Fiber, potassium & vitamin C: cardoon


DID YOU KNOW?! The cardoon, also called the artichoke thistle or globe artichoke, is a thistle in the sunflower family.

DID YOU KNOW?! “Cardoons look like celery and taste like artichoke hearts. Their flavor is somewhat sweet and nutty. They are edible only when cooked. They are low in calories with one cup having about 30 calories.”

DID YOU KNOW?! “The cardoon is an ancient vegetable. It is THE Mediterranean ingredient, with a high vitamin B9 content, fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, calcium, and vitamin C.”

DID YOU KNOW?! “The cardoon is found in the wild along the Mediterranean, from Morocco and Portugal to Libya and Croatia. You eat the stems, not the flower buds. It is a popular ingredient in Italian dishes.”

DID YOU KNOW?! “Vitamin B9 is essential for human growth and development, encourages normal nerve and proper brain functioning.”

DID YOU KNOW?! Cardoon is a good source of fiber.

“Dietary fiber is probably best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. But foods containing fiber can provide other health benefits as well, such as helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer.”

“Thanks to Cardoon’s high soluble fiber content, it helps the digestive tract to function properly by facilitating the regulation of intestinal transit and its fibers clear the intestinal tract of toxins. Its mucilage gives it natural laxative properties that can reduce severe constipation and its rich water content gives it diuretic virtues.

In addition, it also contains inulin, an assimilable sugar, which stimulates the development of beneficial intestinal bacteria, because it is neither digested nor absorbed before arriving in the colon: remaining intact, bacteria can feed on it. This improves digestion.

Inulin, as a prebiotic, is particularly important for maintaining the balance of the intestinal flora. This prebiotic effect could contribute to the treatment and prevention of certain inflammatory bowel diseases and gastrointestinal disorders.”

DID YOU KNOW?! “Vitamin B6 plays an important role in mood regulation.

This is partly because this vitamin is necessary for creating neurotransmitters that regulate emotions, including serotonin, dopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).”

DID YOU KNOW?! Potassium is an electrolyte, which helps with hydration, and potassium helps with energy.

“There are several ways that this mineral deficiency can cause weakness and fatigue. First, potassium helps regulate muscle contractions. When blood potassium levels are low, your muscles produce weaker contractions. Deficiency in this mineral may also affect how your body uses nutrients, resulting in fatigue.”

“Electrolytes are minerals that dissolve in water in your body and produce charged ions. And many vital processes rely on the electrical current that’s created to function. The mineral electrolytes I’m referring to include:

  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Chloride
  • Magnesium
  • Bicarbonate
  • Phosphorous

Maintaining a good balance of electrolytes is essential to your health because electrolytes mingle with each other and various other internal structures to assist with a variety of vital functions. These include:

  • Maintaining an optimal fluid balance. So your cells don’t explode or shrivel up.
  • Regulating nerve function. Allowing your nerves (and other tissues) to send and receive critical signals throughout the body.
  • Contracting and relaxing muscle tissue. This includes your biceps as well as your heart.
  • Regulating the pH within your blood.”

DID YOU KNOW?! “Vitamin C is used most often for preventing and treating the common cold.”

DID YOU KNOW?! “Cardoons are considered a weed in Australia and California because of its invasive nature and adaptability to dry climates. In Portugal, cardoons are used as a vegetarian source of enzymes for cheese production, which gives the cheese a distinct earthy and herbaceous taste.”

DID YOU KNOW?! “In the Abruzzi region of Italy, it is traditional to start Christmas lunch with a soup made of cardoons cooked in chicken broth with meatballs.

Cardoon plants can grow up to 6 feet tall and have beautiful blue or pinkish-purple flowers.”

DID YOU KNOW?! “Cardoons were popular in ancient Greek, Roman and Persian cooking, but in the late 19th century, the vegetable suddenly fell out of fashion.”

DID YOU KNOW?! Cardoons are in season in December.

For recipes, check out: and and

Until next time, happy eating! And feel free to share your thoughts and/or foodie experiences. I’d love to hear from you.


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