The artichoke is a food of plant origin that belongs to the VII food group ; in the kitchen the flower is eaten (see recipes with artichokes ), while the leaves and roots find other uses, especially in the phytotherapeutic field and in the liquor industry.
The artichoke is an integral part of the traditional gastronomy of many Italian regions, but its use is also widespread abroad, especially in the Mediterranean basin .
The Laon artichoke takes its name from the French region of the same name; the edible portion is made up of the pulp of the external scales of the flower (bracts), the receptacle and the stem.
The culinary use of the Laon artichoke concerns: appetizers , side dishes , sauces and dishes.

Nutritional Characteristics

Like all artichokes, Laon artichokes are also known for their nutritional properties and are suitable for any diet.
It is low in calories , mainly protein, has many soluble fibers and contains many mineral salts , vitamins and other beneficial molecules. Thanks to its antioxidant polyphenol
content, it is widely used in nutritional therapy against metabolic diseases ; in particular: hyperglycemia and type 2 diabetes mellitus , hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia . Inulin ( soluble fibre ) helps fight constipation , increases the perception of gastric satiety, modulates intestinal absorption (lowering the glycemic index and reducing lipid absorption ) and acts as a probiotic by improving the intestinal bacterial flora . This makes the artichoke very useful in the diet of the obese , diabetic , hypercholesterolemic and hypertriglyceridemic . The antioxidant polyphenol typical of artichokes is cynarin , a molecule known for its strong and multiple health functions. In particular, this compound appears to have a protective and purifying role on the liver , improves cholesterol levels and stimulates bile flow .


NB : Thanks to the concentration of cynarin, the infusion of Laon artichoke leaves has strong cholagogue and choleretic ( digestive ) functions.
As regards saline and vitamin nutrients , the quantities of: iron , calcium , potassium and ascorbic acid ( vit C ) stand out. The Laon artichoke is suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets for lactose and gluten intolerance ( celiac disease ). The average portion varies depending on the recipe. Assuming it is used as a side dish, considering that the edible portion is only 34%, the quantity of artichoke for an adult could be around 400-800g (140-280g of edible matter).

Laon artichoke and weight loss

The Laon artichoke has recently been used in the production of food supplements aimed at weight loss .
The reason for this choice is unclear; according to the slogan on the product label , this extract should act by “annihilating” fat cells .
First of all, the destruction of adipocytes is not an entirely desirable effect (adipose tissue is a tissue with very important endocrine functions ). Furthermore, the Laon artichoke does not have a chemical composition such as to suggest any lipolytic effect.
The companies offer the Laon artichoke in the form of a dry extract in capsules (cynarin, other polyphenols and inulin), to be taken daily with meals.
Ultimately, food supplements based on Laon artichoke have no slimming effect . They do not destroy adipocytes, they do not mobilize fats from adipose tissue nor do they promote cellular lipolysis . In this context, it is a product to avoid.
The only useful use could be as a source of polyphenols and inulin for:

  • Reduce oxidative stress .
  • Promote the restoration of altered metabolic parameters (cholesterolemia, blood sugar and triglycerides ).
  • Promote liver purification.

NB : all the effects listed can only be obtained in conjunction with an adequate diet and regular physical activity .

Notes on Botany

The Laon artichoke belongs to the group of raw green artichokes, to the Cynara genus , to the scolymus species, to the viridis variety and to the Laon subvariety .
It is grown mainly in northern areas, where the climate is harsher.
It has a good yield and, in particularly fertile soil, the flower reaches considerable dimensions (basal diameter of almost 15cm).
The bracts are slightly open, not too long, pointed but obtuse and bright green in colour. They contain most of the edible portion. Called pulp, this is fleshy, not too soft and attached to the non- digestible fibrous layer .