Onhealthmeup.com - So you have become more conscious of your health, and you want to do something about it. Your search for a health supplement that can help you stay healthy. You just do not choose any product on a whim, though. Although supplements are generally made to help promote your health, the health issues they address may vary. Thus, you may have to consider how a supplement can be beneficial for you.
What Is Yacon?
Yacon is a large perennial plant that is mainly grown and cultivated for its tuberous roots. The scientific name of yacon is Smallanthus sonchifolius and it primarily grows in South America, including the Central and Northern Andes, which primarily fall in Colombia and Argentina. It has been a traditionally grown vegetable for thousands of years and has a wide variety of uses.
What is Yacon syrup?
The syrup is derived from the Yacon plant and it is a staple in Peruvian diet. It has been used by Peruvians for generations as a natural sweetener and also as a sugar substitute. It is high in fiber and low in calories (7 calories per teaspoon). Since it is metabolized slowly by the body, the blood sugar spike is very mild and therefore it is especially beneficial for individuals who suffer from high blood sugar.
One of the supplements that have recently caught the attention of the health and fitness community is yacon root syrup, and there are several reasons why you may greatly benefit from it. If you are wondering how you can incorporate yacon root syrup in your diet and benefit from it, what you can do is take one teaspoon of it before each meal. You may also use it as a substitute for sugar, honey, or maple syrup.
Nutritional Value Of Yacon
As mentioned, yacon tubers are mostly composed of fructooligosaccharides and water. This means that the majority of the carbohydrate sugars cannot be digested by the body, resulting in a very low-calorie level and a prevention of excess sugar coming into the bloodstream. Yacon also helps the body increase its vitamin and mineral absorption of all other foods, so while there aren’t many vitamins and minerals in yacon itself, it is very important for the intake of these essential components of human health. That being said, yacon is still rich in potassium, calcium, and phosphorous.
Health Benefits Of Yacon
The health benefits of yacon include its ability to regulate blood sugar levels, monitor cholesterol, and aid in weight loss, among others.
The reason that so many people around the world have begun to use yacon so often is its anti-hyperglycemic effects. The fructooligosaccharides in yacon mean that the body does not absorb any simple sugars; in fact, it lowers the amount of glucose production in the liver and causes a shift to lower fasting glucose rates. This is very important for people suffering from diabetes. Research is also being done on yacon’s potential to increase insulin sensitivity in the body, yet another beneficial aspect for diabetics, or for people at risk of developing the disease.
Regulates Blood Pressure
There are a number of heart-healthy aspects to yacon, but the high levels of potassium are certainly worth mentioning first. Potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it relaxes blood vessels and reduces strain on the cardiovascular system. This means increased blood flow and oxygenation to parts of the body that need it most, and a reduced chance of developing conditions like atherosclerosis, or suffering from heart conditions like heart attacks or strokes. Potassium also helps to regulate the fluid balance in our body’s cells and tissues, in conjunction with sodium.
Controls Cholesterol Levels
Aside from its benefits to diabetics, yacon is also important for people who need to control their cholesterol. Research has shown that consuming yacon results in a general lowering of fasting triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein levels. In other words, the fructooligosaccharides that compose yacon help to lower lipid levels and prevent the accumulation of “bad” cholesterol. This aids in the prevention of a wide variety of heart concerns, including coronary heart disease.
Another reason why you may greatly benefit from yacon root syrup is that you may be aiming to lose weight the natural and healthy way. It is high in both fiber and FOS, and they work together to help reduce the levels of ghrelin, which is also known as the hunger hormone. This means that you get to stay full for a longer time than usual without putting too much calories in your body.
A supplement may be highly beneficial for you if you have digestion problems. It may help regulate your digestion and promote regular elimination of waste from your body because of its high fiber content. In addition, it serves as a prebiotic. This means that it feeds the good bacteria in your colon, helping improve your digestive health.
Reduce the levels of blood sugar
If you are looking for something that can help reduce the levels of sugar in your diet, then taking the supplement may be highly beneficial for you. Although it can be very sweet, it is very low on the glycemic index scale. This means that it does not really contribute to the increase of your blood sugar levels after you consume a meal. The main reason for this is that around fifty percent of its sweetness is brought about by FOS (fructooligosaccharides). The body does not treat FOS as sugar, and the body is not able to break it down easily. As a result, it does not give the body too many calories.
Research has shown that the compounds found in yacon can have inhibitory effects on the growth  of cancer cells. While this research is still somewhat preliminary, there is no downside to this possible benefit of adding yacon to your diet!
The liver is the source of glucose in our body, so it makes sense that regulation of glucose through eating yacon would affect our liver health in some way. In fact, studies have shown that sufficient amounts of yacon (particularly when combined with milk thistle) prevent fat accumulation in the liver and maintain proper liver health and function.
Caution: Although it is rare, there have been some reports of allergies to the yacon root. Furthermore, the leaves should only be used for tea, because they have been found to be slightly toxic to the kidneys when eaten directly. Other than these two small issues, enjoy yacon, as well as all of the wonderful benefits it can bring to your health!
How To make Yacon Root Syrup
1. Collect and wash the Yacon roots. If you grow your own Yacon roots at home, dig up some of your roots (depending on how much syrup you'd like to make). If you have a large area of roots, it is advisable to harvest the most mature plants. Once you've collected the roots, wash them under a pressurized hose to remove any dirt residue.
If you purchase Yacon roots at the market, select the healthiest and freshest-looking roots. Take them home and rinse them in your sink to remove any residue left on the roots.
2. Peel and juice the roots. Using either a potato peeler or a paring knife, peel the Yacon roots and discard the peels. Take out your food processor and put all of the peeled roots inside, then juice them.
3. Cook the juice. Pour the Yacon juice into a pot, then put the pot on the stove. Cook the juice over medium heat until you see a film developing. Skim the film off of the top and the sides, then bring the juice to a boil for a few minutes before letting it simmer overnight. The next day, bring the juice to a boil again and skim the film off of the top and sides. At this point, the juice should be darker and smell like molasses or treacle.
4. Strain the syrup. Let the juice cool down, then use a sieve to strain the syrup. The thin liquid that can pass through the sieve is the syrup itself, and the thicker material that remains in the sieve can either be discarded or put in a separate container and used to sweeten foods.
5. Bottle and store the syrup. Pour the strained syrup into a bottle or container of your choice, then place it in the fridge so that it will keep longer.