Artichoke, a type of thistle, has been known to have medicinal properties and can, allegedly, provide health benefits such as “lower blood sugar levels and improved digestion, heart health, and liver health,” . The extract, or syrup, that comes from artichokes has recently become popular to use as a supplement, but is it healthy for you?
The health benefits of artichokes are extensive, and there aren’t many negative side effects (which will be discussed later). The following is a list of positive health benefits of artichokes [1,2]:
1. Artichokes are jam-packed with nutrients! Whether you eat artichokes raw or cooked, they have great levels of vitamins, protein, fiber, fat, carbohydrates, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium, etc.
2. The extract of artichoke can help reduce high blood pressure, although further research needs to be done to see why artichokes provide this benefit. However, artichokes do have a good source of potassium, which may contribute.
3. Enhanced liver function can also occur when consuming artichoke leaf extract. Artichokes can help to increase the amount of waste that the body produces, which removes all those harmful toxins from the liver. This has even helped those suffering from diseases of the liver.
4. Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms can be eased with the consumption of artichoke leaf extract. It was shown that “1-2 capsules of artichoke leaf extract, consumed daily for two months, reduced symptoms by 26%,” .
If you’re not looking to take the artichoke leaf extract, you can eat the artichoke plant itself. They are easy to cook and can be “steamed, boiled, grilled, roasted, or sautéed,” . A normal dose of artichoke extract would “range from 300–640 mg of artichoke leaf extract three times daily,” .
There aren’t too many negative side effects to consuming artichoke extract, but they are still worth mentioning. Due to their effect on the digestive system, consuming too many artichokes “may cause bloating and gas for those with sensitivities toward fibrous foods,” . Those with “bile duct obstruction or gallstones” should also avoid taking artichoke leaf extract or eating artichokes “due to their ability to promote bile movement,” . Pregnant or breastfeeding women should refrain from consuming artichoke extract, as there hasn’t been enough research to support the safety of ingesting it. Some may potentially be allergic to artichokes, although it is not common.
So, artichokes can be extremely helpful for health benefits. As always, it’s recommended to speak to a doctor or dietician before implementing new supplements into your diet. Otherwise, artichoke syrup is very healthy!
1. Brown, M. J. (2019, January 16). Top 8 health benefits of artichokes and artichoke extract. Healthline. Retrieved March 6, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/artichoke-benefits
2. Panchal, B. (2022, January 5). Artichoke Health Benefits & Nutrition: Holland & Barrett. United Kingdom. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from https://www.hollandandbarrett.com/the-health-hub/food-drink/food/artichoke-health-benefits/
Author: Kayjah Taylor
Editor: Lauryn Agron
Health scientist: Rayven Hall