You’ve likely seen them in the produce section and wondered what the heck those are and what does one do with them?!
They are a tuber and relative of the potato, but so much better, in so many ways.
A potato is mostly starch (or simple carbohydrate) and if you’ve been paying attention to my rants about blood sugar, you know that starchy carbohydrates get converted to glucose pretty rapidly, if they aren’t accompanied by a lot of fiber to slow the process. This is good news for any form of disease, because it contributes to chronic inflammation, which in turn, feeds disease.
If you are Diabetic or pre-Diabetic (or know someone who is) the Jerusalem Artichoke (also known as Sunchoke) is a fabulous food. Here’s why:
- The “starch” in Jerusalem Artichokes is Inulin, a soluble fiber.
- Inulin does not raise blood sugar and helps to stimulate production of insulin, which makes it all natural help for Diabetics.
- Inulin helps to lower triglycerides.
- It has a slightly sweet flavor.
- Growth of healthy (and suppression of harmful) bacteria in the gut that aid immune function. Without getting into biochemistry, this is much more beneficial than eating yogurt or other probiotics, which have to survive challenging conditions in order to be helpful.
Additional benefits of the Jerusalem Artichoke include:
- Better absorption of calcium.
- Better synthesis of B vitamins.
- Alleviates constipation.
- Relieves asthmatic conditions and
- Nourishes the lungs.
- High in Potassium and Iron.
- Gluten free.
The down side:
- Tendency to create gas and bloating – START SLOWLY and build up.
Great stuff!! Now, how do we eat it?!
It can be eaten raw or cooked. Cooking it will tend to reduce the negative effects and offer a diabetic friendly substitute to the potato (baked, boiled or roasted), no peeling necessary! To enjoy them raw, they can be sliced thin and added to a salad, pickled or dehydrated to eat as a chip or used as gluten free crouton.
A number of Jerusalem Artichoke flours are available and because they are gluten free, you now have yet another option in your gluten-free pantry. AND you can even buy JA pasta, which could be a heavenly treat for those with Celiacs and Diabetics alike (though I’m not vouching for what other ingredients are added to make it pasta like).
Let’s hear it for the Jerusalem Artichoke!!! Are you already familiar with them? Do you have your own way of enjoying them? Weigh in with a comment below!!