Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer
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Vegetables are one the healthiest food types highly recommended by top nutritionists and doctors alike. In fact, they are so healthy, many would recommend consuming them in every meal of the day if possible. Within the vegetable family, some rate more supreme than others with artichokes shown to help a host of health ailments and further boost your longevity.
Artichokes are packed with phytonutrients such as quercetin which protect against many health risks including cancer, heart disease, liver dysfunction, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
In 2004, the United States Department of Agriculture conducted its largest, most comprehensive study analysing the antioxidant content of the most commonly consumed foods.
To the surprise of many, artichokes ranked in the top four vegetables and seventh overall.
There are many other powerful polyphenol-type antioxidants found in artichokes that researchers believe can contribute to the prevention and management of prostate cancer, breast cancer, and leukaemia.
Studies have shown that the antioxidants rutin, quercetin, and gallic acid found in artichoke leaf extract are able to induce apoptosis and reduce the proliferation of cancer cells.
One study conducted by researchers at the University of Georg-August in Germany found that the many phytochemicals in artichokes help to block the secretion of cancer agents, thus inhibiting the angiogenesis related to cancer.
Artichoke extract may aid people with high blood pressure.
One study in 98 men with high blood pressure found that consuming artichoke extract daily for 12 weeks reduced diastolic and systolic blood pressure by an average of 2.76 and 2.85 mmHg, respectively.
In addition, artichokes are a good source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure.
Aubergines are also rich in soluble fibre and contain chlorogenic acid which has been shown to help with high cholesterol.
In a study published in Wiley Online Library, chlorogenic acid was analysed as a cholesterol-lowering agent on rats.
The study found that chlorogenic acid markedly altered the increased plasma total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein
“The hypocholesterolemic effect is the primary beneficial effect given by chlorogenic acid, which leads to other secondary beneficial effects such as atheroscleroprotective, cardioprotective and hepatoprotective functions,” concluded the research.
Hypocholesterolemia is defined as total cholesterol and low-density cholesterol levels below the fifth percentile of the general population adjusted for age, gender and race.
Artichokes and artichoke leaf extract reduce cholesterol levels.
One placebo-controlled study to examine the effect of artichoke leaf extract in patients with high cholesterol.
All participants showed positive results.
Over six weeks, participants were split up, with half receiving artichoke extract and the rest a placebo.
The patients receiving artichoke were shown to have an 18.5 percent reduction in cholesterol level.
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