The Jerusalem artichoke is not related at all to the other types of artichoke, the Globe artichoke and the Chinese artichoke.
Although globe artichoke is considered the ‘true artichoke’, the Jerusalem artichoke is very different from what we think an artichoke should look like.
It is also called a sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or topinambour, and is species of sunflower native to eastern North America, and found from eastern Canada and Maine west to North Dakota, and south to northern Florida and Texas. (source: wikipedia)
It is grown mainly for its tuber which is used as a root vegetable.
So can guinea pigs eat Jerusalem artichokes, and if so, how much can they have?
Lets find out by looking at its content a bit more.
Energy 304 kJ (73 kcal)
Carbohydrates 17.44 g
– Sugars 9.6 g
– Dietary fiber 1.6 g
Fat 0.01 g
Protein 2 g
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.2 mg (17%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.06 mg (5%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 1.3 mg (9%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.397 mg (8%)
Vitamin B6 0.077 mg (6%)
Folate (vit. B9) 13 μg (3%)
Vitamin C 4 mg (5%)
Calcium 14 mg (1%)
Iron 3.4 mg (26%)
Magnesium 17 mg (5%)
Phosphorus 78 mg (11%)
Potassium 429 mg (9%)
Unfortunately they are quite high in sugar and phosphorus and don’t have a good vitamin c content or a lot of calcium, so they are not good for guinea pigs to eat.
So they are okay for them to have a nibble of them every so often, but they really shouldn’t be an regular feature of a guinea pig diet.
Check out the name sakes of the Jerusalem artichoke, the globe artichoke and Chinese artichoke.
For more foods that guinea pigs can and can’t eat, check out our guinea pig foods section