If you've never had the experience of eating an artichoke, leaves, heart and all, you're missing out on one of the true joys of spring. Delicious if you eat them alone (steam them and peel off the leaves, scraping off the meat with your teeth), artichokes actually do make everything else taste better. They contain a compound called cynarin, which stimulates taste bud receptors and has been found to make bland food more palatable. Artichokes are also used in complementary medicine to aid digestion. They're rich in inulin, a prebiotic that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut.
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