Roasted Sunchokes and Their Gut Health Benefits

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These little guys are admittedly not very cute. But don’t let that stop you from eating them. Roasted sunchokes (also called Jerusalem Artichokes) make a fantastic side dish. They’re creamy on the inside with crispy edges and a mild, nutty flavor. And in addition, the have powerful gut health benefits.

Sunchokes are very rich in inulin. Inulin is a type of soluble fiber found in plants. Soluble fibers are “water soluble,” meaning they’re able to hold water and gel up into a viscous texture. Soluble fiber increases feelings of fullness because soluble fiber isn’t well absorbed, it doesn’t contribute to blood sugar spikes, it helps bulk up stool and prevent constipation and diarrhea, and it helps remove cholesterol as it passes through the digestive tract. In addition inulin feeds beneficial gut bacteria.

Inulin is a fructan. A fructan is a chain of fructose molecules that cannot be digested by the small intestine. Instead, the fructan inulin travels to the lower gut, where it functions as a prebiotic, or food source for the beneficial bacteria that live there.

Gut bacteria converts inulin and other prebiotics into short-chain fatty acids, which are the main nutrients for the large intestinal lining cells, these short-chain fatty acids nourish colon cells and provide various other health.

Serves: 4

1½ pounds sunchokes, washed, dried, sliced in half

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Cracked fresh pepper

3 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Wash, dry and cut the sunchokes in half.
  3. Line a backing sheet with foil, toss the sunchokes on the baking sheet with the oil, salt, pepper, and garlic and toss so the bottom of the pan and the sunchokes are lightly coated.
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes, tossing once or twice, until tender and golden brown.