artichokes just came into season and i am super excited to work with this veggie!  however, i am not super excited that i couldn't find any at the grocery store today!!!  i guess i will try the local whole foods store sometime this week.  i did get some canned artichoke hearts though, that i will use in a veggie lasagna that i am making tonight and a frittata that i am making tomorrow night.  it was definitely meant for me to do this veggie this week, because i was thinking about it when i learned that it was in season, and i came across two articles on how to prep and utilize them, one in my Body and Soul mag and one in Jane's Fine Cooking mag!  i am using two recipes from those mags as well. 
so when you think of antioxidants and phytochemicals, artichokes don't usually pop into your head first, right?  me neither!  well, they should definitely be at the top of the list!  more and more phytochemicals or phytonutrients are discovered all the time and that is why it is soooooo important to eat a variety of fruits and veggies and not rely on supplements!  artichokes are full of vitamins and minerals as well as some phytochemicals that i haven't heard too much about.  they are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and magnesium, and are high in fiber.  they are also high in Cynarin and Silymarin, which are phytochemicals that have shown to have positive effects on the liver.  and we all know (or should know!) that it is extremely important to have a healthy liver!  i am sure you have heard that the "Mediterranean diet" is associated with the lowest occurance of chronic disease and the highest life expectancy....and artichokes are a big part of that diet, along with a high intake of veggies and fruit overall and low saturated fat!
one edible portion of an artichoke is only 25 calories, no fat, 6g carbs, 3g fiber(that's a lot for one!), and 2g protein, the whole artichoke is about double all the values.  other popular phytochemicals in artichokes include quercetin and anthocyanins, which may decrease cancer risk and protect the heart.  there is also a decent amount of iron and calcium.  i see no problem with using canned, bottled or frozen artichokes in terms of nutrition, however, there may be a significant taste difference, which i hope to explore this week!  if i can get my hands on some fresh ones!  stay tuned!