What is Jerusalem Artichoke?
Jerusalem artichoke is not actually an artichoke, but a type of sunflower with a brown tuber that resembles ginger. The white flesh is nutty, sweet and crunchy and a good source of iron. In Europe, Jerusalem artichokes are mainly grown in France, Germany and the Netherlands. Contrary to what the name suggests, this vegetable has nothing to do with Jerusalem, but is derived from the Italian word for sunflower, girasole. Jerusalem artichokes can be eaten raw or cooked. When cooked, the vegetable has a creamy texture and can be used like potatoes.
5 Health Benefits of Jerusalem Artichoke
1. Jerusalem Artichoke can fight cravings
Jerusalem artichokes contain a lot of dietary fibre, such as inulin, which swells in the stomach and intestines and thus creates a feeling of satiety. It also helps to keep the blood sugar level constant, which is why cravings don't stand a chance.
2. Jerusalem Artichoke is a vitamin bomb
Jerusalem artichokes provide many important vitamins of the B group, vitamins C and D and biotin. The vegetable is also rich in trace elements, potassium (400 -800 mg/100g) and consists of 3% protein. This also makes the tuber perfect for those who rely on a purely plant-based diet.
3. Jerusalem Artichoke supports the muscles
Iron is essential for strong muscles – and Jerusalem artichoke is full of it. Iron helps to supply the muscles with oxygen. Without sufficient iron, muscles lose their elasticity, which can lead to muscle weakness. Jerusalem artichoke also contains a sufficient amount of thiamine, which is important for the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This transmits signals between nerves and muscles.
4. Jerusalem Artichoke is an anti-ageing agent
Jerusalem artichoke contains copper, one of the most powerful antioxidants, which helps protect cells from free radicals. Free radicals can attack various organs and cells and can accelerate ageing. Raw Jerusalem artichoke consists of 0.21 mg of copper, which is 23.33% of the recommended daily intake.
5. Jersualem Artichoke supports a healthy gut
Jerusalem artichoke is full of inulin. This type of dietary fibre belongs to the prebiotic, water-soluble dietary fibres. Prebiotic dietary fibres cannot be broken down by the human small intestine and therefore reach the lower parts of the intestine undigested. There they serve as food for the good bifidobacteria, among others. One strain of bifidobacteria produces bifidin, an antibacterial toxin that inhibits the proliferation of harmful bacteria in the intestinal flora and keeps it in balance. Bifidobacteria are also responsible for producing antibodies, and regulating the pH level of the gut (thus preventing acid reflux).