Artichokes are antioxidant powerhouses, sporting more antioxidants than any other vegetable. Antioxidants helps to prevent aging, birth defects, some kinds of cancer, heart disease and other illnesses. Artichokes are also very beneficial to the liver and studies have found they may even regenerate liver tissue. Artichokes help the digestive system, they are a natural diuretic, they aid digestion and improve gallbladder function. The carbohydrate in artichokes is in the form of inulin, which has been shown to stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetes. The artichokes must be fresh, as the inulin will eventually convert to other sugars as the artichoke ages. One large artichoke contains a quarter of the recommended daily intake of fiber. A medium artichoke has more fiber than an entire cup of prunes!
The basil in the dipping sauce also promotes health and youthfulness due to its antioxidant activity. It have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body which promotes healing. Basil is a very good source of iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamins C and K as well as a dietary fiber.
I like to add a tiny bit of kelp to many of my recipes due to the high mineral content of this amazing sea vegetable. Kelp is a great source of iodine which is essential for overall health and effects everything from the thyroid, hormones, reproductive issues, depression, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and on and on. Kelp can easily be found at Whole Food Markets and many other natural health food stores.