Counting both leaves and heart, one medium artichoke has just 60 calories, more than 6 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein. The more significant appeal of artichokes, though, is their ability to promote liver health and smooth digestive ailments (such as nausea, pain, and bloating) owing to the powerful antioxidant silymarin, which boosts liver function by stimulating cell regeneration and scavenging for free radicals. Artichokes also contain cynarin—a caffeoylquinic acid found primarily in the leaves—which promotes the liver’s bile production, in turn helping break down fatty foods. According to some studies, cynarin also helps lower cholesterol. Additionally, artichokes are a good source of magnesium, potassium, and folate—nutrients that help improve muscle function and heart health. This versatile vegetable can even stimulate sweet receptors, helping to satiate your sweet tooth. In the 1930s, a scientist found that after consuming artichokes two thirds of his dinner guests thought that even a glass of water tasted sweet (a researcher at Yale University later confirmed this phenomenon).