Published: 08/01/2012 - Updated: 05/27/2016
If you had never heard of “yacon”, it is time to know it, especially if you are a patient diagnosed with diabetes. You should know that this native plant comes from the Andes, it contains a special sugar sweeter than glucose and doesn’t cause problems in diabetics because it doesn’t elevate blood glucose.
Inulin and oligofructose, the group of fruit-oligosaccharides (FOS), are low in calories and great for low-calorie diets and diabetic diets.
By having very low calorie, FOS are recognized as dietary fiber and indigestible prebiotic-food that favorably affects health reducing the level of blood lipids like cholesterol and triglycerides.
Some studies have shown evidence that consumption of yacon has a hypoglycemic effect in clinically healthy subjects.
However it is true that if you are diabetic, you can control the disease by consuming yacon, rather than other sugars. In that case the yacon tea, for example, is a good option to low your blood glucose. Testing it is necessary; carefully read the information from your suppliers as yacon tea should be made based on leaves of this plant and not root or tuber.
As an alternative adjuvant to combat diabetes, should be consumed approximately 300 g of fresh yacon, because it allows you to consume 66 g of fructose insulin.
We can find processed yacon in almost all world markets, especially in the Andes; the presentation varies from pancake syrup to soft drinks, jam, breakfast cereals, puddings and raisins. There are also yacon capsules, but just like tea, you should read if it’s made from the leaves.
About the plant
Yacon is a perennial herb that grows 1.5 to 3 m tall with dark green leaves similar to celery. Each plant forms 4 to 20 large fleshy tuberous roots underground.
Yacon is a member of the sunflower family and as it grows in warm, temperate valleys of the Andes, it can be found at altitudes up to 3200 meters. It is native to the lower regions of the Andes and the cloud forests of South America and can be found in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Colombia. It is now widely cultivated for its edible roots throughout Andean South America and it’s exported to Japan, Taiwan, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, and even to U.S.