoke. It is native to the Mediterranean region but now widely grown in Italy, France, and Spain. The name used by different countries for Artichoke is: For Globe Artichoke: – French: Artichaut, Artichaut Scolyme; Japanese: Chousen Azami; Spanish: Alcachofa, Hierba De Cuajo; Italian: Articiocco, Carciofolo. For Cardoon: – German: Cardoon, Stachelige Kardone; Greek: Agries Agginares, Agria Agkinara; German: Cardoon, Stachelige Kardone Dutch: Kardoen. Globe Artichoke and Cardoons are the commonly grown types of Artichoke.


Artichoke is an erect, spiny, biennial or perennial plant growing to 1.4–2 m (4.6–6.6 ft.) tall with ovate – lanceolate, gray green leaves arranged alternately having the length of 30–50 cm and width 10–20 cm. The flower buds with diameter 8–15 cm (3.1–5.9 in) are the edible portion of the plant. The flowers are purple upto seven inches in diameter which flowers from June-July. The stems are 0.6-1.2 m high. It is adapted to warm and dry climates and prefers well-drained soil. The plant lives upto two years.


The fruit of Artichoke is obovate, thick with 7.5-8 cm as a diameter. It possess unique nutty flavor and resembles the taste of asparagus. Each fruit weighs about 150 gm. Artichokes are available in Europe and North America during spring, summer and in Middle East during fall.

Edible portions of the plant

The lower fleshy parts are consumed by steaming, boiling, frying, baking, stuffing, pickled, marinated, made artichoke dips or mixed into yoghurt. The young tender leaf stalks are also eaten. After cooking, the bracts are removed and eaten by dipping in mayonnaise, butter, hollandaise, lemon juice, aioli or other sauces. The chards and flowering stems are eaten braised, blanched or fried. The bitter young leaves are consumed by cooking. The dried flowers are substitute for coagulating/ curdling milk.

Health Benefits of Artichoke

Artichokes are rich in antioxidant which assists to detoxify body, improve liver health, aids constipation, indigestion, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome. It also lowers the blood pressure, promotes urination and eradicates hangovers. The various health benefits provided by Artichokes are discussed below:

  1. Prevent cancer

Artichoke is rich in antioxidant such as polyphenols, quercetin and rutin which enhances the immune system to counteract free radicals and natural byproducts which leads to various diseases and health ailments such as heart disease and cancer. Vitamin C in Artichokes also prevents the health conditions such as fibrosis mucositis and breast cancer. The studies have shown that the leaves extract of Artichoke reduces the risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer and leukemia. (1) (2) (3)

  1. Heart health

Artichoke should be added to the diet because it possesses various cancer fighting properties. The leaves of Artichokes assist to lower the bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. Cholesterol blocks the flow of blood, increase blood pressure which leads to the strokes and heart attacks. Artichokes reduce the risk of the heart ailments by lowering the bad cholesterol. (4)

  1. Maintains blood pressure

Artichoke is rich in mineral such as potassium which is essential for the functioning of various organs. Potassium neutralizes the excess sodium effects which is the cause for blood pressure. It acts as a vasodilator. Artichokes prevent the complications related to blood pressure in diabetic patients. The risk of heart disease and heart attack could be reduced by lowering the blood pressure. (5)

  1. Prevents liver damage

The antioxidants such as silymarin and cynarin enhance the liver health by eliminating toxins from the liver as well as body. The studies have shown that the antioxidants enhance the repairs damage and regrowth of liver cells. (6)

  1. Assist in digestion

Artichoke possess high mount of dietary fiber which assists in the functions of digestive system. It keeps the bowel movements regular by adding bulk to the food which reduces the chances of constipation, intestinal cancer, cramps, bloating, discomfort and excess flatulence. Fiber eliminates the LDL cholesterol from arteries which lowers the risk of heart disease. Artichoke eases the inflamed gallbladders. Artichoke enhances the secretion and production of gastric juices, bile, which aids in smooth digestion. (7) (8)

6. Cures hangover

Artichoke reduces the blockage and eliminates toxin from the body which makes it a great cure for hangover. People take some leaves of Artichoke after the heavy drinking.

  1. Prevent neural tube defects

As Artichoke possess huge amount of folic acid, it prevent the neural tube defects in the new born. Folic acid is important during pregnancy because the process neural tube closure in vitro require some amount of folate to occur. (9)

  1. Healthy bones

Artichoke is rich in vitamins and minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium and manganese which are essential for increasing the density and health of the bones. It also lowers the risk of osteoporosis. (10)

  1. Functions of metabolism

Manganese and Magnesium are essential for the process of metabolism which is found in adequate amount in Artichokes. Magnesium is essential for improving the calcium intake, protein synthesis process and strengthens bones. Magnesium impacts the metabolic rates of amino acids, cholesterol and carbohydrates.

  1. Brain Health

It acts as a vasodilator which transports the oxygen to the brain for elevated cognitive function. Artichoke also possess adequate amount of phosphorus. The reduction of cognitive ability is associated with the deficiency of phosphorus. (11)

How to Eat

Artichokes could be consumed in form of raw or cooked and added to stews, salads, casseroles, soups and sauces. Globe artichokes could be preserved in form of pickle, canned or beverage.  It could be grilled, fried, cooked, baked or microwaved as well. It could be taken in the form of herbal tea.


An allergic reaction such as intestinal gas and allergic reactions might be experienced by the people who are sensitive to chrysanthemums, ragweed, marigolds and daisies. Artichokes can worsen obstruction of bile duct by increasing flow of bile, which is naturally released by the liver. With the increase in bile flow, gallstones may be worsening.

Nutritional value

Artichokes is rich in vitamins, fiber, minerals but possess lower amount of cholesterol and saturated fat. It is loaded with Vitamin C, riboflavin, thiamin, folate, niacin, Vitamin K and Vitamin B-12, B-6, E, A, D. It also includes minerals such as iron, calcium, sodium, zinc, manganese, potassium, zinc and phosphorus.

Nutritional value of Artichoke
Serving Size: Single medium size , 120 g

Calories 64 Kcal. Calories from Fat 3.69 Kcal.


Proximity Amount % DV
Water 100.9 g N/D
Energy 64 Kcal N/D
Energy 264 kJ N/D
Protein 3.47 g 6.94%
Total Fat (lipid) 0.41 g 1.17%
Ash 0.89 g N/D
Carbohydrate 14.34 g 11.03%
Total dietary Fiber 6.8 g 17.89%
Total Sugars 1.19 g N/D
Sucrose 0.88 g N/D
Glucose (dextrose) 0.29 g N/D
Fructose 0.02 g N/D

Minerals Amount % DV
Copper, Cu 0.152 mg 16.89%
Phosphorus, P 88 mg 12.57%
Magnesium, Mg 50 mg 11.90%
Manganese, Mn 0.27 mg 11.74%
Iron, Fe 0.73 mg 9.13%
Potassium, K 343 mg 7.30%
Sodium, Na 72 mg 4.80%
Zinc, Zn 0.48 mg 4.36%
Calcium, Ca 25 mg 2.50%
Selenium, Se 0.2 µg 0.36%

Vitamins Amount % DV
Vitamin B9 (Folate, Folic acid) 107 µg 26.75%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 17.8 µg 14.83%
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 8.9 mg 9.89%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1.332 mg 8.33%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.107 mg 8.23%
Choline 41.3 mg 7.51%
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.097 mg 7.46%
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) 0.288 mg 5.76%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.06 mg 5.00%
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.23 mg 1.53%
Vitamin A 1 µg 0.14%
Beta Carotene 10 µg N/D
Lutein + zeaxanthin 557 µg N/D
Betaine 0.2 mg N/D

Lipids Amount % DV
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.095 g 0.15%
Lauric acid (dodecanoic acid) 12:00 0.005 g N/D
Myristic acid  14:00(Tetradecanoic acid) 0.005 g N/D
Palmitic acid 16:00 (Hexadecanoic acid) 0.079 g N/D
Stearic acid 18:00 (Octadecanoic acid) 0.007 g N/D
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated    
Oleic acid 18:1 (octadecenoic acid) 0.013 g N/D
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.174 g 1.02%
Linoleic acid 18:2 (octadecadienoic acid) 0.126 g N/D
Linolenic acid 18:3 (Octadecatrienoic acid) 0.046 g N/D

*Above mentioned Percent Daily Values (%DVs) are based on 2,000 calorie diet intake. Daily values (DVs) may be different depending upon your daily calorie needs. Mentioned values are recommended by a U.S. Department of Agriculture. They are not recommendations. Calculations are based on average age of 19 to 50 years and weighs 194 lbs.


Artichoke Facts

Artichoke is edible flower bud originated in Mediterranean which is also known as Ankinara in Greek. It was used by ancient Greeks and Romans for medicinal properties. The beautiful pink or purple flowers develop from the edible buds which is composed of compactly arranged triangular scales.

Name Artichoke
Scientific Name Cynara cardunculus
Native The Mediterranean region but now it is cultivated in Italy, France, and Spain.
Common/English Name Globe Artichoke, Garden Artichoke, French Artichoke, Artichoke, Bur Artichoke, Green Artichoke, Cardoon, Artichoke Thistle, Ground Thistle, Cardoon Artichoke, Scotch Thistle, Prickly Cardoon, Spanish Thistle Artichoke, Scottish Thistle, Wild Cardoon, Wild Artichoke, Vegetable Rennet, Wood Artichoke
Name in Other Languages
  1. For Globe Artichoke:-

Albanian: Angjinare
Arabic: El-Kharshűf,  Ardi Shauki
Brazil: Alcahofra
Catalan: Carxofa, Escarxofer,
Chinese (Cantonese): Cai Ji, Chui Sin Kai
Corsican: Carciofu
Croatian: Artićok, Ratićok
Czech: Artyčok Zeleninový, Artyčok
Danish: Artiskok, Artiskokker
Dutch: Artisjokken, Artisjok
Eastonian: Harilik Artišokk
Esperanto: Artiŝoko
Finnish: Latva-Artisokka,  Artisokka
French: Artichaut, Artichaut Scolyme
German: Artischocke
Greek: Agginara, Agkinares,
Hebrew: Kinras Tarbuti, Artishok
Hungarian: Articsóka, Kerti Articsóka
Icelandic: Körfukál, Ætiþistill
India (Hindi): Hatichu
Italian: Articiocco, Carciofolo
Japanese: Chousen Azami
Latvian: Artišoka Lapas, Artišoka
Lithuanian: Tikrasis Artišokas
Maltese: Qaqoċċ Tax-Xewk, Qaqoċċ
Nahuatl: Quahtlahuitzquilitl
Norwegian: Artisjokk
Polish: Karczoch Zwyczajny
Portuguese: Alcachofra De Comer, Alcachofra
Romanian: Anghinară
Russian: Artišok Posvenoj, Artishok Koliuchii
Spanish: Alcachofa, Hierba De Cuajo
Slovašcina: Artičoka
Slovencina: Artičoka Zeleninová
Swedish: Kronärtskocka
Turkish: Enginar
Vietnamese: Atisô
Welsh: March-Ysgall

2. For Cardoon:-
Chinese: Ci Cai Ji
Croatian: Gardun
Czech: Artyčok Kardový
Danish: Kardon
Dutch: Kardoen
Espernato: Kardono
Finnish: Kardoni
French: Artichaut Carde, Chardounette
German: Cardoon, Stachelige Kardone
Greek: Agries Agginares, Agria Agkinara
Hungarian: Bogáncsos Articsóka, Spanyol Articsóka
Italian: Caglio, Carduni
Maltese: Qaqocc Tax-Xewk
Polish: Karczoch Hiszpański, Kard
Portuguese: Cardo, Pencas De Cardo
Portuguese: Alcachofra Hortense Cardo
Slovašcina: Mala Artičoka
Spanish: Alcachofa, Cardo De Comer
Swedish: Kardon
Turkish: Yabani Enginar

Plant Growth Habit Erect, spiny, biennial or perennial
Growing Climate Warm, dry
Soil Well drained
Plant Size 1.4–2 m (4.6–6.6 ft.)
Lifespan Two years
Root Taproot
Stem 0.6 — 1.2 m in height.
Leaf Alternate, rigid petioles; ovate – lanceolate; large, gray green and silver; Length: 30–50 cm; Width: 10–20 cm
Flowering Season June-July
Buds Diameter: 8–15 cm (3.1–5.9 in)
Flower Purple color; Diameter: Seven inches
Fruit shape & size Thick, obovate, Diameter: 7.5-8 cm
Fruit weight 150 g
Flavor/aroma Nutty
Fruit Taste Similar to asparagus
  • Globe Artichoke
  • Cardoons
Fruit Season Europe, North America: Spring, Summer
Middle East: Fall
Major Nutritions Vitamin B9 (Folate, Folic acid) 107 µg (26.75%)
Total dietary Fiber 6.8 g (17.89%)
Copper, Cu 0.152 mg (16.89%)
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 17.8 µg (14.83%)
Phosphorus, P 88 mg (12.57%)
Magnesium, Mg 50 mg (11.90%)
Manganese, Mn 0.27 mg (11.74%)
Carbohydrate 14.34 g (11.03%)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 8.9 mg (9.89%)
Iron, Fe 0.73 mg (9.13%)
Health Benefits
  • Prevent cancer
  • Heart health
  • Maintains blood pressure
  • Prevents liver damage
  • Assist in digestion
  • Cures hangover
  • Prevent neural tube defects
  • Healthy bones
  • Functions of metabolism
  • Brain Health
Calories in single medium size (120 gm) 64 Kcal.
Traditional uses
  • The leaves are used to treat oedema, jaundice, arteriosclerosis, urinary gallstones, hepatitis and diabetes.
  • Artichoke is also used to vitalize digestive juices and reduce cholesterol.
  • In folk medicine, the leaves extracts of Globe artichoke is used for their hepatoprotective and choleretic activities and to cure obesity, hepatitis, hyperlipidaemia and dyspeptic disorders.
  • The tinctures of Artichokes which possess flavones and caffeoylquinic acids are used to treat hepatic disorders.
  • In Poland, Artichoke is used as herbal medicine to treat the liver disorders and to prevent atherosclerosis, dyspeptic disorders or hyperlipidaemia.
  • Artichoke is also believed to enhance appetite and digestion, reduce blood sugar levels, improve skin condition and eliminate migraines.
  • Artichoke is used to normalize improve liver function and metabolism.
  •  A decoction made from leaves is used as a treatment for biliary tract and liver.
  • It is also useful for atherosclerosis, hypertension and high acidity.
Other Facts
  • 15 to 20 artichokes are produced by the plant in a year.
  • Artichoke possess high amount of dietary fibers, Vitamin B9, K and C and minerals such as manganese, sodium and magnesium.
  • In Vietnam and Mexico, the herbal tea made from artichoke is quite popular.






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