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Healthy Eating

6 surprising health benefits of eating Artichokes

What health effects can you expect when eating artichokes? Here are six common effects to be aware of, according to registered dietitians.

Artichokes take a little more work to prepare and eat than other vegetables. They have thorny points on their leaves that must be removed before eating, for one.

However, these fiber-rich, savory vegetables provide important health benefits and deserve a place in your dinner rotation. Artichokes are low in calories, packed with nutrition, and come in various preparations, including fresh, canned, and marinated.

Artichoke Nutrition Facts

One medium-sized artichoke cooked without salt (120g) provides 64 calories, 3.5g of protein, 14.4g of carbohydrates, and 0.4g of fat. Artichokes are an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA.

Calories: 64
Fat: 0.4g
Sodium: 72mg
Carbohydrates: 14g
Fiber: 7g
Sugars: 1.2g
Protein: 3.5g
Vitamin C: 8.9mg
Potassium: 343mg
Magnesium: 50.4mg


Most of the calories in artichokes come from carbohydrates. The carbs are primarily fiber and starch. There are 14 grams in a medium artichoke when you eat the leaves and the heart. You’ll also get just over 1 gram of sugar in a medium-sized artichoke.


There is a minimal amount of fat in artichokes (just under half a gram). However, artichokes are often served with melted butter or a cheesy dip, which increases the fat content. Fried and stuffed artichokes are also high in fat and calories.


A medium-sized artichoke contains 3.5 grams of protein. This is similar to a small baked potato or about a cup of cooked broccoli.

Vitamins and Minerals

Artichokes are high in fiber and are an excellent source of vitamin K and folate, which help with red blood cell formation and prevent neural tube defects.

They are also a good source of magnesium, a mineral that is important for nerve and muscle conduction and can help improve sleep. Artichokes also contain vitamin C.


Like most fruits and vegetables, artichokes are low in calories (depending on preparation). One cooked, medium-sized artichoke has 64 calories. About three-fourths of these come from carbohydrate (including fiber). The remainder come from protein (about 25%) and fat (about 5%).

Artichokes are a highly nutritious vegetable that’s very high in fiber and low in calories, carbohydrates, and fat. Artichokes are packed with nutrients like vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin K, folate, potassium, and zinc.

So, what health effects can you expect when eating this unique little vegetable? Here are four common effects to be aware of, according to registered dietitians.

6 surprising health benefits of eating Artichokes

1. Your heart will be in better shape

Looking to protect your heart? You may want to grab an artichoke bulb. A 2020 study published in The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that populations with higher artichoke consumption had lower rates of cardiovascular mortality, suggesting that this particular vegetable may have a cardioprotective effect; however, this observational study only proves correlation and not causation.

This cardioprotective effect may stem from artichokes’ ability to help lower cholesterol—specifically, “bad” LDL cholesterol levels. This vegetable may also improve other risk factors for heart disease, like hypertension and triglyceride levels.

More research is needed on specifically how artichokes promote heart health, but their prebiotic fructooligosaccharides are thought to contribute to their cholesterol-lowering effects, and the antioxidant compounds present may also contribute to these health effects.

2. May help fght cancer

Research indicates that artichokes may contain anti-carcinogenic properties.

One study published in 2015 (done on cancer cells in test tubes, not in humans) showed that the polyphenols—beneficial plant compounds with antioxidant qualities—in artichokes slowed the growth of breast cancer cells. Another 2015 study found similar effects in mesothelioma.

3. Your liver will thank you

Artichokes have long been known to have benefits for the liver. They contain a compound called silymarin that may help increase bile flow in the liver, which helps your body metabolize hormones and toxins while protecting the liver from damage.

A 2021 study in Nutrients found that the chlorogenic acid present in artichokes can protect liver cells, as well as repair damaged cartilage around your joints.

4. You may improve your gut health

One artichoke contains 6.84 grams of fiber, which is one-quarter of the daily recommended value for adults. And fiber is important for digestive health because it helps to bulk up and soften the stool, making it easier to pass (and thus preventing constipation).

Artichokes contain a mix of beneficial fibers including insoluble fiber for digestion and soluble fibers such as inulin, which can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol. Inulin is also a prebiotic, which means it feeds the good bacteria in your gut.

5. You might experience reduced inflammation

Chronic inflammation has been linked to a multitude of chronic diseases, and artichokes contain a slew of antioxidants like rutin, quercetin, silymarin, and gallic acid that help keep inflammation at bay.

These can help prevent cellular damage, lower inflammation, and reduce your risk for chronic illness.

One particular flavanoid in artichokes, luteolin, can reduce chronic inflammation and inhibit the production of cholesterol, helping those with arthritis and hypercholesterolemia.

6. Improves gastrointestinal symptoms

Some preliminary research has shown that artichoke leaf extract may help reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

In addition, the fiber in artichokes can contribute to a lowered risk of diabetes, obesity, and gastrointestinal conditions such as reflux, ulcer, diverticulitis, and constipation. The fiber in artichokes includes prebiotics, which supports “good” bacteria and is important for gut health.

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