Yacon with a scientific name of Polymnia sonchifolia is recognized as a Peruvian ground apple. It is from South America which is related to a sunflower. The tubers are juicy and edible, often known as “watery root”. For thousands of years ago, this fruit has been the source of food for Andes people.
With this, the yacon syrup provides health benefits to people, they are:
Management of Blood Sugar
Yacon syrup that comes from its roots help lowers down blood sugar, a result of the study conducted in 2009. The molecules found in yacon called fructooligosaccharides add half the sweetness of sugar without increasing the levels of blood sugar. In a study, a group of people suffering from obesity and are insulin resistant were supplemented with two doses each day of yacon syrup, .14 grams and .29 grams of fructooligosaccharides for every kilogram of their body weight. After 120 days, the study showed significant results, their insulin levels lowered down. However, the fasting levels of blood sugar did not show positive results. Also, during the study, supplementation of yacon syrup aids in suppressed diet and weight loss.
Prevention of Cancer
In 2011, a study conducted of the human cervical cancer, it showed that yacon syrup has potential benefits to prevent cancer. The components of yacon slow down the reproduction and growth of cancer cells and promote the death of early cancer cells too. To support the results of the study, in 2010 a tissue culture conducted to determine the benefits of yacon to cancer patients. It showed that the leaves and roots of yacon have anticancer benefits of the blood, nerve, colon and skin cancers.
Yacon and silymarin have active components in the form of milk thistle that helps improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels in people with metabolic syndrome. This syndrome is a condition that increases the risk of diabetes and heart diseases. In a study conducted for ninety days, patients who consumed .8 grams of silymarin and 2.4 grams of yacon have improved the levels of cholesterol and prevented the accumulation of fat in the liver. With these results, it has been proven that yacon and silymarin promote healthy liver and heart function.
The taste of fresh yacon has a crunchy texture and slightly sweet taste that is similar of an apple and the flavor is the same with watermelon. The South Americans like to eat the tubers as a fruit and they add honey and lemon juice to make it as a fruit salad. Other options are to stir fry, bake or roast the yacon as a vegetable.
Finally, clinical studies showed that yacon syrup provides essential benefits for the body.