Jerusalem artichoke

Properties of Jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke: properties of the tuber that is good for diet and blood sugar. The Jerusalem artichoke is becoming more prominent as a food ingredient in recipes because it has a very special flavor, good cooking yield, and excellent health properties.

Also called Jerusalem artichoke or German turnip, it is a tuber of American origins (like the potato) also ideal for the nutrition of diabetics and all those who have to pay attention to the amount of sugar in the diet.

Calories and nutritional values ​​of Jerusalem artichoke

If we consider the raw vegetable, Jerusalem artichoke provides  73 kcal per 100 grams and is rich in precious vitamins and minerals. In particular, in the tuber, there is a high amount of potassium, an excellent mineral for counteracting fatigue and cramps. But not only that, potassium exerts a powerful diuretic action and therefore helps to reduce widespread swelling and water retention (preventing and helping to eradicate cellulite).

Potatoes, for example, also contain a lot of potassium but, compared to Jerusalem artichoke, they have a much higher glycemic index. What therefore really makes the difference with other tubers, for example with potatoes, is, therefore, the glycemic index, or the ability of a certain food to raise blood sugar values. Considering that the values ​​assigned for the glycemic index range from 0 to 100, the reference value of glucose, Jerusalem artichoke has a glycemic index of 50.

This tuber also has a good protein content and has small amounts of important antioxidants: vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, carotenoids . And there is also no shortage of folate, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and iron. In particular, folates are essential in the nutrition of pregnant women as they are essential for the correct closure of the neural tube and therefore to prevent fetal malformations such as spina bifida.

Properties and benefits of Jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke is, therefore, a tuber with excellent properties for health, and included in the weekly menu, a perfect substitute for potatoes, suitable for those who suffer from diabetes.

Jerusalem artichoke also does not contain gluten , has no cholesterol, and is suitable for those who want to lose weight and deflate, Jerusalem artichoke contains inulin, a fiber that helps intestinal regularity. It cleanses the intestines and fights obesity: drinking plenty of water and eating Jerusalem artichoke gives long-term satiety.

The quantity of potassium contained in the tuber also makes Jerusalem artichoke a  perfect detox food for those who want to purify themselves before or during a diet, or after a period of overdose. In addition, this food has the ability to reduce the absorption of sugar in the blood (glycemia) and even accelerate metabolism.

Jerusalem artichoke then helps to strengthen the immune system and to fight anemia. In fact, the tuber turns out to be a very good choice in a vegan or vegetarian diet. Source of vegetable proteins and iron, it helps to supply the body with those substances necessary for a good muscle tone and the maintenance of a constant energy level.

Finally, Jerusalem artichoke is very rich in fiber and, therefore, is excellent for promoting correct intestinal transit (counteracting even chronic constipation). But that’s not all: the presence of fiber also acts as a “controller” of bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and as a regulator of blood sugar. In addition to appeasing nervous hunger, promoting prolonged satiety.

When to buy it and how to use it in the kitchen

Jerusalem artichoke can now be found in any supermarket, in the fruit and vegetable department, and in grocery stores. It can even be grown both in pots and in the garden, its cultivation is in fact very similar to the cultivation of potatoes .

Jerusalem artichoke is sown in spring and harvested in autumn, therefore it is considered an autumn vegetable and is widely used in regional preparations (in Piedmont, for example, it is a food that becomes part of truly exquisite traditional recipes ). If you grow it in pots, you will also see its characteristic yellow flowers that will bring joy to the whole balcony (as well as having the fresh tuber at no cost).

Jerusalem artichoke can be eaten both raw and cooked. Raw, for example, in salads and cooked in any type of dish: side dish in a pan, second course or single veg dish, in velvety and soups, transformed into fried or baked chips. Jerusalem artichoke can also be enjoyed with the peel, to taste and depending on its use in the kitchen: if you leave the peel, however, know that it further lowers the glycemic index of the food.

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