Healthy Lunch Recipes

Artichokes Are a Super Source of Fiber and Gut-Boosting Prebiotics—Here Are 6 Delicious Recipes To Use Them In

Photo: Stocksy/Harald Walker
Artichokes are a pretty underrated vegetable (they're technically a thistle), but they’re one of the top foods you can eat to boost your gut microbiome—and more importantly, they're delicious. Whether you're tossing them into a salad, using them as a pizza or omelet topper, or blending them into a base for a deliciously creamy dip, artichokes are a fuss-free way to add major flavor and gut health benefits to your meals.

“Artichokes are well-known in the nutrition community for their impressive prebiotic content, which are certain carbohydrates that 'feed' probiotics and help to balance your gut microbiome,” says dietitian Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN. Indeed, while probiotics get a lot of love, prebiotics are a bit lesser known. However, they’re just as important (if not more!), as they feed probiotics in order for them to function and benefit the gut. So, it’s best to consume a variety of foods high in prebiotics and probiotics equally to optimize digestion and overall health.

“Specifically, one study recently showed an increase in short chain fatty acid production in the gut following artichoke consumption," says Jones. "These fatty acids help support your gut by providing energy to your colon cells to help them function properly. They also assist in the metabolization of important nutrients like carbs and other fats.” Artichokes are also rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which Jones says can help support regular bowel movements and reduce both constipation and digestive discomfort. “Eating plenty of fiber has been linked to lower blood cholesterol levels and better heart health,” she says. "A half cup of artichokes also contains 240 mg of potassium, which is an essential mineral and electrolyte that helps manage fluid balance, muscle contractions, and blood pressure. Lastly, artichokes are a good source of magnesium."

Ready to get cooking with this delicious thistle? Here are six delicious artichoke recipes that are super easy to make.

6 artichoke recipes that are packed with gut-boosting benefits

1. Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip

This delicious dip is packed with protein and fiber. “Instead of an emphasis on the ‘creamy,’ the focus is on veggies, and it uses artichoke hearts and spinach,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Ginger Hultin, MS, RDN, CSO.

If you eat dairy, feel free to throw in a serving of cheese, but this blogger uses nutritional yeast, a vegan cheese alternative that happens to be super high in protein and vitamin B.

Get the recipe: Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip from Real Simple Good

2. Roasted Artichoke Salad

“Because this hearty salad contains lots of veggies plus whole grains and protein-packed chickpeas, it's perfectly balanced for work or school lunches all week,” says Hultin. Mint gives it an aromatic feel and complements this salad’s refreshing nature.

Get the recipe: Roasted Artichoke Salad from Love & Lemons

3. Spinach Artichoke Egg Casserole

This super simple casserole is rich in veggies like artichokes, along with a variety of herbs and spices. All of the above ingredients bring flavor and anti-inflammatory benefits.

“Because it's cheese and egg-based, this recipe also includes a lot of protein and bone-boosting calcium,” says Hultin. And since you can make a big batch, save the rest for leftovers.

Get the recipe: Spinach Artichoke Egg Casserole from A Spicy Perspective

4. Chicken, Lemon, and Artichoke Soup

Brighten up your chicken soup with comforting veggies such as onion, carrots, celery, spinach, and chopped artichoke hearts—all of which are rich in anti-inflammatory benefits. “You'll get a boost of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from this spin on a classic chicken soup recipe,” says Hultin. And it's so comforting.

Get the recipe: Chicken, Lemon, and Artichoke Soup from Love Chef Laura

5. Pesto Orzo With Lemon, Artichokes & Shrimp

“If you need a quick weeknight dinner, make this dish in advance to use for easy meal prep or to enjoy as a quick after-work option,” says Hultin. You need only six ingredients, which makes it easy to whip up on the spot (and budget for when shopping at the store). "This dish is rich in anti-inflammatory properties from the pesto sauce, prebiotics and fiber from artichokes, and protein from the shrimp," she adds.

Get the recipe: Pesto Orzo With Lemon, Artichokes & Shrimp from Walder Wellness

6. Spinach Artichoke Chicken Burgers

There's no doubt we'll be grilling these gut-friendly chicken burgers all summer long. Pro tip: “If you want a little extra flavor and nutrition in this dish, you can top the burgers with sliced artichoke hearts,” says Hultin.

Get the recipe: Spinach Artichoke Chicken Burgers from Paleo Running Mama

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