Diet and Nutrition 2022

Yacon Potato: 6 benefícios and how to consume (with recipes)

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Yacon Potato: 6 benefícios and how to consume (with recipes)
Yacon Potato: 6 benefícios and how to consume (with recipes)
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The yacon potato is currently considered a functional food, as it is rich in soluble fibers, mainly inulin and fructooligosaccharides, which provide a probiotic effect and, therefore, is a good option to help regulate the intestines.

In addition, it is an excellent option for people with diabetes or those who want to lose weight, as it helps to regulate appetite and control blood sugar, and can replace the common potato in main meals.

This tuber has a similar appearance to the sweet potato and its scientific name is Smallanthus sonchifolius. Yacon has a slightly sweet and fruity flavor and can be found in supermarkets.

The yacon potato can bring several he alth benefits, the main ones being:

1. Regulate intestinal transit

The yacon potato is a tuber rich in fructans, mainly inulin and fructooligosaccharides, which are compounds capable of resisting the action of gastric juice, passing through the digestive tract without being metabolized and, therefore, this type of potato is considered a prebiotic food.

Prebiotics favor the increase of bifidobacteria in the colon, increasing bowel movements and stool volume, being an excellent option to combat constipation.

2. Control your blood sugar

The presence of fructooligosaccharides in yacon potatoes promotes glucose absorption in peripheral tissues, improving liver insulin sensitivity and increasing insulin secretion by the pancreas, thus favoring the decrease in blood glucose, being an option for who have pre-diabetes and diabetes.

3. Lowering cholesterol and triglycerides

Yacon potato helps to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides as it contains polyphenols and fructooligosaccharides, which could help regulate the metabolism of fats in the body and decrease the synthesis of triglycerides in the liver.

4. Promote weight loss

The soluble fibers of yacon potatoes increase the feeling of satiety, reducing appetite, in addition to containing few calories, which can be included in diets to lose weight.

5. Help preserve bone mass

The fructooligosaccharides present in yacon potatoes when they reach the colon and stimulate bifidobacteria, promote the absorption of some minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium, minerals that are important to maintain the he alth of bones and teeth, preventing problems such as osteopenia and osteoporosis.

6. Prevent cancer

Yacon potato is rich in polyphenols, such as caffeic acid, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help fight free radicals and reduce oxidative stress, in addition to having prebiotic properties, helping to prevent some types of cancer, such as colon cancer.

Yacon potato nutritional information

The following table shows the nutritional information for 100 grams of raw yacon potato in the form of flour:

Nutritional composition Raw yacon potatoes (100 grams) Yacon potato flour (100 grams)
Energy 33 calories 240 calories
Proteins 0, 40 g 4, 53 g
Fat 0, 11 g 0, 54 g
Carbohydrates 9, 29 g 66, 47 g
Fibers 2, 09 g 19, 93 g
Soluble fiber - 12, 39 g
Insoluble fibers - 7, 54 g
Calcium 11, 7 mg 31, 83 mg
Phosphorus 22.5 mg 200, 3 mg
Magnesium 3, 7 mg 62, 66 mg
Potassium 171, 2 mg 1276, 25 mg
Iron 0, 3 mg 3, 4 mg

It is important to mention that in order to obtain all the benefits mentioned above, yacon potatoes must be included in a he althy and balanced diet, and it is also important to practice physical activity regularly.

How to consume

Yacon potato can be eaten raw or cooked in salads, as a dessert or snack. To consume it raw, it is necessary to remove the skin. In addition, this tuber can also be purchased in the form of flour, which can be used to make bread, cakes and cookies, for example.

Yacon root extract can also be obtained in capsules, however, a safe dose for consumption has not yet been determined, and it is necessary to consult a doctor or nutritionist before use.

Yacon potato leaves can also be used to prepare tea. According to some scientific studies, this tea helps to lower blood sugar, improve gastrointestinal problems and lower cholesterol, in addition to having antioxidant, anticancer and antimicrobial properties.

Recipes with yacon

There are several ways to prepare yacon potato:

1. Salad with yogurt dressing

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 2 cups diced yacon;
  • 1 cup cooked and diced carrots;
  • Half a cup of chopped onion;
  • Half a cup of peas.

For the sauce:

  • 1 handful of coriander;
  • 1 cup plain yogurt;
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic;
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice;
  • S alt and pepper to taste.

Preparation mode

To prepare the salad, mix all the ingredients in a container and for the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients and mix gently with the salad.

2. Chips

Ingredients

  • 1 medium yacon;
  • 1 teaspoon paprika;
  • 1 teaspoon cumin;
  • 1 pinch of s alt;
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Preparation mode

Skin the yacon potato and cut into thin slices. Place the slices in a bowl and add the paprika, cumin, s alt and oil, stir well and arrange on a tray. Leave in the oven at 175ยบ for 20 minutes or until golden and crispy.

3. Carrot, Ginger and Yacon Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of water;
  • 1 large orange;
  • 1 small carrot;
  • 1 raw and shelled yacon;
  • 1 piece of ginger;
  • 1 cup of ice cubes.

Preparation mode

Beat all the ingredients, strain and drink immediately. Other fruits can be used to taste.

Possible side effects and cautions

The yacon potato, being rich in fructooligosaccharides, when consumed in excess, could cause poor digestion, excessive gas, distention and abdominal pain.

This tuber may not be a good option for people who have irritable bowel syndrome and, therefore, it is recommended that they consume it in small quantities to check the degree of tolerability or avoid consumption of this tuber.Also, people with fructose intolerance should avoid this tuber.

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