Thistles: fibers and minerals to purify

by Valeria Ghitti

Thistles are fresh if they don't have a tendency to open. "Better to choose light colored plants (the green ones are more bitter and fibrous), closed and heavy, without spots, with crunchy and wide ribs », advises Lorenzo Bazzana, responsible for Fruit and Vegetables at Coldiretti. "To prevent them from darkening, cook the cardoons immediately or store them in acidulated water. If you want to keep the color even after boiling, squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the cooking water ».

They satiate without weighing down

Rich in water, fiber and mineral salts, thistles combine a high satiating power with a very low calorie intake: they are therefore an excellent help for those with weight problems. «They mostly play a diuretic and draining action which helps eliminate waste and toxins. The ideal is eat them raw in pinzimonio or boiled with oil and lemon », advises Dr. Anna D'Eugenio, nutritionist. «Cooked are also indicated during the seasonal ailments which cause a rise in fever, because they also have antibacterial and antipyretic action, and in case of stomach pain, because they perform a soothing activity on the gastric mucosa ».


Thanks to the content in fibers, these vegetables help reduce the absorption of fats in the intestine and therefore have a cholesterol regulating effect, beneficial for cardiovascular health. «They contribute to also eliminate waste nitrogen and uric acid, lowering their levels in the blood », continues the doctor. In addition, their copper content facilitates numerous biochemical reactions in the liver, making them an excellent stimulant of liver function without tiring the activity ".



Without thorns, it has flong and jagged oglie and rather thin and tender ribs, light green in color. To be tried raw in pinzimonio.


Garrison Slow Food, is a prized variety, with white and very tender ribs. It is generally consumed raw with bagna cauda.


In 1 hectogram of thistles find 94,3 g of water, 1,5 g of fiber, 293 mg of potassium, 23 mg of sodium, 96 mg of calcium, 4 mg of vitamin C e only 10 calories.

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