An Introduction to Yacon Root
Yacon is a tuber found in South American in the Andes Mountains. The scientific name is smallanthus sonchifolius It is a native produce of Peru where it is also referred to as “Peruvian Ground Apple”.. It is a plant of the aster family, which also includes the sunflowers and artichokes.
It is a perennial plant which grows year after year. Yacon root is edible and attributed with many medicinal qualities. The leaves are dried and then brewed into a decoction and given for diabetes control by Native Americans.
Taste of Yacon Root
look like potatoes and have a mild sweet taste that may be called a mixture of watermelon, pear and celery all put together. It is an interesting taste and doesn’t take too long to adjust to it.
Generally yacon root is eaten raw as you would any other fruit. It needs to be washed thoroughly and peeled and only the flesh of the root is eaten. It can be added to a salad or eaten by itself. You can add it to pies or crumbles along with apples and other similar fruit to make into a delicious dessert. It can also be crushed to make juice which you can have by itself or add other fruits and vegetables to it. The juice can be evaporated to form a syrup which is similar in taste to caramel syrup and is used as a sweetener. It can also be boiled down to form hard blocks of sugar called chancaca.
Benefits of Yacon Root
Recently yacon root has gained popularity as a food that helps you to reduce weight. Yacon is an antioxidant and hence good for the general health and specially heart. It is high in fiber hence excellent for your digestive system. It is also a prebiotic, which means it helps in cultivating the good flora in your gut. It is given to people who have had recent bouts of indigestion or other digestive ailments to regrow the good flora in the guts and improve digestion.
is supposed to be good for diabetics and it was discovered in research that it helps to regulate blood sugar. Fructooligosaccharides found in the yacon root are indigestable by the human body and pass through our system without being absorbed by the blood.
Yacon root was also found to be good for cancer, specially cancer of nerves, blood, and skin. The benefits of the yacon were also observed in liver health more so when it was combined with milk thistle.
But perhaps its most extensive use has been in weight reduction. Ever since studies were conducted to research the effect of yacon on weight loss, the popularity of this humble fruit has increased exponentially.
Since it is low on calories and high on fiber, yacon helps to reduce weight by helping the body to burn fat, specially on the stomach area.
It also acts as an appetite suppressant so that dieters do not feel hungry too often and this helps to control their calorific intake and there by reduce weight without much effort.