Monday, December 28, 2015

Health Benefits of Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius)

What is Yacon (雪莲果, Smallanthus sonchifolius)

Yacon, which may more commonly be known as the Peruvian ground apple, is a plant native to South America and grown for its crunchy tuberous roots. This perennial plant can easily be identified by its small, yellow, daisy-like flowers surrounded by dark green leaves. It may grow to over 2 meters in height and happens to belong to the same family as sunflowers. It also happens to be pest-free and drought resistant, and so can be easily grown almost anywhere all year round as long as there is no frost. Yacon roots are sweet-tasting and crisp; they are described as a sort of winter delicacy in spite of being a vegetable.

What are the health benefits of Yacon?

Some of the most popular yacon health benefits include the control of blood sugar levels, control of cholesterol level, boosting immune system and helping in weight loss. The yacon root is full of health benefits some might be undiscovered but let’s take a look at a few ones.
  • Potential Weight Loss Aid: Yacon is a potential weight loss agent therefore known as “Diet potato”. It is a low calorie root and it is made up of fructooligosacharide which helps one to feel full longer.
  • Control Of Type II Diabetes: Yacon contain inulin, which is a type of fructose found in the yacon tuber. Some researchers have claimed that it’s useful in insulin independent diabetes, such as type II diabetes for regulating blood sugar levels. Research is still being continued and researchers are striving to document any importance of this plant in diabetes, which could be revolutionizing in the field of medicine as a therapeutic agent.
  • Used As Natural Sweetener: They can be used in the preparation of sugar free sweeteners for diabetic patients and those who are motivated to lose weight. You can also add yacon sweetener in coffee and tea.
  • Cancer Prevention: It is a potent anticancer agent for it inhibits the proliferation of mutant cells by initiating apoptosis (programmed cell death). It is found effective against skin, colon and blood cancer.
  • Prevention Of Fatty Liver: Yacon is an important regulator of body fat and prevent excessive cholesterol accumulation, thus protecting liver function by assisting it in cholesterol metabolism. It helps in metabolic processes of body.
  • Reduced Triglycerides: Yacon contain fructooligosaccharide that lowers bad cholesterol (triglycerides and low density lipoprotein). Low level of triglyceride is associated with reduce risk of heart attacks and stroke.
  • Prebiotic Effects: It is associated with correction of digestion by increasing intestinal flora and preventing colitis.
  • Cure For Constipation: It is a used to increase intestinal motility thus reducing constipation.
  • Antioxidant Activity: Chemical analysis of yacon has shown antioxidant activity which prevents the body from inflammatory and chronic diseases. This is one of the chief yacon root benefits. These antioxidants were extracted by methanol from the yacon plant. Caffeic acid, Ferulic acid and Chlorogenic are the anti oxidants found in the leaves of yacon.
  • Anti Fungal: Yacon leaves have reported important anti fungal effects. The yacon leaf may be used in the treatment of fungal diseases like athlete’s foot.
  • Tribal And Herbal Medicine: In South America, yacon plants are used as tribal medicines for kidney and bladder problems and also for cystitis, nephritis and externally for myalgia................CLICK HERE for more details.

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