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ARTICHOKE – Artichoke are low in fat and calories, so is an excellent choices for traditional weight loss diet. Contributing essential minerals and fiber, Artichoke is a healthy addition to any eating plan. Artichoke is particularly high in antioxidants, in the form of vitamin C and phytonutrients, which are thought to protect cells against the attack of free radicals.
The two major phytonutrients found in Artichoke are Cynarin and Silymarin. These are of particular interest for their ability to lower cholesterol, protect and support liver function, increase bile production and prevent gallstones. The notable side-effect of everything tasting sweet after eating an Artichoke can be attributed to Cynarin. Studies suggest that Silymarin, which is also found in Milk Thistle, may also help control blood sugar in type II diabetics.
High cholesterol and triglyceride levels, particularly of the small particle LDL form of cholesterol, are strongly associated with heart disease. Artichoke has been linked to lowering cholesterol and triglycerides in the bloodstream and increasing the relative level of high density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as the "good" cholesterol. The liver makes bile acids from cholesterol and stores them in the gallbladder. By increasing the production of bile acids, Artichoke extract helps the liver reduce the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Artichoke has been traditionally used to alleviate mild indigestion. The cynarin contained in an Artichoke increases bile production, which in turn helps the body digest fats more efficiently and receive greater benefit from the fat-soluble vitamins. Bile works by emulsifying the fats consumed, rendering them more easily absorbed and processed by the small intestine.
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