Did you know that a sluggish over-taxed liver can actually prevent you from losing weight? As well as all the ’empty’ calories in alcohol, booze can inhibit your liver’s ability to metabolise fat. But alcohol is not the only culprit. Prescription and non prescription drugs, pesticides and pollutants in the form of food additives and even in the air we breath can also add to your liver’s workload.
An over-burdended liver can also manifest non-specific symptoms such as constipation, bloating, nausea and discomfort after meals. There are certain supplements and foods that you can include in your diet to boost liver function and aid the detoxification process. One of them is the mighty artichoke.
Artichokes, part of the thistle family, are high in the phytonutrients silymarin and cynarin. These compounds are powerhouses in the defence of your liver. Cynarin is a choleretic, this means it increases bile production. Bile, is produced by the liver and stored in the gall bladder. It plays an important role in the digestion of fats and removal of dangerous toxins. . Silymarin is a powerful antioxidant and shields the liver from free radical harm.
Artichokes, (globe artichokes) scientific name cyanara scolymus are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables and were considered a delicacy by the Ancient Greeks and the Romans. Along with the powerful liver function boosting compounds artichokes are also rich in the minerals, copper, manganese, phosphorous and iron. You can buy them fresh and roast or boil them. Remeber to remove the ‘choke’, the tough inedible part at the base of the plant. You can also buy them at deli counters or conveniently in cans.
Click here for a simple and delicious pasta recipe using canned artichokes.