There aren’t many vegetables that pack in as many key nutrients for brain, bowel, and gut health as well as enhancing physical performance, as artichokes. A half-cup portion provides only 45 calories with a whopping 5 grams of fiber, 2.5 grams of protein, and a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Inulin fiber, a fermentable fiber or prebiotic found within artichokes, is especially important for the microbiome, or human gut. Prebiotics support the growth of probiotics, staying in our digestive system to balance our good bacteria and promote bowel regularity.  

Not only do artichokes make the top 10 list of highest-containing antioxidants, but they also rank high for potassium—necessary for building muscle, maintaining normal heart rhythm, and supporting food movement through the digestive tract, a key balancing act to support physical fitness.

Try grilled artichokes in this flavorful, high fiber recipe! 

Grilled Artichoke & Chickpea Salad

Prep Time: 40 minutes  •  Total Time: 60 minutes  •  Makes 4 servings

2 large artichokes
1 lemon
1 pint cherry tomatoes, washed
2 Tbsp + ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp fresh cracked salt
1 cup goat cheese
1½ cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Balsamic glaze

1. To prepare the artichokes, remove the stalk if it is long, leaving about one inch. Cut approximately one quarter off the top of the artichokes, along with the sharp tips around the whole artichoke (tips of the remaining leaves). Cut each artichoke in half so that you have 4 halves. Remove the furry choke from the inside.

2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Add the artichokes and the juice of half the lemon. Allow to stand for 15 minutes.

3. Place tomatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine. Roast for 15-20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, place a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Once boiled, add the artichokes and cook for 15 minutes, until fork-tender. For larger artichokes, you may need more time.

5. While the artichokes boil and the tomatoes finish roasting, preheat a grill to medium-high.

6. To make the marinade, combine ¼ cup olive oil, juice of the remaining ½ lemon and 1 teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Whisk to combine.

7. Once the artichokes are finished boiling, remove from the water and place on a large plate.

8. Brush the artichokes on all sides with the lemon-oil marinade and place them on the preheated grill, cut-side down. Grill for 5 minutes, turn, and continuing grilling for about 5-8 minutes, continuing to brush the artichokes with the oil, including in between the leaves.

9. To serve, place each artichoke half on a plate. Top with ¼ of the crumbled goat cheese, roasted tomatoes, and chickpeas. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and garnish with microgreens. 

Nutrients per serving: Calories: 445, Fat: 30 g, Carbs: 31 g, Protein: 16 g, Fiber: 9 g

Andrea Falcone
Andrea is a certified personal trainer and registered dietitian. She is also a regular columnist for the "Eat Something New" section in every issue of STRONG Fitness Magazine.