The globe artichoke is the edible portion of a species of thistle originally cultivated in the Mediterranean. The edible portion consists of the flower buds and the stems, and is harvested before the flowers bloom. A winter vegetable, artichokes are cooked mostly by boiling or steaming.

Commonly used in:
Artichokes are used as a vegetable - mostly boiled, steamed, pickled, stuffed and baked. It is also used to make artichoke tea and in making Italian liquor.

Health benefit:
Artichokes help in digestion and gall bladder function. Its antioxidant capacity is one of the highest amongst vegetables. It helps reduce cholesterol levels. The extract made from artichoke leaves is also said to good for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.