Do you know the Jerusalem artichoke and all its beneficial properties? It is rich in water and low in calories, it promotes digestion, it increases the sense of satiety, it regularizes the intestine and more. Here's all you need to know!

The Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) is a perennial plant with a rather pleasant taste classified among the tubers. It blooms at the end of the summer and it is similar to a mixture composed of artichoke and potato It is excellent also if eaten raw.

The Jerusalem artichoke has many properties that give important benefits to our body and to our health: it is low in calories (73 kcal per 100 gr) and it contains 80% of water, but also proteins, sugars, carbohydrates and dietary fiber. In addition, there are also vitamins A, B, C and E and mineral salts (including magnesium, potassium, iron and phosphorus). Instead of starch it contains inulin, a molecule composed of fructose instead of glucose, present in varying degrees based on the variety of the tuber, soluble in water and with excellent nutritional properties: it helps digestion and it also acts as a purifier for the intestine. The Jerusalem artichoke is also gluten-free, so it can also be consumed by those who suffer from celiac disease and you can also make flour from this tuber.

Properties and benefits of Jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke helps you lose weight: Jerusalem artichoke is perfect for those who want to lose weight because it contains little fat and it is excellent for those suffering from obesity or hunger. To fight hunger, drink plenty of water before consuming Jerusalem artichokes: the combination of water with inulin, a molecule contained in this food, greatly increases the sense of satiety. Jerusalem artichoke also speeds up the metabolism and performs a diuretic action useful for fighting water retention and cellulite, as well as helping those suffering from kidney diseases.

Jerusalem artichoke is useful for those suffering from diabetes: the Jerusalem artichoke contains inulin, a dietary fiber that helps the intestine balancing the flora and lowers the blood sugar, making it a food suitable for diabetics but also for obese people.

Jerusalem artichoke lowers cholesterol: Jerusalem artichoke reduces the absorption of fat by the intestine, lowering the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides. The properties of Jerusalem artichokes are also excellent to stabilize the level of glucose in the blood and make it a suitable food also for those suffering from arteriosclerosis.

Jerusalem artichoke helps digestion and regulates the intestine: the content of inulin ensures that the Jerusalem artichoke is a digestible food, and it also helps to regulate the intestine and to rebalance the intestinal flora, thanks to its prebiotic action. Jerusalem artichoke helps prevent gas formation, hence meteorism, and it has a laxative effect.

Jerusalem artichoke improves eyesight and fights fatigue: its properties, however, are not only beneficial for the silhouette but also for health: habitually consuming Jerusalem artichokes improves eyesight thanks to vitamin A, while vitamin B helps fight stress and fatigue.

Jerusalem artichoke has excellent healing and detoxifying properties: if you have wounds, you can add Jerusalem artichokes to your diet because arginine helps to heal wounds. Furthermore, vegetable fibers and pectin detoxify the body in the event of poisoning by medicines, alcohol and solvents, thus helping to protect the liver as well.

Jerusalem artichoke fights anemia: the iron contained in the Jerusalem artichoke makes it an excellent food, useful to counteract deficiencies of this important mineral and to prevent and fight anemia.

Jerusalem artichoke is an antioxidant and it is also useful in pregnancy: the Jerusalem artichoke contains vitamin A, C and vitamin E which make this food an excellent natural antioxidant useful to fight the harmful effects of free radicals, also carrying out an anti-inflammatory action and protecting us from seasonal ailments. Furthermore, Jerusalem artichoke contains folic acid which is very useful to pregnant women because it helps prevent fetal malformations.

Jerusalem artichoke lowers blood pressure and it is good for the heart: potassium contained in large quantities in Jerusalem artichokes is performing these important functions. Potassium is essential for the heart: it has vasodilatory properties that make the blood circulate in a fluid way, this also for the benefit of blood pressure, useful in case of hypertension.

Jerusalem artichoke helps to prevent cancer: Jerusalem artichoke helps prevent colon cancer mainly thanks to butinate, a substance that is produced by the bacterial fermentation of inulin that provides anticancer power.

Jerusalem artichoke prevents osteoporosis: Jerusalem artichoke improves the absorption of two important minerals for bones: calcium and magnesium, proving to be a valid aid in preventing osteoporosis, osteopenia and arthritis.

Jerusalem artichoke provides energy and it is useful during breastfeeding: due to its energetic properties, Jerusalem artichoke is recommended even after a period of convalescence, in the case of chronic fatigue, and it is an excellent food for the elderly ones and children. Jerusalem artichoke is also able to increase the milk production of breastfeeding women.

Jerusalem artichoke is a cosmetic beauty remedy: Jerusalem artichoke can also be used in beauty remedies: by grating the Jerusalem artichoke and mixing it with oils such as olive oil, almond oil or jojoba oil, you can create peelings that will make your skin soft and radiant. Vitamin C then stimulates the production of collagen, making the skin more toned. Furthermore, the iron and copper contained in the Jerusalem artichoke keep the hair strong and prevent it from falling.

How to use the Jerusalem artichoke

Many people consume raw Jerusalem artichokes, in salads or alone with the addition of lemon juice, so as to leave its nutritional properties intact. If eaten raw, it should only be washed and brushed. Its taste is very delicate and sweet, a mixture between the flavor of the potato and that of the artichoke. Steam cooking is also good, it takes about 10 minutes, then you can season Jerusalem artichoke with a little extra virgin olive oil.

Side effects

If consumed in excessive doses, mainly due to inulin, Jerusalem artichoke can cause flatulence, abdominal pain and diarrhea. The recommended daily dose is 200 grams. To accustom the intestine to the consumption of Jerusalem artichokes, it is good to start with small doses to be increased with time. The Jerusalem artichoke could trigger allergic reactions in predisposed subjects: then, the one who are already allergic to artichokes, lettuce, dandelion, sunflower, radicchio and chamomile must be careful.