Native to central North America, Jerusalem Artichokes, often called by the more modern name “sunchokes,” can be eaten much like a potato. This vegetable is not truly an artichoke but a variety of sunflower with a lumpy, brown-skinned tuber that often resembles a Ginger root. The white flesh of this vegetable is nutty, sweet and crunchy and is a good source of iron. Along with supplying iron, it also hosts a large amount of health benefits.
The Jerusalem Artichoke is one of the finest sources of dietary fibers. Each Jerusalem Artichoke contains large amounts of inulin, a zero calorie and inert carbohydrate, which does not undergo metabolism inside the human body. Its high amount of inulin makes it an ideal sweetener for diabetics. Inulin fights harmful bacteria inside the gastrointestinal tract making Jerusalem artichokes a fantastic prebiotic. The soluble and insoluble fibers in this tuber bind to toxic compounds in the gut and alleviate constipation by normalizing bowel movements.
The soluble fiber in the Jerusalem Artichoke also helps the body manage healthy cholesterol levels, supports healthy blood pressure and may also help to reduce inflammation.
Carbohydrates in foods break down into simple sugars quickly and cause blood glucose levels to spike and drop sharply. Fluctuating blood glucose levels may significantly increase the risk of fatigue, heart disease, moodiness, immune deficiencies, and diabetes. The Jerusalem Artichoke is considered a low GI (glycemic index) food and provides a slow and stable rise and fall in blood glucose levels.
The tuber contains anti-oxidant vitamins like vitamin C, A, and E. The combination of the vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and flavonoid compounds, eliminate harmful free radicals in the body thereby reducing inflammation and strengthening the immune system.
Make the Jerusalem Artichoke part of your healthy diet!