Artichokes are often left by the wayside by consumers because of their unusual look and feel. However, they offer several health-boosting benefits including preventing cancer, heart disease and digestive disorders. Even better, artichokes are a proven cholesterol-fighter, with effectiveness that’s right up there with all the prescription-only statin drugs that make people forever dizzy and hopelessly tired all the time.
Fresh artichokes make for a great side dish or salad topper and have a mildly bitter taste that’s easily covered up using garlic, olive oil, salt, butter, and your favorite veggie-friendly seasonings.(source)
If you’re really looking for the biggest health kick, you’ll want to choose a supplement in the form of a capsule, liquid, or delicious tea for a more potent dose of the artichokes healthful ingredients.
Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of consuming artichoke, along with informed buying suggestions from our educated staff.
Top 9 Artichoke Herbal Supplements
|Brand||Serving Size||Price/ Serving||Effectiveness||Quality||Taste||Digestibility|
|1 Capsule||$0.08||5 / 5||5 / 5||5 / 5||5 / 5|
|2 Capsules||$0.25||5 / 5||5 / 5||5 / 5||5 / 5|
|1 Tablet||$0.11||5 / 5||5 / 5||5 / 5||5 / 5|
|1 Capsule||$0.11||4.9 / 5||4.9 / 5||4.8 / 5||4.8 / 5|
|1 Capsule||$0.13||4.9 / 5||4.9 / 5||4.9 / 5||5 / 5|
|0.7 ml||$0.21||5 / 5||4.7 / 5||4.7 / 5||4.9 / 5|
|130g||$0.19||3.5 / 5||3.0 / 5||3.0 / 5||2.8 / 5|
|1 tea bag||$0.36||4.0 / 5||4.0 / 5||3.9 / 5||3.7 / 5|
|1 tea bag||$0.45||3.7 / 5||3.5 / 5||3.0 / 5||3.0 / 5|
Benefits of Artichoke:
1.Low in Calories:
With just 47 calories per 100g serving of raw or cooked artichoke, you won’t find a nutrient dense food that less fattening. Artichoke extract contains little if any calories. (source)
2.High in Fiber:
A serving of raw or cooked artichoke offers up 5.4g of dietary fiber. This accounts for up to 15% of what’s recommended for an average size man weighing 180 pounds. Fiber cleans the digestive tract, lowers the glycemic load of the food we eat, and also helps to lower cholesterol levels.
Chlorogenic acid is a bitter compound that when ingested has been scientifically proven to prevent cholesterol synthesis and promote the destruction of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood. Some studies show a reduction of up to 100 total cholesterol points in just a few short weeks of using a concentrated artichoke extract supplement.
Chlorogenic acid promotes the excretion of bile (stomach acid) from our gall bladder. Indigestion-related problems like GERD, mild reflux, and even stomach upset often result from underproduction of bile; rather than overproduction like so many of us are led to believe with advertising geared toward “stomach acid reduction.”
A 100g serving of fresh artichoke delivers around 20% of the recommended daily allowance of folic acid. Folic acid is essential for our DNA expression, making it essential for everyday healing and living, along with a must for pregnant women and growing babies.
While artichoke could never compete with many leafy greens and some vegetables in the amount of vitamin C it delivers, a 100g serving of this flowering veg gives us 20% the RDA of this antioxidant. Vitamin C is used throughout the body to scavenge the free radicals that age our cells and which oxidize triglycerides and HDL cholesterol in the blood, causing the heart disease arteriosclerosis.
Aside from moderate levels of the antioxidant vitamin C, artichokes offer plenty of other cancer and heart disease fighting compounds like chlorogenic acid, beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, and silymarin. Artichokes have a very high ORAC (antioxidant strength) rating of 6553 umol TE per 100g; double that offered by an apple.
Vitamin K is deficient in many diets low in fruits and veggies. It’s needed for the development of bones, to help blood clot, and for slowing down the aging process in the brain caused by lower neurotransmitter activity, which often is what leads people to develop Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Artichoke also contains small amounts of B vitamins like B-6, niacin, thiamin, and pantothenic acid. All of which are essential for cellular repair throughout the body, and in the brain for creating and fortifying neurotransmitters.
Artichoke offers several essential dietary minerals like potassium for heart health, iron for red blood cells, calcium for bone development, copper for blood health, and manganese for antioxidant regulation.
11.Topical Fat Loss?:
This one has a question mark because certain unsupervised studies (and users worldwide) have shown that topically-applied artichoke creams may burn excess fat away underneath the skin, but no official scientific documentation supports this claim currently. Artichoke creams do work nicely as a moisturizer and skin toner to reduce dryness and wrinkles.
How to select the right Artichoke Supplement (Ingredients, Manufacturing, Health Contraindications):
Chlorogenic Acid Content:
Not all manufacturers will list the standardized amount of chlorogenic acid (also called cynarin) on their labels. Unless you know the integrity of the manufacturer, avoid these companies. Only buy artichoke products labeled with 5% or higher, especially if you’re taking it to lower your cholesterol levels.
Delivery Method (Capsule):
Capsules are the most affordable way to take artichoke supplements. Look for those who offer serving sizes of 450 – 600mg of extract, with the standardization of chlorogenic acid listed above.
Delivery Method (Liquid Extract):
Look for products containing alcohol for the best results. Alcohol is best avoided for most supplements, but the antioxidant benefits of chlorogenic acid are soon destroyed when the extract is exposed to air, unless it’s preserved in alcohol.
Unless you’re eating low-sodium canned artichokes from a trusted supplier, use the following tips for getting the freshest ones you can: 1) Pick them up and feel their weight and choose the heaviest available., 2) Never buy an artichoke with open leaves., 3) Check where the stem is cut; a fresh artichoke will have a white stem where it was trimmed (not brown). 4) Green leaves mean fresh; signs of brown are all indicators that it was picked a long time ago.
Tips for Preparing a Fresh Artichoke
Always begin by thoroughly washing the artichoke under cold running water. Be careful with the sharp petal tips, they’ve been known to slice the skin on occasion! The fresher the artichoke the harder/sharper the edges will be.
Artichokes can leave some hard-to-remove stains on the skin and clothing. It’s best to wear an apron or clothing you don’t care about – and rubber dishwashing gloves when preparing them.
Cut the stem off the bottom and also trim the top quarter off, then snip the sharp tips of the remaining petals off with clean scissors, leaving just the fleshy inner part.
From there, you can:
• Cut it up into pieces and lightly pan-fry them for 10 minutes on low heat with some butter or coconut oil.
• Boil the whole thing in water for 30 – 40 minutes until soft.
• Steam it for a half hour.
• Bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
• Place smaller artichokes in a pickling mixture and let them cure for 2 – 4 weeks before eating.
• Eat raw.
When boiling, steaming or baking, it’s easy to tell when your artichokes are perfectly cooked when you can easily pull one of the center petals off. It might take a few artichokes before you figure out how tender you prefer yours to be.
Leftovers should be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for no more than 3 days. With fresh unprepared artichoke, plan to eat them within a week of buying them. They begin to lose their flavor the minute they’re cut from the stem and are likely at least a few days to a week old by the time you get them at the market.
For more tips on preparing and cooking fresh artichokes for the dinner table, take a look at this handy how-to tutorial: How to Cook and Eat Artichoke
Artichoke Supplement Reviews
Jarrow Formulas Artichoke 500
This Jarrow product contains 180 – 500mg capsules of pure artichoke extract. Because Jarrow offers this product in capsule form, you needn’t worry about them being hard to swallow. Users online and off are raving about Jarrow, who’re well known for making only the best quality holistic health supplements.
This is indeed one of the best values you’ll find if you’re looking to take a concentrated artichoke product to improve digestion and lower your high cholesterol levels. Each capsule contains 5% chlorogenic acid for antioxidant support.
Nature’s Way Artichoke Capsules
Nature’s Way has been making quality health-boosting products for decades now. You really can’t beat this buy if you’re looking to test the effect that an artichoke supplement will have on your sense of health and well being.
Each capsule contains a whopping 600mg of artichoke leaf extract and they claim their formulation to be standardized to 6% chlorogenic acid too. As a bonus, you also get 300mg of milk thistle seed extract per cap. Milk thistle has proved to also be a very effective cholesterol-lowering supplement, as well as improving liver function and helping to prevent/control type II diabetes.
Source Naturals Artichoke Extract 500mg
Source Naturals supplements are made in the USA. They’re a lesser known company in the health food and supplement industry, but their quality ingredients always stand up to the “consumer test”. Several people who’ve purchased this product have claimed to have lowered their bad cholesterol levels by up to 80 points, which is incredible when compared to dangerous prescription statins that can cause dizziness and fatigue.
Each easy to swallow capsule gives you 500mg of artichoke leaf and flower extract, with the label claiming 5% cynarin. At a mere 10 cents per capsule, the price is nothing to shake your head at either!
Life Extension Artichoke Leaf Extract 500 Mg
Life Extension are highly-regarded for their “life extending” health products. You’ll pay a few bucks more per bottle for the Life Extension lineup, but there are a few benefits too. All Life Extension products are certified organic and they don’t use unnecessary fillers like sugar, yeast, talcum, dyes, or preservatives. Because of their growing and manufacturing methods, people with serious allergy problems really trust this product.
Each capsule contains 500mg of artichoke leaf and bud extract, with 18.75mg of cynarin content, along with other caffeic derivatives. If you’re a committed user of artichoke supplements, Amazon’s currently offering a 5% off deal if you subscribe to buy at least two bottles or more of this product per year (ie., you pay 10 cents per capsule, instead of 12 with a subscription.) Great product and excellent ingredients!
Now Foods Artichoke Extract 450mg
Now Foods is another heavyweight in the health foods market and their reputation is beyond repute with consumers. This product is recommended heavily by healthcare professionals like Dr. Oz, and this supplement has helped several consumers to lower their overall HDL (bad) cholesterol by up to 50 points (very good for a natural product) while also helping to boost LDL (good) cholesterol levels.
These veg capsules come in a 450mg size and are standardized to 5% chlorogenic acid (as cynarin). If you’re looking for a natural constipation cure, this artichoke supplement will definitely help get you back on track. The one drawback of this product is that it only has 450mg of extract, but the price is definitely right!
Herb Pharm Herb Pharm Artichoke Extract Supplement
There are two really exciting benefits to using this liquid extract formula from Herb Pharma. First it’s a highly concentrated formula that works double-time to lower your cholesterol levels by raising the body’s bile production in the gall bladder. Second, you can mix it in with your favorite food or drink instead of swallowing capsules.
Scientists claim that an alcohol-based formula is the best way to preserve the antioxidant content of the artichoke leaf and flower. This product stores in the fridge and the extract comes from organically-certified artichoke stock; no pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers are used on Herb Pharma crops.
Alcachofa TEA- Box with 30 tea bags
While it’s much easier to gauge the effectiveness of an artichoke supplement if taken in extract form, some people just don’t like taking pills and potions. If you fit into this category and can’t stand the taste or texture of eating the real thing, this artichoke leaf tea is a great way to reap the health benefits offered by the plant.
If you read the ingredients, you’ll note Alcachofa also contains green, white, and red tea leafs. Each contains a huge hit of antioxidants which work well in conjunction with the chlorogenic acid to boost the health of the liver and vascular system. Be forewarned that this tea will contain caffeine (though the amount isn’t listed) and it also contains senna leaf; a powerful natural laxative that’s also a potent antioxidant supplement.
Lipo Alcachofivida extracts of Artichoke Guarana Chysanthellum, Reductive & Reaffirm Cream
Though there’s no scientific evidence to support the claims that artichoke extract in gel form can actually cause fat loss when applied topically, there are numerous people who swear by this stuff. One thing is for sure: the antioxidant content in artichoke extract makes for an amazing and inexpensive skin toner.
Lipo Alcachofivida products are made in Mexico and are known for their quality. You can’t lose with this cream – if you’re looking for a skin toner and conditioner. If you believe the fat-burning claims, this one is certainly worth a try.
Reese Quartered Artichoke Hearts
The most natural way to get your artichokes is by eating the actual plant. Keep in mind that the extracts listed above are definitely more potent in antioxidants than these canned artichoke hearts, but if you have a taste for them and don’t want to process the fresh ones from the market yourself, this deal from Reese is about as good as you’ll find anywhere.
Best, you get the added benefit of loads of fiber, vitamin C and some supplemental dietary calcium. With this Amazon-only deal, you get box with 12, 14-ounce cans of preservative free, quartered artichoke hearts.
Fun Facts About Artichokes:
• It is a flower bud, not technically a vegetable. If the plant is left to mature, it will eventually bloom and then go to seed.
• Artichokes have a long-standing reputation in many cultures as being a very potent aphrodisiac, stemming from the time when the Romans ruled most of the known world.
• Because of its suspected aphrodisiac qualities, women weren’t allowed to eat artichokes for much of our history. This changed sometime around the turn of the 16th century.
• The mighty Greek god, Zeus was said to have turned one of his lovers into an artichoke when he grew tired of her.
• People in the Western U.S. prefer to eat artichoke with mayo; while those in the Eastern States favor butter.
• Marilyn Monroe was the first “Artichoke Queen” to be crowned in her small town of Castroville, California; a place where you’ll find many large fields growing this healthful delicacy.
• Artichokes originated in Spain and Italy and didn’t make their first appearance in the U.S. until the 19th century, and weren’t grown there until the 20th century.
• Italians use the plant to make a liquer called “Cynar.”
The benefits of eating artichokes and consuming extract supplements are hard to ignore. This low calorie food is choked with antioxidants, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals that lend themselves to superior health.
If you’re looking for a way to naturally lower your cholesterol, an artichoke supplements, like some of those we’ve suggested, may well prevent you from needing to take expensive and damaging statin drugs that can significantly reduce your quality of life.