Sunchokes, or Jerusalem artichokes, are very different from globe artichokes. They look like ginger and have a nutty crunch when eaten raw. They can be mashed like potatoes when cooked and are excellent substitutes for jicama or water chestnuts in recipes. Although not as healthful when sliced thin and fried in vegetable oil, they make delicious chips. When cooked with other tubers, like potatoes, they complement roasts and stews. Besides being delicious, they help maintain gut health and provide additional health benefits.
Sunchokes contain thiamine or vitamin B1. Thiamine is essential for the functioning of the muscles and nervous system and also for metabolizing carbohydrates. It helps the body produce hydrochloric acid for food digestion. Production of this byproduct declines with age, which can lead to digestive problems later in life, including bacterial overgrowth, diarrhea, and lack of nutritional absorption. Including sunchokes in your diet could help prevent these symptoms.
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