What is yacon?

Yacón grows in the most temperate zone of the Andes. In Peru , this tuber is cultivated in Amazonas, Cajamarca, San Martín, Pasco, Cusco, Apurímac and Puno. At first glance, its shell (rough and somewhat brown) is confusing and gives it the appearance of a yuca, but unlike this, it has a sweeter and crunchier texture. According to the Ministry of Agriculture (Minagri), the color of its interior can be white, yellow, purple, orange and, in some harvests, it has surprised with the appearance of fuchsia dots.

Also called by its scientific name Smallanthus sonchifolius , it can be used in its entirety: from its roots, to prepare juices, to its leaves, used to make infusions. The ancient Incas already knew about these benefits, who consumed it during their religious celebrations.

This input was documented for the first time in 1615, by Guamán Poma de Ayala. The scholar included yacón in the list of the 55 plants cultivated in the Andes, according to data in the book Nueva Crónica y Buen Gobierno .

golden tuber

Yacón is part of the list of Peruvian superfoods thanks to its multiple health benefits. Specialists have highlighted its benefits for preventing heart ailments and the appearance of oncological problems. Its stationary availability, which is during the twelve months, facilitates the possibility of ingesting it at any time of the year. Below are some reasons why it should not be missing from your table.

Prevents colon cancer . Nutritionist Mewsette Pozo argues that it is thanks to its high dose of fructooligosaccharides, a type of sugar that favors the large intestine, as it supplies good bacteria to the intestinal flora. “This food can also be considered a prebiotic, helping to prevent colon cancer, improve intestinal transit, and prevent constipation, among others,” he indicates.

Helps patients with cholesterol. A series of studies have found yacon leaves to be a great incentive for those who suffer from cholesterol. This occurs because they have hypoglycemic properties that reduce and regulate blood glucose levels. It is recommended to consume it as a mate.

Prevent aging. “Yacon roots contain phenolic compounds, mainly derived from chlorogenic and caffeic acid, both considered antioxidants that help stop cellular aging and strengthen the immune system,” says Pozo.

It helps you lose weight. Despite being a tuber, says the nutritionist, yacon does not have high starch content, in which carbohydrates are found, which makes it an input with low calorie content. In addition, it contains fiber: ideal for improving intestinal transit. It is advisable to integrate it into salads or juices.

Stimulates hemoglobin. This input from the Andes, called llakuma in Quechua, also has iron, which stimulates hemoglobin and the formation of red blood cells in the body. Let us remember that if there is a deficiency of this mineral, the human body can cause anemia.

Favors the bone system. Yacon roots contain calcium, a mineral that strengthens bones and teeth. In addition, it promotes muscle growth and ensures the proper functioning of the nervous system. Calcium prevents the user from suffering from bone fractures and osteoporosis.

Phosphorus is added to this list of benefits, its presence in the human body guarantees energy and, like calcium, a healthy bone system. Its absence, on the other hand, could cause weakness, anemia and weak bones.

Manufacturers of beauty supplies have also found a golden elixir in yacon. Therefore, it is also possible to find it in essences and concentrates. On the other hand, in order to spread its properties, it can be purchased in other innovative versions: in cereals, flakes, energy bars, snacks and also in flour.

REFERENCE Blog Peru News

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