What Is Yacon and Its Health Benefits?
Yacon, more commonly known as the Peruvian ground apple means “water root” in Inca language. Yacon Syrup is a natural sweetener extracted from the tuberous roots of the South American yacon plant. Composing mostly of a type of sugar called fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and water, yacon syrup is full of high nutritional properties, leading to an assortment of health benefits. Here are some reasons why the highly nutritious yacon is incredibly beneficial for our bodies’ general health.
1. Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Yacon is used often for its anti-hyperclycemic effects as it is rich in fructooligosaccharides, derived from inulin, an indigestible carbohydrate. Inulin provides about half the sweetness of sugar without increasing blood sugar levels. Furthermore, fructooligosaccharides also inhibit the absorption of simple sugars when ingested as well as lower the amount of glucose production in the liver and thereafter bring about a shift to lower fasting glucose rates. This is especially beneficial to people suffering from diabetes, such as the Type II Diabetes.
2. Manage Blood Pressure
As a natural vasodilator with high levels of potassium, yacon helps to relax blood vessels and to reduce strain on the cardiovascular system, thus allowing unhindered flow of blood, nutrients and oxygen to all body tissues and cells. Additionally, the high levels of potassium in yacon along with sodium also help to regulate the fluid balance in our bodies’ cells and tissues.
Yacon is not composed of starch, therefore it has a very low level of calories as well as the ability to increase satiety without having to eat more. Yacon also has a slight laxative effect, most likely due to its fibre content, which is thought to facilitate safe weight loss. Moreover, yacon has properties that can lower lipid levels and prevent excessive cholesterol accumulation.
4. Increase Energy Levels
Staying active is easier with yacon as its active prebiotic effects can help to boost metabolism, which will then lead to an increased energy level. The increasing energy levels will subsequently help to burn more calories.
5. Improve Immune System Function
By Volker Brinkmann via Wikimedia Commons