Artichokes were first thought of as a member of the cactus family because of its similarity to the flowers of the agave cactus. Actually, artichokes come from the thistle family – yes, they belong to the same species as star, globe and sow thistles.

Artichokes top the list of vegetables that are rich in antioxidants so they are believed to prevent and treat cancer. Their high fiber content can help improve digestion and promote weight loss. And since these can enhance the production and flow of bile from the liver, you can have a natural cure for hangovers just by extracting the juices of their leaves and stems. Their Vitamin C content can strengthen bones, muscles, ligaments and blood vessels.

Artichokes are very versatile. You can boil, fry, bake, braise or use them in the popular Italian food, frittata. You can enjoy them with dips or as a yummy ingredient in pasta sauces and risotto. You can eat them with fish and meat.

Some people say that the artichoke got its name from its shape which looks like a heart while others say that it was named as such because you can choke if you eat the fuzzy center, called the choke.

These are just some trivia about artichokes. Do you know of other artichoke facts that you’d like to share with us? Post them in the comments – we’ll be glad to hear from you.

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