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Food of the Month: Artichokes


When I am talking to people who say they dislike veggies, I always ask are there a few that they like. If they can’t think of any, I start naming veggies that they might like. 

I usually start with artichokes. Most people, but not all, like artichokes. Usually, the expense comes up. “Well, they are over $4 per can at the market.” Yes, and at Trader Joe's, artichokes canned in water are less than $3 per can and they will not rot in a week. How many veggies have gone to waste by not eating them in time? Fresh is better, of course. But we are looking to do a little better than what we we're currently doing and trying to create sustainable behavior.

Plus they are super healthy for you. I like them in terms of helping with energy and mental clarity for a number of reasons:

First, they are high in antioxidants such as Vitamin C and A.

Next, they are great for our liver in that they help the liver produce bile. Bile helps our us absorb fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. Bile also helps kill bacteria that is on our food and neutralize the acid from our stomach so that it does not injure our small intestine.

Lastly, and back to food and mood, artichokes are high in fiber. Fiber is one of the mechanisms that help with glucose control. However, there seem to be other mechanisms at work because they're more effective at this than can be accounted for by the amount of fiber. Probably because it supports the liver.

The take-home message is to put canned artichokes in the kitchen cabinet for when you are in a rush and won't otherwise get your veggies in.

Here's a study about artichokes for further reading.