The Jerusalem artichoke belongs to the large Compositae family, which includes lettuces, sunflowers and globe artichokes. It is a native of North America and grows to a height of 2 to 3 m and width 0.6 m.
The plant resembles a sunflower, but it also produces a large number of edible tubers, which are knobbly and resemble ginger in appearance. This distinguishes the plant from the globe artichoke which is grown for its immature flowers. The tubers are smaller, sweeter, crisper and more nutty than potatoes.
Jerusalem Artichokes store their carbohydrates in a form of inulin. Unlike starch and most other carbs, however, inulin isn't broken down in the digestive tract, which means it has only a small impact on blood sugar making Jerusalem Artichokes a great food for diabetics. Inulin also improves the health of the colon by feeding healthy bifidobacteria in the intestine therefore acting as a prebiotic.
Jerusalem Artichokes are high in fibre and potassium therefore they help regulate bowel movements, maintains blood pressure.
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