What is Yacon & Yacon syrup? What are its benefits?
Yacon, sometimes called Peruvian ground apple, is a plant which looks very much like potatoes, but tastes much sweeter than that (shockingly it's a close relative to sunflowers & artichokes - whuuut?!). It's normally grown in Northern & Central Andes but after discovering its immense benefits (which was just a few years back!), people have started growing it all over the world. Now the important bit here - the syrup - is taken from the roots of Yacon and has a significant importance to our health. Without going into much chemistry and whatnot, it contains a certain kind of fructose which has got very little caloric value when eaten hence benefit number one - weightloss. Benefit number two, which is much more important to me, is its prebiotic effect. Meaning that the fructose is really good for your tummy bacteria (the good ones) and therefore improves your digestion and digestive tract health. In very simple words - it improves your metabolism so your belly doesn't get bloated and doesn't ache so much - which happens to me a lot! As to the weightloss benefit - I've read that one spoon a day can help you loose weight without any change to your diet or exercise whatsoever which I think is rubbish, but - it does affect your metabolism in a positive way which obviously is likely to have an effect on your overall health - and that's what you should really keep an eye one, once your lifestyle (eating & exercise) change to better, your body will take care of the fatty bits itself!
How do I eat Yacon syrup?
It's simple. I either have a spoon of it in the morning (it tastes really yummy, a bit like less sugary caramel!) or I use it instead of sugar/cream for desserts. My favourite is chopping up some fruits (bananas, strawberries, even mango and pineapple!) and drizzling a bit (a lot - because it's SO good!) all over it. Seriously, this is better than loading it with whipped cream! You can also add it into a cookie recipe, drizzle it over your ice cream or add it into a smoothie/milkshake.
I've been using it for good 2-3 months and I have to say that I have changed my lifestyle over that period quite a bit - I have started exercising, eating more fruit and veg etc - so it's probably not just a result of Yacon syrup - but I do feel much better. I tend to suffer from IBS symptoms (not IBS as such but I get bloated stomach pretty much after every meal, stomach pains, heart burn etc), and recently this has been happening less and less frequently. I feel like my stomach is in much better condition and I'm not even taking any probiotics at the moment, wohoo! *touches wood*
Yacon syrup is not exactly a cheap product to buy and it's quite a mission to get your hands on it. Mine is from Amazon US for about $20 (here) but you can purchase it also via Vitamins UK for less than £15 (here). And would I recommend it? Yes. If you suffer from stomach pains and overall your digestive system is a bit pants, then I'd give it a go - but don't rely solely on Yacon, you will need to adjust your (most likely terrible) eating habits and move your bum a bit more (I got myself a cheapo spinny bike - you can watch YouTube videos and read blogs while working out - BAM!).
Have you ever tried Yacon syrup?
Do you suffer from digestive tummy pains?
What do you do about them?