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Jerusalem Artichoke: What is It and What are the Benefits?

Jerusalem artichoke

Ingredient deep-dive into Jerusalem Artichoke

In this article

What is Jerusalem Artichoke?

“Gut health” is a wellness trend that’s captured the attention of many over the past few years. We’ve all seen more and more people transitioning to gut-healing, plant-based lifestyles and incorporating gut-friendly beverages like kombucha into their daily diets. 

One gut-healing powerhouse that’s often overlooked? The Jerusalem artichoke. 

The Jerusalem artichoke is actually not an artichoke at all, but a variety of sunflower with an edible tuber, similar to a potato.[1] The root vegetable, also called a sunchoke, resembles a ginger root with a nutty, sweet and crunchy taste.[2] Jerusalem artichokes can be used in cooking or as an extract, and in either form, are widely touted for their important role as a prebiotic. 

What are the benefits of Jerusalem Artichokes?

  • Better digestion: Prebiotics are carbohydrates that your gut cannot digest, so they become food for healthy bacteria in the gut. When you eat Jerusalem artichokes, its prebiotic properties help healthy bacteria grow, which in turn, helps digestion.[3] Most of the gut-healing power found in Jerusalem artichokes comes from one prebiotic in particular – inulin.[4] Inulin is a fructan (a chain of fructose molecules) that the gut bacteria use to produce short-chain fatty acids, which nourish colon cells to aid digestion and promote gut-healing.[5]
  • Balanced microbiome: The gut-healing, digestive benefits of sunchokes help to balance your microbiome, the trillions of bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses that work together to promote the daily operations of your body.[6] A diverse and balanced microbiome not only supports healthy digestion, but boosts your immune system, helps protect against illness, improves metabolism, reduces inflammation and contributes to maintaining a healthy body weight.[7][8]
  • Lower blood sugar and pressure: The inulin found in Jerusalem artichokes can help lower blood sugar and reduce fasting insulin in those with type 2 diabetes.[8] High levels of potassium found in sunchokes make them an effective, natural remedy for high blood pressure. Potassium helps balance levels of excess sodium consumed in foods found in the typical American diet, a common contributor to high blood pressure. Lower blood pressure can have long-term health benefits, like fewer heart attacks, strokes, and a lower risk of death from heart disease.[9]
  • Reduce cholesterol: The soluble fiber found in Jerusalem artichokes can help lower cholesterol by reducing the amount of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol found in the body.[10] Regular consumption of Jerusalem artichoke or its extract not only helps to reduce bad cholesterol, but may boost HDL (“good”) cholesterol in adults with high cholesterol.[11]
  • Enhance immune function: The Jerusalem artichoke is filled with antioxidants like vitamin A, C and E, along with flavonoid compounds like carotenes. These compounds help remove free radicals from the body, helping to protect against disease and illness.[8]

How can you consume more Jerusalem Artichoke?

You can cook with Jerusalem artichoke to reap its health benefits, but fueling your body daily with the prebiotic can do wonders for your gut health and overall health and wellness. One easy way to consume Jerusalem artichoke daily is with MEND Regenerate.

MEND Regenerate is the only product of its kind that contains Jerusalem artichoke and 30+ additional nutrients to fuel optimal living. Alongside Jerusalem artichoke, key ingredients include: Vitamins C and D to support bone health; vitamins A, C and E and green tea extract, antioxidants that help boost immunity and reduce cellular damage; protein and amino acids designed to fuel muscle growth and strength; creatine and vitamin B complex to enhance energy, vitality, and endurance; selenium to decrease disease risk; as well as COQ10, an antioxidant that protects cells from damage and plays an important role in metabolic processes. MEND Regenerate is the all-in-one, daily nutrition solution to increase consumption of Jerusalem artichoke and support your everyday health and vitality. 

Sources

[1] https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-are-sunchokes-3376827

[2] https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/glossary/jerusalem-artichoke-glossary

[3] https://www.mayoclinic.org/prebiotics-probiotics-and-your-health/art-20390058#

[4] https://www.livestrong.com/article/374796-health-benefits-of-jerusalem-artichokes/

[5] Vandeputte, D., et al. (2017). Prebiotic inulin-type fructans induce specific changes in the human gut microbiota. Gut66(11), 1968–1974. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2016-313271

[6] https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/microbiome/

[7]  https://thriveglobal.com/stories/simple-tips-how-to-have-a-healthy-and-balanced-microbiome-every-day-2

[8] https://www.verywellfit.com/jerusalem-artichoke-nutrition-facts-and-health-benefits-5076353

[9] https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/potassium-lowers-blood-pressure

[10] Wider, B., Pittler, M. H., Thompson-Coon, J., & Ernst, E. (2013). Artichoke leaf extract for treating hypercholesterolaemia. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, (3), CD003335. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003335.pub3

[11]Rondanelli, M., et al. (2013). Beneficial effects of artichoke leaf extract supplementation on increasing HDL-cholesterol in subjects with primary mild hypercholesterolaemia: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. International journal of food sciences and nutrition64(1), 7–15. doi: 10.3109/09637486.2012.700920