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MEDITERRANEAN DIET
Artichokes
…so tasty and precious for our health
They have countless beneficial properties, they lower cholesterol level and are recommended for diabetics. But there are also some counter-indications by Novella Pranzo
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Artichokes. Photo by Dario Ersetti

Artichoke Parmigiana

 

4 servings:

 

- 12 Brindisini artichokes

- hard wheat flour

- oil for frying (preferably extra virgin olive oil)

- 200 g of fresh scamorza cheese or mozzarella

- 200 cc of tomato sauce

- 100 g of grated Parmesan cheese

- a few basil and mint leaves

- salt

 

 

Nutrition facts per serving (not including the batter mixture):

 

- energy: 629 Kcal

- protein: 26 g

- carbohydrates: 28 g

- fat: 37 g

- cholesterol: 24 mg

- fiber: 11 g

 

 

Nutrition facts per serving (with batter mixture):

 

- energy: 882 Kcal

- protein: 34 g

- carbohydrates : 56 g

- fat: 58 g

- cholesterol: 175 mg

- fiber: 13 g

 

The artichoke is an incredible vegetable, with manifold beneficial properties. However, it should be immediately said that in order to benefit from these properties one should eat artichokes raw or steamed, because the various cooking methods we normally use (fried or alla giudìa), though making them very tasty, also change their beneficial substances.

Artichokes are very rich in fiber and for this reason they help to make intestine motility regular and promote peristalsis. Moreover, they are rich in potassium, calcium and phosphorus, essential substances for blood coagulation, water balance and tissue growth.

But the real secret of this vegetable is its cynarine, a substance that gives artichokes a bitter taste and makes them able to lower the cholesterol level. But not only that! Cynarine is very useful for the correct functioning of the liver, it stimulates the production of bile, facilitating its flow toward the intestines.

But be careful: artichokes are not recommended for everyone. Those who suffer from biliary colics, should avoid eating them because they can cause very painful spasms. Also breastfeeding mothers should avoid them because artichokes reduce milk output, and the bitter taste of cinnarizine is unpleasant to the palate of unweaned babies.

Artichokes are, instead, recommended, in small amounts, in the diet of diabetics, as most of the carbohydrates they contain are present in the form of inulin, a glucose polymer used by the body for the production of energy transformed into fructose, thus improving glycemic control.

The delicious artichoke parmigiana is a highly caloric dish but, with a fresh salad, it can be an excellent single course.

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