Feed your gut bacteria with Jerusalem artichoke
How are you folks? Are you also taken by surprise with this late winter snow? Since I moved to the UK, I can’t remember seeing this much snow that actually stays rather than melts in seconds – if you’re able to make a snowman, it must be winter after all!
Many took this opportunity to take time off from work (by choice or necessity) and slow down and that’s always a good time to experiment a little in the kitchen. So today, I thought I’d introduce you to… [snare drum] Jerusalem artichoke!
‘Who is this guy?’ You may be asking. Or, maybe you’re thinking: ‘Ugh! School dinners!’. Either way, I would still encourage you to forgive and get to know this vegetable once again as you, as well as many of your friends living down below, will soon fall in love with it’s flavour and texture.
Now, its name is rather confusing, as it turns out that Jerusalem artichoke (JA) has nothing to do with either Jerusalem or artichoke. In fact, it is a type of sunflower with a thick tuber that often resembles ginger or turmeric root and it’s name comes from Italian or Spanish word for sunflower – girasole. It is at its best between November and March but can be grown all year round. JA has a potato-like texture and it’s flavour can be reminiscent of sunflower. It is best used in soups, dips or thinly sliced and baked as chips or crisps.
So, let’s get back to the relationship that the JA may have with gut bacteria. The large intestine takes care of things that cannot be absorbed higher up in the digestive tract. It is also home to most gut bacteria that break down fibres and whatever else is left and, in return, produce some vitamins, essential nutrients that fuel the gut lining, as well as prevent pathogenic bacteria from colonising. A lot of research has been done on our bacterial habitat and we now begin to discover the vast scope of its influence on our health, mood and even body shape. There are thousands of genus and species of host bacteria called probiotic bacteria or probiotics, of which Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum are amongst the most abundant and well-researched. It is important to look after them by eating lots of vegetables and grains that contain prebiotic fibres – mainly soluble fibres. They are present in high quantities in Jerusalem artichokes [applause], chicory root, garlic, onions, leeks and asparagus, to name a few. Naturally, you can find probiotic bacteria in fermented foods, such as yoghurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut or kombucha but for therapeutic effects they can also be supplemented in a powder or capsule form.
In simple words, get some JA, make a soup from the recipe below and may you all be happy!
Have a great weekend,
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