Jerusalem artichoke (Latin name: Helianthus tuberosus)
If we lead story about healthy food Jerusalem artichoke is an unavoidable topic. It is a plant from America, and in our country is also known as sunroot, sunchoke or wild potato. In fact, the Jerusalem artichoke has a similar appearance as ginger. On the other hand, in the kitchen is used in a similar way as potato. While its flowers look like flowers of sunflower. Really interesting plant with the Latin name: Helianthus tuberosus.
Jerusalem artichoke is even more interesting plant, if we know that it contains inulin instead of starch, that is contained in the potato. Inulin is a probiotic that accelerates the development of beneficial bacteria in the intestines (bifidobacteria and acidophilus).
Inulin, therefore, normalizes digestion, recovers intestinal flora in the case of antibiotic treatment, helps with constipation and intestinal infections. In addition, inulin normalizes the levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood, thus preventing cardiovascular diseases and gradually reduces fatty deposits, and it is very useful for people with excess weight.
And now the important information for diabetics. Degradation of inulin does not cause an increase of sugar levels in the blood, so Jerusalem artichoke is an excellent food for diabetics. Inulin is a polysaccharide of fructose and dissolves only in the liver, without the need for insulin. In contrast to potatoes, which contain starch, which is degraded to glucose immediately in the mouth, and rapidly raises blood sugar.
Jerusalem artichoke is characterized by low energy value. It is a good source of potassium and phosphorus. Potassium is important for blood pressure control, transmission of nerve impulses, for the muscle function, heart function, and for the regulation of water in the body. Phosphorus is an integral part of bones and teeth and this mineral is an important factor for the processes in cells. Jerusalem artichoke also contains calcium, magnesium and iron in smaller amounts, however, thanks to inulin, their absorption is improved.
Jerusalem artichoke is interesting in that it is a source of essential amino acids, specifically amino acids that the body can not produce.
Jerusalem artichoke is usually prepared as potatoes, boiled (it is recommended with the peel) and baked in various ways. It can be used raw as a salad or in combination with other vegetables. Do not forget that Jerusalem artichoke is healthier substitute for the potato so eat it whenever you can.