Recently, there has been a growing trend in artichoke supplements. The main ingredient in artichoke supplements is artichoke extract (alcachofa is the Spanish word for artichoke). But how does the artichoke really help us? What are the health benefits of artichoke?
We have learned that antioxidants are an important part of human health. Since artichokes are one of the highest sources of antioxidants in vegetables, artichoke products are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help our bodies prevent and fight free radicals, which is extremely important because those free radicals can damage cells and thus lead to cancer. Because the artichoke is packed with antioxidants, it helps protect our bodies and reduces the chances of cancer.
The artichoke extract in artichoke has also been shown to help the body produce more bile, which is beneficial to the digestive system in many ways. The body uses bile to help break down the fats in the food you eat. By increasing the amount of bile our body produces, the artichoke helps prevent all kinds of digestive problems, such as an upset stomach, gas, bloating, and indigestion. However, people with gallstones should avoid artichoke because the increased bile and contractions of the gallbladder can stimulate the elimination of gallstones.
A lesser-known benefit of the artichoke is that it helps lower cholesterol, which is a very important health concern in the United States today. Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced by the liver that sticks to the inner walls of the arteries, making it difficult for blood to pass through. Having high cholesterol increases the chances of cardiovascular disease and stroke. The typical diet in the US generally contains too much cholesterol and saturated fat, so in order to combat cholesterol without changing our diet, we need to adjust our lifestyle in other ways, such as exercising and taking artichoke supplements.
Another common health problem in the United States is high blood pressure. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is another problem that can cause cardiovascular disease. Hypertension is caused by excess salts in the body. Artichoke may promote the reduction of high blood pressure by helping our bodies remove excess sodium from the body and thus keeping our cardiovascular system in tip-top shape.
By far the most common function of artichoke supplements is weight loss. Artichoke extract has been shown to have diuretic properties, which means it helps remove water from the body. Our bodies have a tendency to retain water and swell, making us appear larger than we would otherwise. Because artichoke fights fluid retention and bloating by removing excess water from the body, our bodies become slimmer.
Artichoke can be found in many forms of dietary supplements. Although they are usually marketed primarily as weight loss supplements, the presence of artichoke extract means that any artichoke-containing supplement provides the health benefits listed above. Artichoke ampoules are vials that contain a liquid supplement, however, these supplements are known to have a bad taste, so instead of taking artichoke ampoules, many people choose to take artichoke capsules.