Yacon is a plant originating from South America, which has also been grown in Europe for a long time now.Yacon produces sweet fruit in the form of tubers that can be used to produce syrup.Yacon syrup is a healthy replacement for sugar with a lower calorie content.In addition to the sweetening properties, it has a pro-health effect on the human body.

Yacon is a plant native to South America.It grows in the Andes region, where it has been used for thousands of years by the Mayans and the Incas.In the European literature, mention of him appeared for the first time in 1615.In Europe, this plant was not cultivated until the early 1990s, when it was brought to the Czech Republic and began to grow mainly for research purposes.Currently, Yacon is grown not only in Peru, but also in New Zealand, Japan, the USA, and in Europe in Italy, Russia, the Czech Republic and France, where it is called Pear.

Yacon – what does it look like?

Yacon belongs to the Asteraceae family, which also includes chicory and Jerusalem artichoke.The aboveground parts of the plant are spreading leaves, while the underground one – sweet-tasting tubers that resemble oblong potatoes in shape.Yaconu tubers are fruits, not vegetables, and unlike other tubers do not require any heat treatment before consumption.The yaconu fruits can be eaten raw, which is why they were the basic food of Indian messengers who crossed the Andes.

The yaconu tubers are juicy, have a flavor known as a combination of apple and watermelon.From one plant you get up to 20 fruits (about 10 kg).In its natural conditions yacon is a perennial plant.In Poland, it can also be grown, but annual planting and protection against frosts is necessary.Yacon best tolerates temperatures from 4 degrees Celsius and above, requires good irrigation.


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Yacon – application

Yacon can be eaten after the first month of storage, peeling and eating raw.Tubers can be fried, stewed, cut into slices and eaten in the form of snacks.They can be a component of salads, well squeezed with juice.

In the past few years, syrups, jams, juices, crisps and breakfast cereals have begun to be made from yacon.In the industry, yacon tubers are used most often for the production of flour, root and leaf extracts and syrup, which can be used as a sweetener for diabetics.Tea is prepared from the leaves.Both tubers and yacon leaves have pro-health properties.

Yacon – composition and health properties

Yaconu tubers consist of about 80% water.As a result, they are low in calories – they provide 14.8-22.4 kcal per 100 g of fresh fruit weight.The reserve material in yacon is fructans (including inulin and fructooligosaccharides), the amount of which reaches 67% of dry matter.In 100 g dry mass of tubers is located

The influence of yacon syrup on the cardiovascular system and cholesterol

In a rat study, it was shown that taking yacon syrup in the diet in the company of fatty acids caused a decrease in blood triglyceride levels by about 40%.At the same time, no changes in the absorption of cholesterol were noted.This is probably related to the inhibition of triglyceride synthesis in the liver.It seems that the fructooligosaccharides contained in the syrup reduce fat obesity resulting from excess fructose in the diet.In a group of obese people with dyslipidemia, for 120 days, yacon syrup was administered in an amount that provided 140 mg of fructooligosaccharides per kilogram of body weight (10 gu of a person weighing 70 kg).It was found that the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood was reduced without a clear decrease in total cholesterol and without affecting the HDL fraction.


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The effect of yacon on the level of glucose in the blood

Blood extracts and infusions from yacon leaves have a beneficial effect on lowering blood glucose levels.Syrup does not have this effect.However, in the study of obese women with insulin resistance, a decrease in the level of insulin in the blood as a result of consuming the syrup from yacon tubers was noticed.


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The effect of yacon syrup on weight loss

With regard to the beneficial effect of yacon syrup, there is little research on weight loss and they are contradictory.In some of them, a positive effect on weight loss associated with the increase in insulin sensitivity has been demonstrated.In the subjects, there is also an increase in the feeling of fullness after eating the syrup, which may be the reason for the lower intake of calories with food.The promoter of the yacon syrup used as a remedy in the fight against overweight is the controversial Dr. Oz, very popular in the United States.Women who are slimming under his supervision are thinner, but it can not be clearly said that the reason is drinking a syrup.Slimming effect of yacon syrup requires more detailed research.


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