Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) is a plant that belongs to the family Asteraceae, native to the Andean regions of South America. Its fruit-like roots are usually consumed raw and have a sweet taste. Their texture reminds that of an apple. It is estimated that each plant produces about 10 kilos of roots. Yacon is currently cultivated in many countries, including Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Italy, Korea, New Zealand, the USA and others. Yacon is known as aricoma and aricuma in Bolivia, chicama in Ecuador and arboloco in Colombia. The term yacon is Spanish derived from the Quéchua word “yaku” which means “watery” because water is the most abundant component of the yacon root (about 70%). The major portion of the dry matter consists of fructooligosacharides (FOS). FOS content ranges from 0.7% to 13.2% of the fresh weight depending on the specific crop and location. (1)
Yacon was a traditional crop of Peru where it is still used in folk medicine. Specifically, its tubers were used as a traditional folk treatment to control hyperglycemia, kidney problems and others. Yacon is used on the European market as a prospective functional food and food supplement by diabetics and postmenopausal women. During the last decade yacon has attracted the scientific interest and several research projects and clinical trials were related to its health benefits. (2)References:
In a recently published animal study (2016) researchers tried to evaluate the antidepressant-like effects of inulin-type oligosaccharides extracted from yacon in behavioral models of depression. It was reported that the inulin-type oligosaccharides extracted from yacon may be a prospective natural source for antidepressants. (3)
Yacon and Obesity
In a 2009 study among obese women, researchers investigated the relation between yacon syrup intake and obesity. After about 4 months of the yacon syrup intake, the findings showed a significant decrease in body weight, waist circumference and body mass index of the studied women. Additionally, the satiety sensation increased. (4)
Yacon and Immunnity
Evidence shows that the yacon root is a good dietary supplement, due to its high content of fructooligosaccharides. Recent research highlights the effects of yacon’s consumption on immunity which include: improved-stronger immunity system and quicker and more effective immunity response. High content of FOS seems to play a key role as they can selectively modulate the composition and function of the intestinal microbiota. FOS promote the growth of biﬁdobacteria which stimulate the immune system. Additionally, yacon’s natural plant compounds such as fructans and polysaccharides may activate specialized immune cells (1)
Yacon and Diabetes
Freeze-dried powdered yacon can be considered as a prebiotic product. In a 2014 study that included elderly men and women, after 9 weeks of daily intake of freeze-dried yacon, the participants showed a decrease in serum glucose. (5)
Yacon’s Consumption and Safety
Yacon’s consumption is safe. In case you consume a huge amount of yacon you might experience diarrhea, flatulence, abdominal pain and bloating, due to the high FOS content of yacon. To get advantage of yacon’s properties you should keep it in cold storage and temperature-controlled environments. (1)
In a four-month animal study about the toxicity of dried yacon root, rats were given a yacon root diet supplement. During the feeding trial, yacon administration was well tolerated and did not produce any toxic effect. (1)
Moreover, in a human study, the daily consumption of a freeze-dried yacon powder, did not adversely affect intestinal transit and did not cause any kind of gastrointestinal effect such as flatulence, bloating or intestinal discomfort. (5)
Yacon’s regular use may benefit people with diabetes, digestive problems, constipation,obesity, high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. The yacon’s powder could be usedin your daily diet as a sweetenerof your smoothies, cookies or energy bars. Instead of using artificial sweeteners, you can choose the yacon’s powder which is a high quality natural sweetener.
Yacon is a natural, nutritional food, not a miracle drug. More evidence is needed to evaluate the benefits and side effects of Yacon powder as they have not been reviewed by the FDA. Alovitox Naturals products are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking Yacon if you are pregnant or breast feeding. We recommend pregnant and nursing women avoid use or consult their doctor for complete approval prior to use.
Origin: We source our organic Yacon from Oxapampa in the Peruvian Andes.
Suggested Use:use yacon powder to add sweetness to baked goods, smoothies, coffee, tea, juices and sprinkled on foods.
No Artificial Colors
Our Source Certifications: USDA Organic, EU organic, JAS organic, HACCP, KOSHER, Halal, Fair Trade
Storage: Reseal bag after opening. Store in a cool, dry and dark place.
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