Jerusalem artichoke: properties, nutritional values, calories

Jerusalem artichoke is a low-calorie food that has a probiotic action. Properties, nutritional values, calories.


Il jerusalem artichokes it is the tuber of the Helianthus tuberosus L. plant, also known as the Jerusalem artichoke. By promoting the development of useful bacteria, it plays a probiotic action e therefore it strengthens the immunostimulating activity. Let's find out better.

> 1. Properties, calories and nutritional values ​​of Jerusalem artichoke

> 2. Jerusalem artichoke, ally of

> 3. Description and origin of the Jerusalem artichoke plant

> 4. Curiosities about Jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke: properties, nutritional values, calories




Properties, calories and nutritional values ​​of Jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke, while presenting itself as a tuber, it is a low-calorie food (about 30 kcal per 100g of fresh food) since it contains 80% water as well as having fructo-oligosaccharides (fructose units ending with glucose) such asinulin (about 10% of the fresh weight but in any case in variable proportions depending on the period), which give the Jerusalem artichoke a lower calorific value than that of potatoes.

The starch present in potatoes is, in fact, totally digestible from our organism in the form of glucose, while the fructo-oligosaccharides of Jerusalem artichoke do not follow the same fate during intestinal transit.

They are part of the so-called soluble dietary fiber which can only be partially metabolized by the intestinal microflora favoring the development of useful bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli at the expense of potentially pathogenic bacteria (probiotic action). 

In addition to about 15% carbohydrates (inulin, asparagine, betaine, hill, fructose) also contains proteins (2-3%) and mineral salts including potassium (about 400 mg), phosphorus, calcium and magnesium.

It is particularly rich in vitamins A. (about 2%), vitamin B and vitamin H (which resists all cooking) and the lack of which produces fatigue, loss of appetite, drowsiness and muscle aches.


Jerusalem artichoke, ally of

Thanks to its content of carbs, composed almost exclusively of the polysaccharide inulin, is suitable, due to the lower glycemic load produced compared to other tubers, in the hypocaloric regimens of obese and diabetics. Furthermore, the presence of inulin is particularly important in determining and promoting the development of bifidobacteria and therefore in strengthen immunostimulating activity and have a laxative action.

Due to its particular nutritional composition, Jerusalem artichoke is appreciated for several properties including that of reduce cholesterol values,regulate intestinal activity, stabilize blood glucose values (blood sugar) and uric acid. 

The lactobacillus it contains makes it useful for women who are breastfeeding, good energy, suitable for feeding the elderly of convalescents and children. 

In cosmetics it can be grated and mixed with olive, almond or jojoba oil, where it is used in nourishing body massages (delicate and nourishing peeling). 

The green part of Jerusalem artichoke is used as forage in livestock feed, while the flowers can be used as a natural insecticide, the scent, in fact, is very unwelcome especially to flies.  


Jerusalem artichoke among the foods in the diet of diabetics: discover the others

Jerusalem artichoke: properties, nutritional values, calories


Description of the plant and origins

Helianthus tuberosus L., known by several common names such as cane truffle, Canadian potato and wild potato for its affinity for shape, tuberous sunflower, artichoke of Jerusalem for the affinity for taste and Jerusalem artichoke, is a herbaceous plant native to North America (especially Canada), cultivated as forage, as a vegetable and whose root has always been used in cooking, even if for a long period it has been completely forgotten.  

In North America it represented for the natives a 'important food source since ancient times while in Europe it was introduced in the seventeenth century, spreading in the temperate climate areas where, even today, it is used in cooking and as a medicinal plant (the tubers contain inulin and are sold as "functional food", or functional foods, for fiber intake and to stimulate appetite). It is highly valued as an ornamental plant and is grown everywhere in Europe.  

Jerusalem artichoke is an almost weed perennial herbaceous plant that resembles the sunflower and whose root system consists of creeping roots with red-purple or white tubers and from the greenish-white pulp that represent the edible part. The pulp of the tuber is fleshy, of flavor delicate similar to artichoke but for crafts and consistency resembles a potato while not containing starch, unlike the potato itself.


Curiosities about Jerusalem artichoke

The tuber, especially in the war period, was a 'important food resource. If at one time eat Jerusalem artichoke it meant being poor, in the last few years the cuisine has been in the countryside and beyond rediscovered this tuber with dozens of very tasty recipes.

In fact, they can be used in all recipes, like the artichoke, by eating them raw in thin slices (brush it, wash it carefully in running water and then slice it finely) or cooked, after having peeled them.

Reduced into cubes of 1 cm per side, they require 10 minutes of cooking if boiled, 15-20 minutes if stewed. In this regard, the popular etymology is significant in two senses: the Anglo-Saxon denomination of “Jerusalem artichoke” testifies, in fact, to both the confusion in the origin of the plant and the affinities in taste. 

Among the favorable characteristics, the long shelf life of the tuber, which lasts for many days without degrading.

Another particular use is that of Jerusalem artichoke flour, which is found in natural food stores and herbalists, which added to other flours in the percentage of 10%, makes the preparations suitable for diabetics and constipation.


Jerusalem artichoke among the fruit and vegetables of February


Other articles on Jerusalem artichoke:

> Jerusalem artichoke: 3 light and vegan recipes

> Baked Jerusalem artichoke, 2 ideas for cooking it

> Jerusalem artichoke: the cultivation of the plant

> Topinambur pasta, three recipes

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