If you comes across some brown-colored nubs that kind of look like ginger, but not as intricately rooted together, you might just be looking at some Jerusalem Artichokes, also known as sunchokes. Be sure to grab them!
They have a really crispy flavor, and if you throw it in your kitcheree or soup, it actually tenderizes into the texture of a potato. To be honest, I never really dabbled in them that much until recently, and now I’m a big fan of the taste and texture, plus sunchokes are…
… a magic hair food!
Here are some of the reasons you’ll want to incorporate Jerusalem Artichokes into your veggie rotation:
Iron (and Lots of it!) to Build Healthy Hair
You would need to consume three ounces of red meat to obtain the equivalent amount of iron from the mighty sunchoke!
Iron helps carry oxygen towards the cells in your body, including towards your hair! This helps you maintain a healthy hair follicle which you need for your hair to be thick, shiny and lustrous. A deficiency in iron may be a contributing reason for thinning hair.
Copper- the ‘Chokes also Got It
Cooper has been associated with helping to prevent hair loss and boost hair growth, preventing thinness in texture. Copper is also believed to help boost hair color to its original vibrancy, and stop the premature greying of hair.
Speaking of minerals, sunchokes are also high in potassium (even more than our beloved banana), which is important for effectively-functioning muscles and heart health. Potassium is also an electrolyte that importantly balances overdoing it on the salt/sodium, which many of us do!
Vitamin C Power
Vitamin C is needed for the synthesis of collagen. Collagen plays a role in healthier hair as it helps to keep the blood vessels supplying fresh nutrients to the scalp, and also helps to keep the hair follicles conditioned. Vitamin C is also important to help your body absorb and assimilate the iron from the sunchokes as well.
Rich in protein
Sunchokes are also rich in protein-building amino acids- especially when compared to other root vegetables. In particular, they contain the sulfur-containing important amino acids taurine, methionine, homocysteine and cysteine. These sulfur-containing amino acids are necessary for many body functions, including maintaining the flexibleness of connective tissue, allowing the liver to conduct detoxification, and helping to maintain and build up the strands of the hair.
High in Fiber
Fiber helps to continuously cleanse out toxins, so that more oxygen and nutrients can circulate and reach your hair. The accumulation of toxicity in your body is a cause of not only premature aging, but can also lead to thin, unhealthy, unnourished hair. Fiber is so important for many other health reasons, including helping to regulate your blood sugar levels. Thankfully, Jerusalem Artichokes are a very good source of fiber as well!
Pick the ones that are free of sprouted parts, wrinkles and soft spots, and go for the ones that are more round and robust-looking.
How to Consume Jerusalem Artichokes
Raw – They have a thin skin, and you can carefully peel off (like ginger) and slice into salads and eat totally raw (unlike potatoes).
Stir Fry – They are great to throw in for a few quick minutes if you are sautéing some veggies in a little coconut oil or water/veggie broth. If you like them crispy, don’t cook for more than 2-3 minutes.
Bake: Slice them and coat them in a little coconut oil and seasonings at 350 for about 45 minutes, turning them halfway.
Steam: Chop them up and steam them for around 10 minutes. You can season and enjoy, or process them as a delicious mash instead of using potatoes!
Be sure to let me know what you think of this amazing vegetable in the comments below. Have you had them before and if so, what is your favorite way to prepare them?