What is it?The Yacon root from Peru is a distant relative of the sunflower. It grows in the warm, temperate Andean valleys at elevations below 3,500 m. Its delicious edible tubers, which are sweet and low in calories, hold a variety of benefits. It has a mild sweet flavour and an unusual moist, crunchy texture slightly reminiscent of fresh-picked apple, pineapple and watermelon.
Health benefits of yacon consumption: Owing to the fact that OF (oligofructose) contributes few calories to the human organism (1.5 kcal/g) and does not elevate blood glucose, yacon can be consumed by diabetics and weight-watchers. But OF is also a prebiotic (reconstituting intestinal microflora) and soluble fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Moreover, animal studies indicate that OF promotes calcium absorption, reduces cholesterol levels, strengthens the immune system and reduces carcinogen lesions in the colon. Additionally, yacon roots and leaves contain polyphenols with anti-oxidant activity associated with the prevention of cancer and arteriosclerosis. Yacon leaf extracts â€“high in polyphenols- have been shown to reduce blood glucose levels in diabetic and non-diabetic rats.