The globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus) is a thistle. The flowers develop in a large head from an edible bud and the florets are purple. The edible portion of the buds consists primarily of the fleshy lower portions known as the heart.
The exact origin of the artichoke is unknown but it is thought that they come from the Maghreb (North Africa), where they are still found in the wild state. Globe artichokes are produced from seeds.
Globe artichoke contains significant amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and dietary fibre. Vitamin C is absorbed directly from the gastro intestinal tract into the bloodstream. Vitamin K is absorbed in association with fats and requires the assistance of bile salts. The fibre content of artichoke supplements pass through the digestive system unchanged helping to prevent constipation and acting as a pre-biotic to the beneficial bacteria in the bowels.
The vitamin C is water soluble and therefore excreted from the body within several hours. Small
Large globe artichokes are most frequently prepared for cooking by removing some of the stem, and then it is boiled or steamed until soft. This can turn the artichoke brown due to the enzymatic browning and chlorophyll oxidation. Cooking of the artichoke in this way will leech out the vitamin C content. The leaves covering the choke are considered the most edible. Cooking or canning artichoke may also lead to a reduction in the vitamins and enzymes present in the plant.Artichoke is a food therefore there is no recommended dosage for this product. A medium sized artichoke head (approximately 128g) contains roughly 60 calories, 7g of fibre, 15mg vitamin C, 18.9ug vitamin K and 87ug folic acid.