Yacon root has been hitting the headlines recently, as the new kid on the block with regards to weight loss supplements. But what is it, where does it come from and does it work? Let’s have a closer look.
Yacon, a plant native to the Andes mountains in South America, was used for centuries in Peru by the Incas and is still eaten for its nutritional properties today.
In Bolivia, yacón roots are eaten by those suffering from diabetes and digestive problems, while in Brazil, the dried leaves are made into yacon tea, which is also said to be anti-diabetic.
Yacon root is very sweet thanks to it being made up of nearly fifty percent FOS (fructooligosaccharide). Because the body cannot process FOS, it travels through your digestive system without leaving any sugar for your body to absorb later on.
The FOS also contains large amounts of fiber and the roots and leaves contain high levels of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant known to prevent heart disease and certain other serious diseases from developing.
The latest studies have proven that yacon root can suppress hunger pangs and thus decrease calorie intake, along with boosting metabolism to boost burning of calories to encourage fast body weight reduction.
The University of São Paulo in Brazil conducted studies in 2007 which showed that consumption of yacon root could help ensure healthy bones and protect against osteoporosis. This is thanks to the high levels of fructans it contains, which are known to assist the body to absorb minerals, in particular calcium, which helps to increase bone density.
In a study by Genta et al. it was shown that a daily intake of yacon produced a significant decrease in body weight, waist circumference and body mass index when given to obese pre-menopausal women.
Although not a clinical study, Dr. Oz recorded the findings of his experiment in which 29 out of 40 women lost weight by adding yacon to their diet, without any other changes to their daily habits.
- 73% of the 60 participants lost weight.
- 14 of the women lost 5 pounds or more.
- The average weight loss was 2.9 pounds.
- They lost an average of 1.9 inches around their waists.
- The total pounds that were lost between all of the women was 153 pounds.
- 68 % of the participants would recommend Yacon to help lose weight.
Yacon certainly offers a new and exciting way to help you reach your weight loss goals. By taking it before meals, you can ensure your blood sugar levels will be steady, it will feed the good bacteria in the colon and supply high quality soluble fibre for healthy digestion.
And of course, Yacon can be used as a healthy natural sweetener which won’t translate to extra pounds on the scales.