Jerusalem Artichoke: Properties and Benefits

Jerusalem Artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke, thanks to its inulin content, is a vegetable very suitable for the diet of diabetics. Its properties and health benefits are supported by science

The Jerusalem artichoke, scientific name Helianthus tuberosus, is a plant belonging to the Compositae family.

Jerusalem artichoke: properties and benefits
Jerusalem artichoke: properties and benefits

The Jerusalem artichoke has several properties beneficial to health and is also known as truffle brown and  Jerusalem artichoke. Probably, for the fact that for decades it has been a valid substitute for the potato, it is also known by the name of American potato.

That the Jerusalem artichoke is a perennial plant that blooms in late summer and is characterized by beautiful golden yellow flowers so that often is confused with yellow daisy.

There are two varieties: the early white which we find available on the market from late August and the Bordeaux which we find on the market from October until the beginning of spring.


This vegetable can also be grown in your family garden as it does not require special care to grow. The tubers are harvested in the winter and can be cooked in the same way as potatoes. They can even be eaten raw seasoned with salt and pepper.

In the popular tradition it is believed that the Jerusalem artichoke has properties diuretic, digestive, tonic and facilitating the production of bile. It is a typical Piedmont vegetable where it comes in dialect called  ciapinabò. In this region, in the autumn period, it is possible to find several festivals dedicated to this food of vegetable origin.

Chemical Composition

Chemical composition for 100 gr of Jerusalem artichoke
Water g 78,01
Protein g 2
Fat g 0,01
Carbohydrates g 17,44
Fibers g 1,6
Sugars g 9,60
Calcium mg 14
Iron mg 3,40
Magnesium mg 17
Phosphorus mg 78
Potassium mg 429
Sodium mg 4
Zinc mg 0,12
Copper mg 0,18
Selenium mcg 1
Vitamin A  IU 13
B1 mg 0,072
B2 mg 0,066
B3 mg 1,046
B6 mg 0,116
Vitamin C mg 11,7
Vitamin E mg 0,19
Vitamin K mcg 14,8
Beta-Carotene mcg 12
Folate mcg 68

Source: USDA Database

Amino acids : aspartic acid, glutamic acid, alanine, cystine, glycine, phenylalanine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, proline, methionine, serine, tyrosine, tryptophan, valine and threonine, asparagine,  choline and arginine.

The 76% of the fiber is made from  inulin that, depending on the variety of the tuber, it is present in a percentage ranging from 7 to 30%.


The Jerusalem artichoke, compared with 100 grams of edible portion, has a caloric yield equal to  73 kcal.

Jerusalem Artichoke: Properties and Benefits

Jerusalem artichoke: properties and benefits

Weight Loss

It is a food particularly suitable for those who want to lose weight and at the same time perform a cleaning action on the intestine. The Jerusalem artichoke contains inulin, which is a nutrient molecule with excellent properties.

Those with obesity problems resulting from a constant appetite should drink plenty of water before eating Jerusalem artichoke. The union of inulin with water gives it  a sense of satiety that lasts for a good period of time and thus avoids taking other food.

Cholesterol and Diabetes

The Jerusalem artichoke  reduces the absorption of cholesterol  bad and sugars from the intestine. For this reason it is very suitable for diabetics who are not so subject to sudden changes in blood sugar after meals.

A study of 2014 conducted in rats suggest that supplementation to 10% of Jerusalem artichoke can be useful for the prevention of type 2 diabetes. (1)

Another 2017 study also conducted in rats describes the usefulness of this vegetable to improve glucose tolerance. (2)

Even those suffering from high levels of cholesterol can reap benefits from these properties of Jerusalem artichoke which slows its absorption in the intestine. Given its pleasant taste, a mixture of artichoke and potato, it is recommended to consume it raw. In this way the food preserves all its organoleptic properties intact .

Blood Pressure and Heart

It is an excellent source of potassium, it contains much more than bananas which are famous for their potassium content. It is thought that 100 grams of Jerusalem artichoke contain 429 milligrams of potassium compared to 358 of the banana.

Potassium is essential for heart health. It has vasodilating properties that allow a greater blood flow with consequent reduction of stress on the circulatory system and reduction of blood pressure.

In addition to this property, potassium is also responsible for the heart rate and therefore for its correct functioning.

This vegetable has a high content of inulin, a compound that is not digested and thus reaches the lower part of the intestine where it nourishes the good bacteria. The studies suggest that the nourishment of the intestinal microflora and the removal of the bad bacteria is a fundamental part of the treatment of hypertension. (3)

Digestive Properties

Contains an active ingredient with a bitter taste with digestive properties. This constituent stimulates the secretion of gastric juices and bile thus facilitating digestion and preventing intestinal problems.

A 2016 study shows that this food increases the level of good bacteria in the intestine, even better than the chicory root. (4)

A 2015 study conducted in rats suggests that this plant food has beneficial effects on intestinal health. (5)

Another study conducted on Indian leopards has shown that a supplement of 2% of this vegetable in the diet improves the quality of the stool. (6)


If added as flour to other flours in the preparation of dishes, to the extent of about 10%, it can be useful to those suffering from constipation .

Immune system

A 2015 study informs us that regular consumption of Jerusalem artichoke strengthens the immune system and helps prevent certain metabolic disorders. ( 7, 8 )


Its energetic properties make it a recommended food in the diet of the elderly, children and in general of convalescent people.

Hair Health

The Jerusalem artichoke has a high content of nutrients such as iron, copper and vitamin C. These constituents are essential to maintain healthy hair. Iron carries oxygen to the hair while keeping hair follicles healthy. 

The copper prevents hair loss and stimulates growth. Vitamin C promotes the absorption of iron and promotes the production of collagen keeping the skin and its blood vessels healthy.


Iron is essential in helping red blood cells to supply oxygen to the whole body. This mineral also intervenes in energy production processes, brain development and muscle function.

This vegetable contains non-heme iron whose absorption can be improved with the intake of vitamin C. Those who need to take iron can therefore think of including this vegetable in their diet. It is an excellent method of preventing anemia.

Hiring Forms

The Jerusalem artichoke can be eaten raw in salads, cut into slices and seasoned with oil, lemon juice, salt and parsley. To consume it cooked it is necessary to deprive it before the thin skin from which it is covered. In Piedmont it is considered one of the best vegetables to dip raw in the bagna cauda.

Finally, it can also be fried in the same way as potatoes or pureed.

As for cooking, if reduced to cubes and steamed, it requires cooking for about 10 minutes. When cooked it can be seasoned with butter and parsley.


Jerusalem artichoke: properties and benefits

The Jerusalem artichoke appeared in Italy in the seventeenth century and its origin dates back, not so sure, to areas of North America.

In addition to food purposes, Jerusalem artichoke is also used in the industry for the preparation of ethanol. Flour is also obtained from its tuber for food use.

Its name derives from that of a Brazilian tribe from which the Jerusalem artichoke was mistakenly thought to have come. The vegetable is also known by the name of German Turnip, Jerusalem artichoke, tuberous sunflower and Canadian potato.

It keeps well in the refrigerator in paper bags or in dark and cool places.

Its intake in pregnant women has been shown to stimulate milk production.

ImportantJerusalem artichoke does not contain gluten and is therefore a food suitable for those suffering from celiac disease.

Maybe not Everyone Knows That

The Jerusalem artichoke should not be peeled but only washed and brushed. They can be consumed in all the various forms of cooking with which potatoes are consumed.

It can also be used for body beauty. Once cooked, its pulp can be passed and mixed with olive oil and used for wraps lasting half an hour on the feet and hands.

Jerusalem artichoke: properties and benefits

Italian language version


This is not a medical publication, the information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is general in nature, they cannot in any way replace the prescriptions of a doctor or other health professionals authorized by law. The notions on the posology, the medical procedures and the description of the products on this site have an illustrative purpose and do not allow to acquire the necessary experience and manual skills for their practice or their use. If you have been prescribed medical treatment, I invite you not to interrupt or modify it, because all the suggestions you find on  must always and in any case be compared with the opinion of your doctor.

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