Artichokes are a popular vegetable in many parts of the world. They have been used for centuries in various cuisines, especially those originating from Asia. Today they are cultivated widely throughout the United States and Europe, where they are grown primarily for their edible fruit, which is consumed fresh or dried and made into jams, jellies and pickles. Artichokes may also be eaten raw or cooked with meat or fish.
The leaves of the plant are usually eaten fresh, but some varieties such as the European or Chinese artichoke (O. sativa) are often boiled and served with vegetables. Other types of artichokes include the Mediterranean and Indian varieties. All of these species grow wild in temperate regions, although there are several cultivars that have been developed specifically for use in gardens.
In addition to being eaten fresh, artichokes are also useful in cooking. The leaves and stems can be added to soups, stews and sauces; the seeds can be roasted or ground into flour or cornmeal; the flowers can be used like chives in salads; and the pods can be crushed for tea. Some recipes call for adding them directly to water.
The leaves contain compounds called flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties. They also contain a number of other types of antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene. The antioxidant activity of artichoke extract may help prevent some types of cancer and lower cholesterol levels.
The primary active ingredient in our extracts is cynarin, which has been shown to help prevent fatty liver disease. Other studies suggest that it can increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels, which prevents blockages in the arteries.
One of the active ingredients in our artichoke extract is cynaropicrin, which is known to prevent fat cell activity. In addition, cynaropicrin also reduces the number of fat cells and also prevents the cells from changing into fat cells.
Cynaropicrin has been shown to prevent the occurrence of obesity by maintaining proper leptin sensitivity in the hypothalamus.
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