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Even if you’re a fairly healthy eater, you might still find that your body can get sluggish every so often. If you want to give your system a boost, you might have considered doing a detox. There are, of course, some benefits to doing a detox, but you might not have heard of one secret weapon you can eat to purify your system: artichokes! To answer the question ‘Are artichokes beneficial when detoxing?’, read on.
What does it mean to detox?
The word ‘detox’ gets thrown around a lot, especially with health and wellness bloggers and Instagram celebrities trying to sell lose-weight-fast products. People fall for these ads because they want a quick solution to shedding pounds or having more energy. The truth is that none of us really need these types of detox products. They’re often way too harsh on our systems and can be dangerous for people with underlying medical conditions.
However, if you’re feeling like you need help to be healthier, all you need to focus on is your liver and immune function. These are the two areas you can improve so your body is operating to the best of its ability. Basically, you can skip those pricey juice cleanses and extreme fasting diets. Instead, you can try out foods and supplements that stimulate your liver to get rid of toxins and prompt the elimination of toxins through waste. These types of detoxes can have many advantages, including improved circulation, lowered blood pressure, and better fuel for your body.
What are the benefits of artichokes?
So, where do artichokes come into play in the world of detoxification? There’s a long list of positive benefits that this food brings to the table, including the ability to:
- Provide your body with tons of nutrients, such as vitamin C and A, iron and potassium
- Supply you with protein (even more than other veggies)
- Offer lots of fibre (which can help with digestion and keep you feeling fuller longer)
- Work as a prebiotic to help maintain a healthy gut
- Boost your immune system because it’s rich in antioxidants
- Repair damaged cells to also increase immune function
- Reduce inflammation (often due to allergies or autoimmune illnesses)
- Lower body fat since it’s low in calories
- Have a positive effect on your cholesterol levels
- Regulate blood pressure
It’s hard not to be impressed with all the good artichokes can potentially do for your body. Because artichokes have all these positive effects, they can also help detox your system by providing you with nutrients that stimulate improved liver and immune function.
Do artichokes cleanse the liver?
On top of all of the benefits listed above, you might be wondering, ‘What does artichoke do for the liver?’ Artichoke leaf extract has been shown to protect the liver from damage and promote growth of new tissue. Also, since it increases the production of bile, it actually helps remove harmful toxins from your liver, making it a natural detox solution.
Researchers believe the hepatoprotective ingredient of artichoke, called cynarin, can be responsible for providing these benefits to liver function. This component (also known as phytochemical) helps increase the release of bile, as mentioned above, which leads to an overall cleansing effect in the liver.
Is there an artichoke detox diet?
There isn’t a specific artichoke detox diet (at least, not one that is recommended by medical professionals). While artichokes are beneficial to the liver, you don’t need to start on a diet that consists mainly of artichokes. Your best bet is to supply your liver with a variety of different ingredients and nutrients to boost its overall function. Skip restrictive regimens that limit your balanced nutritional intake – these punitive diets can do much more harm than good. Instead, focus on eating a well-balanced diet that contains foods from each major food group (and cut back on things like fatty or greasy foods, sugar and alcohol).
How to utilise artichokes in a balanced detox regimen
You don’t need to do a complete artichoke-only diet, but there are a lot of ways you can use the food to create a balanced detox regimen. One of the best ways is to add artichokes (or artichoke hearts) to your meals, either as a side dish or as an added ingredient to salads, pasta, pizza, etc. You’ll still get all of the nutritional benefits just by adding them in organically to the meals you already eat.
Another great way to get the benefits of artichokes is by taking an artichoke extract supplement, which comes in several different forms including pills, powder, and liquid drops. Make Well’s NAC supplement contains artichoke extract (along with choline, vitamin C and riboflavin), giving you improved liver function and a boost to your immune system in one easy dose.
Before taking on any kind of detox regimen, you should speak to your doctor or a licensed medical professional. They can tell you the best ways to incorporate a detox into your lifestyle, as well as providing advice for what works best if you’re living with a chronic illness. Remember that detoxing doesn’t have to be about depriving yourself – rather, it can be about providing your body with additional power to function at an optimal level.