Jerusalem Artichoke: Properties and Benefits

The Jerusalem artichoke, Helianthus tuberosus his scientific name, is a plant belonging to the Compositae family; Jerusalem artichoke is also known as "truffle cane", and probably to the fact that for decades has been a valid substitute of potato, "sweet potato".

The Jerusalem artichoke tree is a perennial that blooms in late summer and it is characterized by beautiful golden yellow flowers so that often is confused with yellow daisy.

The varieties of Jerusalem artichoke are two: the White early that we find commercially available by the end of August and Burgundy that we find on the market from October until early spring.

Jerusalem Artichoke: Properties and benefits
The Jerusalem artichoke contains  80 % of water, proteins, sugars, carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
Among the vitamins we include vitamin A, and some belonging to group B; between minerals we find potassium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus.

The amino acids noteworthy are asparagine and arginine.

Benefits and Curative Properties of Jerusalem Artichoke

The Jerusalem artichoke is a food particularly suited to those who want to lose weight and at the same time play a work of cleaning against bowel; jerusalem artichoke contains inulin, which is a molecule with excellent nutritional properties. Those who suffer from obesity caused by a constant appetite should drink plenty of water before eat Jerusalem artichoke; in fact, the union of inulin with water has the property of giving a good sense of satiety that lasts for a good amount of time.

The Jerusalem artichoke has the property to lower the level of intestinal uptake of sugars and cholesterol; for this reason it is very suitable for diabetics avoiding them fluctuations in blood sugar after meals. Even those suffering from high cholesterol levels can benefit from these properties of Jerusalem artichoke that slows the absorption in the intestine. Given its pleasant taste, it is recommended to consume it raw in a mixture of artichoke and potato, as in this way the food preserves all its properties.

Vitamin A contained in it is useful to the functions of sight, while the B vitamins are a great help in case of physical exhaustion, anemia, stress; arginine instead plays beneficial action against the liver and promotes healing of wounds.

If added as flour with other flours in the preparation of dishes, in the percentage of 10 %, it may be useful to those who suffer from constipation.

Its properties make it an energy food recommended in the diet of the elderly, children, and in general of convalescents.

The inulin in addition to the properties already mentioned promotes digestion, reduces the formation of gas in the intestine and rebalances the intestinal flora.
Jerusalem Artichokes Curiosity
The Jerusalem artichoke appeared in Italy in the seventeenth century and its origin can be traced back, not so sure, to areas of North America.

In addition to food purposes Jerusalem artichoke is also used in industry for the preparation of ethanol. From its tuber you also get flour for food use.

Its name comes from that of a Brazilian tribe from which were mistakenly thought that Jerusalem artichoke came.

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

It is observed that its intake in pregnant women stimulates the production of milk.

Important: The Jerusalem artichoke contains no gluten and is therefore a suitable food for those who suffer of celiac disease.

The Jerusalem artichokes are not to be peeled but only washed and brushed; can be consumed in all the various forms of cooking with which you consume potatoes.

The Jerusalem artichokes can also be used for the beauty of the body; its pulp when cooked, it can be passed and mixed with olive oil and used for poultices of half-hour on the feet and hands.
How to Eat the Artichoke
Jerusalem artichokes can be eaten raw in salads, sliced and seasoned with olive oil, lemon, salt and parsley; to consume it cooked you must before cut off the thin skins from which is covered. In Piedmont is considered one of the best vegetables to dip raw in bagna cauda.
Finally it can also be fried in the same way of the potatoes, or reduced to a puree.

As regards the cooking, if reduced to cubes require a baking of about 10 minutes if steam; when cooked you can drizzle it with butter and parsley.
Jerusalem Artichoke: Properties and benefits
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The Jerusalem artichoke, compared to 100 gr. of edible portion, has 85 Kcalories.
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