Diabetes : In Season: Artichokes

By Michael T. Murray, ND

Long considered a delicacy around the globe, artichokes are actually the unopened flower of a thistle like plant. Artichokes are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables, and were brought to North America by French and Spanish explorers. Today, approximately 99 percent of artichokes grown in North America are from California.

Nutritional Highlights:
  • Artichokes are rich in many vitamins and minerals such as: magnesium, mineral chromium, vitamin C and A, folic acid, biotin, manganese, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, potassium, and fiber.
  • A medium-sized globe artichoke has only 60 calories, all free of fat.
Health Benefits:
  • Artichokes contain carbohydrates in the form of inulin, which can improve blood sugar control, making them beneficial to diabetics.
  • Artichokes contain caffeoyliquinic acid that helps protect and regenerate the liver.
  • Extracts from artichoke leaves have been shown to help lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as improve the function of cells that line arteries.
Excellent steamed baked or boiled, artichokes have long been considered a lovely appetizer or meal. Try stuffing them with quinoa or as a topping on a pizza as a way to change up their preparation.


Dr. Michael T. Murray is one of the world's leading authorities on natural medicine and the author of more than 30 bestselling books, including The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. He is a graduate and former faculty member, and serves on the Board of Regents, of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.

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